Symptoms of Prostatitis

Urination Problems and Pain Signal an Inflamed Prostate Gland

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Half of all men experience prostatitis at some time in their life. Inflammation of the prostate gland is a common cause of men's visits to their doctors for genital and urinary problems. There are four different kinds of prostatitis, with different causes. Learn about the common symptoms and see your doctor to have the source of the inflammation diagnosed. If left untreated, serious complications can occur.

Common Symptoms of Prostatitis

Prostatitis can cause a wide variety of symptoms depending on the type of prostatitis and how long it has been present. The most common symptoms have to do with problems with urination. Problems with ejaculation are also quite common. Problems with urination and ejaculation are common makes sense, given that both urine and semen pass through the prostate as they travel out of the body. Inflammation of the prostate results in difficulties with the passage of either of these fluids.

The most common urinary symptoms of prostatitis are:

  • Painful urination: specifically a burning sensation
  • Urinary urgency: experiencing an urge to urinate immediately
  • Urinary hesitancy: dribbling or difficulty starting the urine stream
  • Urinary frequency: needing to urinate more often than usual
  • Nocturia: needing to urinate several times per night

Common painful symptoms of prostatitis include:

  • Painful ejaculations
  • Pain in the groin, pelvis, or lower back
  • Pain in the testicles

Diagnosing Prostatitis vs. Prostate Cancer

Because the common symptoms of prostatitis can be identical to those of prostate cancer, it is essential that you see your doctor if you develop these symptoms—especially if the symptoms persist.

Your doctor will likely refer you to a urologist for further testing. Your treatment will depend on which type of prostatitis you have.

Symptoms of Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

Prostatitis can be caused by bacterial infection. The infection is often with Klebsiella or Escherichia bacteria from the colon and it should be treated to avoid serious complications. The symptoms of bacterial prostatitis are similar to those seen with any other acute bacterial infection.

Additional symptoms to the common prostatitis urinary and pain symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Malaise (feeling generally ill)
  • Fatigue
  • Your doctor may find your prostate is swollen and tender upon exam.

Symptoms of Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

If the prostate infection lingers (becomes chronic), then intermittent urinary tract infections may occur. Urinary tract infections are generally uncommon in men, and recurrent urinary tract infections in a man should prompt an evaluation for chronic prostatitis or other causes. Symptoms are less severe than with an acute infection but may include fever, pain, and blood in the semen. The symptoms may come and go.

Symptoms of Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic prostatitis is when symptoms of prostatitis occur for three or more months but there is no inflammation or bacterial infection.

The cause is unknown, but a virus or chlamydia may be responsible. It is the most common but least understood type of prostatitis. It has the usual urinary and pain symptoms, but pelvic pain may occur in more than one area at the same time, or be spread out across the pelvic area.

What Else Can Result in the Same Symptoms as Prostatitis?

The most common symptoms of prostatitis, as listed above, are not specific to prostatitis. They can also be experienced when other problems of the prostate are present, including prostate cancer or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—also known as “enlarged prostate”.

When to See Your Doctor

You should see your doctor when you have symptoms of prostatitis as they can signal more serious conditions, including prostate cancer. Getting treatment for prostatitis can help prevent complications, including sexual dysfunction.

You should immediately seek medical help if you are completely unable to urinate, have problems urinating and have a fever and chills, see blood in your urine, or have a lot of pain and discomfort in your urinary tract or lower abdomen.

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