What Is Prostatitis?

Prostatitis is the infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. It is a common urological condition. There is no direct evidence that prostatitis can lead to prostate cancer.

Who are at risk of Prostatitis?

An inflamed or infected prostate gland is common in men of all ages, but patients may be at higher risk of prostate problems if they are:

  • Between the ages of 36 and 50
  • Who have had urinary tract infections or a groin injury
  • Use a urinary catheter
  • Had a prostate biopsy
  • Have HIV/AIDS
  • Suffered prostatitis previously

Symptoms of Prostatitis

There are four types of prostatitis. Each has its own set of symptoms and causes. These can include:

  • High fever and chills
  • Lower back, muscle, or joint pain
  • Pain around the base of your penis, behind your scrotum or around the rectum
  • Feeling like you need to have a bowel movement
  • Trouble urinating
  • Painful urination
  • Weak urine stream
  • Urgent need for urination in the middle of the night
  • Pain after ejaculation
  • Blood in your semen
  • Urinary tract infection, or
  • Urinary blockage

Types of Prostatitis

There are four common types of prostatitis:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Nonbacterial prostatitis, and
  • Prostatodynia

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis (ABP)

ABP is inflammation of the prostate gland caused by bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella.

Severe complications may develop if not promptly treated. ABP can be fatal if the bacterial infection is untreated and enters the bloodstream (sepsis).

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis (CBP)

CBP is a recurrent infection and inflammation of the prostate and urinary tract. Symptoms are less severe than those associated with acute bacterial prostatitis. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a common cause of frequent urinary tract infections in men.

Nonbacterial Prostatitis

Nonbacterial prostatitis is an inflamed prostate without bacterial infection.


Prostatodynia, sometimes called chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), is the occurrence of prostatitis symptoms, without inflammation or bacterial infection.

Causes of Prostatitis

Acute bacterial prostatitis is often caused by common strains of bacteria. The infection can start when bacteria in urine leaks into your prostate.

Other causes can include:

  • An underlying problem in the prostate, such as prostate stones or BPH (enlarged prostate), which becomes the focus for bacteria in the urinary tract
  • Nerve damage in the lower urinary tract, which can be caused by surgery or trauma to the area, might contribute to prostatitis not caused by a bacterial infection
  • Phimosis, which is the inability to pull back the foreskin of your penis
  • Injury to your perineum, which is the area between your scrotum and rectum
  • Bladder outlet obstruction, which can occur due to enlarged prostate or stones in your bladder
  • Urinary catheters or cystoscopy
  • As a result of an immune system disorder

In many cases of prostatitis, the cause isn't identified. Researchers are also trying to better understand what causes it. This will allow them to find more treatments that work.

How can Prostatitis affect you?

Complications of prostatitis can include:

  • Bacterial infection of the blood (bacteremia)
  • Inflammation of the coiled tube attached to the back of the testicle (epididymitis)
  • A pus-filled cavity in the prostate (prostatic abscess)
  • Semen abnormalities and infertility, which can occur with chronic prostatitis

Diagnosis of Prostatitis

The diagnosis of prostatitis may involve the following tests:

  • Digital rectal exam (DRE)
  • Urinalysis
  • Pathology tests to analyse a sample of your urine or blood for signs of infection and other prostate problems
  • Urodynamic testing to learn if you have problems emptying your bladder
  • Cystoscopy to examine the inside of your urethra and bladder for signs of infection
  • Ultrasound imaging to visualise your prostate
  • CT Scan to image the urinary tract and prostate in detail

Treatment of Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a treatable condition. Even if the problem cannot be cured, you can usually get relief from your symptoms by following the recommended treatment.

Your doctor can help you find ways to manage your symptoms and control your pain.

Treatment varies depending on the nature of the problem and may include:

  • Simple antibiotics are used to treat the infection
  • Alpha blockers. to relax the bladder neck and the muscle fibres to ease symptoms, such as painful urination
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might reduce discomfort

Recurrent Prostatitis

If treatment does not eliminate the bacteria, prostatitis might recur or be difficult to treat (chronic bacterial prostatitis).

  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate
  • da Vinci Surgery