Signs of prostatitis and symptoms – Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. The inflammation can be due to an infection as well as other various causes.
Prostatitis accounts for nearly 2 million visits per year to outpatient urology practices in the United States.
Ten to twelve percent of all men experience prostatitis symptoms.
Prostatitis is the most common prostate problem in men under the age of 50.
Prostatitis can be an acute illness or a chronic condition, The NIH consensus definition and classification of prostatitis are:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis: Caused by a bacterial infection, and it typically starts suddenly and may include flu-like symptoms. It is the least common of the four types of prostatitis.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis: Described by recurrent bacterial infections of the prostate gland. Between attacks, the symptoms might be minor or the patient may even be symptom-free; however, it can be difficult to treat successfully.
- Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: Most cases of prostatitis fall into this category; however, it is the least understood. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be described as inflammatory or noninflammatory, depending upon the presence or absence of infection-fighting cells in the urine, semen, and prostatic fluid. Often no specific cause can be identified. The symptoms can come and go or remain chronically.
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis: This condition is often diagnosed incidentally during the workup for infertility or prostate cancer. Individuals with this form of prostatitis will not complain of symptoms or discomfort, but they will have the presence of infection-fighting cells present in semen/prostatic fluid.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system, and it is a walnut-sized gland found in men that is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine and semen exit the body. Its main function is to produce seminal fluid in order to transport sperm through the urethra.
Symptoms and signs
If you do not have any signs or symptoms of BPH or any of the types of prostatitis, which can be the situation for some men, you may not be able to tell if you have either problem. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis and enlarged prostate that are similar include, painful, difficulty, and/or frequent urination or blood in the urine.
However, there are some major differences between some symptoms and signs of these two problems. Prostatitis symptoms and signs like low back pain, fever, and chills do not occur with BPH.
BPH symptoms and signs that do not occur in prostatitis include a weak stream of urine and a sense of not fully emptying the bladder
What are the signs and symptoms of prostatitis?
The symptoms associated with prostatitis can vary depending on the underlying cause of prostatitis. The symptoms may appear slowly or come on quickly, and they may improve rapidly (depending on the cause and treatment available) or they may last for several months and they can keep recurring (chronic prostatitis). The rapidity and severity of onset are usually most pronounced with acute bacterial prostatitis. The following are signs and symptoms that may be present with prostatitis:
- Painful, difficult, and/or frequent urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Groin pain, rectal pain, abdominal pain, and/or low back pain
- Fever and chills
- Malaise and body aches
- Urethral discharge
- Painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction
When should you call your doctor if you think you may have prostatitis symptoms?
If you have any of the signs or symptoms consistent with prostatitis, you should see your health care professional for further evaluation. Depending on the symptoms and your response to therapy, your doctor may need to refer you to a urologist (a physician specializing in the genitourinary system).