Urology Of Greater Atlanta
The prostate gland, located below the male bladder, plays a crucial role in reproductive health. However, inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis, can lead to significant discomfort and affect daily life.
Chronic prostatitis is a long-lasting condition that can be caused by various factors. In this article, we will delve into the details of chronic prostatitis, including its types, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
Call Urology of Greater Atlanta or request an appointment online today if you’re concerned about prostate discomfort or pain! Our board-certified urologists are ready to help. For your convenience, we have multiple offices located throughout Georgia.
What Is Chronic Prostatitis?
Chronic prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate that continues for longer than 3 months. In this way, the condition differs from acute prostatitis, where symptoms can occur suddenly and intensely.
There are 3 types of chronic prostatitis according to its causes. They are as follows:
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis: Much like acute bacterial prostatitis, this type of prostatitis is triggered by a bacterial urinary tract infection. It affects males of all ages but is more commonly observed in younger and older adults. Bacterial prostatitis accounts for approximately 5% to 10% of prostatitis cases.
- Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CP/CPPS): This is the most common form of chronic prostatitis, comprising at least 90% of cases. CP/CPPS involves inflammation in the pelvic area, leading to persistent pain.
- Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis: This type of prostatitis is characterized by the absence of symptoms. It is often discovered incidentally during other medical tests and usually does not require treatment.
What Causes Chronic Prostatitis?
Chronic bacterial prostatitis and CP/CPPS have several possible causes.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is typically caused by bacteria entering the prostate through the urinary tract. Infections originating in the bladder or the use of a urinary catheter can also contribute to bacterial prostatitis. Prostate stones, which may form due to bacterial infections, can make treating chronic bacterial prostatitis challenging.
The exact cause of CP/CPPS is not fully understood. Still, it is believed to involve abnormal functioning of the pelvic nerves and pelvic muscles or an immune system response against the prostate.
The Symptoms of Chronic Prostatitis
Symptoms of chronic prostatitis and other related chronic pelvic pain conditions can vary depending on the type, but common urinary symptoms include:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Burning pain during urination
- Difficulty starting urination and weak urine flow
- Blood in the urine
- A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Painful ejaculation
- Chronic pain in the lower back, lower abdomen, or between the testicles and anus
How Chronic Prostatitis Is Diagnosed
To diagnose chronic prostatitis, a healthcare provider will evaluate your symptoms and medical history. They may perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) to assess the prostate’s condition.
Urine samples may be analyzed to detect the presence of bacteria. Further tests, such as a pelvic MRI, blood test, or cystoscopy, may be conducted to provide a more accurate diagnosis.
Chronic Prostatitis Treatment
Treatment for chronic bacterial prostatitis usually involves a course of antibiotics tailored to the specific bacterial infection. The duration of antibiotic therapy can range from 4 to 12 weeks, with a high success rate of approximately 75% in chronic bacterial prostatitis cases.
For CP/CPPS, where the cause is often unknown, symptom management becomes the primary focus. Medications such as alpha-blockers, muscle relaxers, pain relievers, and anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed to relieve symptoms.
Alternative remedies like warm baths, acupuncture, and relaxation exercises may also provide relief. In some cases, prostatic massage can help alleviate inflammation.
Outlook for Chronic Prostatitis
Chronic prostatitis can be a challenging and ongoing condition. While it may not always be curable, managing symptoms is possible through appropriate treatment.
It is essential to address any anxiety or depression associated with the condition and seek mental health support if needed. It’s also very important to maintain a healthy prostatitis diet.
Prostatitis does not increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. If antibiotics are not effective in treating prostate infection, it’s possible that an abscess will form in your prostate gland.
Remember, if you experience any symptoms related to prostatitis, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
Get Relief From Prostate Discomfort
Contact us at Urology of Greater Atlanta or request an appointment online today if you’re concerned about prostate discomfort or pain! Our board-certified urologists are ready to help. For your convenience, we have multiple offices located throughout Georgia.