Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)

  • Medical Author:
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

  • Medical Editor: Steven Doerr, MD
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

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What causes prostatitis?

Prostatitis can be caused by bacteria that leak into the prostate gland from the urinary tract (the most common bacterial cause) and from direct extension or lymphatic spread from the rectum. It can also result from various sexually transmitted organisms such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, or HIV. Other organisms responsible for infection are the same found most frequently in urinary tract infections, such as Escherichia coli. In many instances (especially in the chronic form of prostatitis), no specific cause of prostatitis can be found.

What are the risk factors for prostatitis?

Men of all ages can be affected by prostatitis, but it is more common in young and middle-aged men. Other risk factors for the development of prostatitis include the following:

  • A prior history of prostatitis
  • Having a recent urinary tract infection
  • Recent use of a urinary catheter or a recent urologic procedure
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Engaging in rectal intercourse
  • Having a structural or functional urinary tract abnormality
  • Dehydration (not enough fluids)
  • Local pelvic trauma or injury such as from bicycle riding or horseback riding

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 is usually most pronounced with acute bacterial prostatitis. The following are signs and symptoms that may be present with prostatitis:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/11/2015
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