Prostate Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies

What are the causes of prostate infection?

If the prostate gland becomes swollen and tender, it is called prostatitis
If the prostate gland becomes swollen and tender, it is called prostatitis

If the prostate gland becomes swollen and tender, it is called prostatitis or prostate infection. The prostate gland is a walnut-shaped organ that lies just below a man's urinary bladder. The prostate produces a fluid that goes into the semen. An inflamed or infected prostate gland may be seen in men of all ages. While the exact cause of prostate infection isn’t known, some cases of prostatitis are clearly related to bacterial infections. Bacterial prostatitis isn’t contagious and isn’t a sexually transmitted disease. Below are a few common causes of prostate infection:

What are the common symptoms of prostate infection?

There are four types of prostate infections. Each has its own symptoms:

Acute bacterial prostatitis: This kind of prostatitis is caused by an acute bacterial infection of the prostate. It is diagnosed by an increased presence of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine, semen, and prostatic secretion.  Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and/or muscle aches 
  • Pain in the area of the perineum, pelvis, and genitals
  • Pain/burning with urination and ejaculation
  • Symptoms of urinary tract obstruction such as frequent urination (especially at night), urgency (sudden strong urge to urinate), hesitancy (unable to start stream), weak stream, and incomplete voiding
  • Lower back and/or lower abdominal pain
  • Spontaneous urethral discharge, which is a fluid that is not urine or sperm but the product of an infected or irritated urethra
  • Decreased sexual activity or interest

Severe bacterial prostatitis: Severe bacterial prostatitis is caused by recurring bacterial infection of the prostate; the infection does not respond immediately to antibiotics and needs further treatment. Symptoms may be the same as acute bacterial prostatitis.

Severe nonbacterial prostatitis: It is also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Patients may exhibit the same symptoms like those of severe bacterial prostatitis, but no bacteria presence is detected in urine, semen, or prostate secretion. Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common type of prostatitis, but very little is understood about it. 

Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis: It occurs is when the prostate is inflamed, but the patient shows no symptoms at all. Because of the lack of symptoms, this condition is often diagnosed during tests for infertility or elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level when a large amount of white blood cells is found in ejaculation. The presence of high-level white blood cells in the semen can cause male infertility. Unless fertility is desired, acute inflammatory prostatitis is generally not treated.


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What are the remedies for prostate infection?

The common remedies of prostate infection include:

Warm baths called sitz baths

Local heat therapy with hot water bottles or heating pads

Physical therapy:

  • Kegel exercises: Tightening and relaxing the muscles that hold urine in the bladder and hold the bladder in its proper position. These are also called pelvic muscle exercises.
  • Myofascial release: Pressing and stretching, sometimes with cooling and warming, of the muscles and soft tissues in the lower back, pelvic region, and upper legs. It is also known as myofascial trigger point release.

Phytotherapy: Plant extracts such as quercetin, bee pollen, and saw palmetto may help in relieve symptoms.


Avoiding food that triggers symptoms such as caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol

Using a cushion if you will be sitting for a long time

How is prostate infection treated?

Treatment depends on the type of prostatitis. Prostatitis is a treatable condition. Even if the problem cannot be cured, patients may usually get relief from their symptoms by following the recommended treatment.

Treatments include the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetmol
  • Antibiotic medications may be initially started for 7-14 days; however, they may be taken longer for severe conditions.
  • Alpha-blocking agents may improve the urinary stream and often reduce the other voiding symptoms in patients with chronic prostatitis. Alpha-blocking agents include Flomax (tamsulosin) or Uroxatral (alfusozin) for patients with voiding symptoms and those who do not empty their bladders well.
  • Other treatments for severe noninfectious prostatitis include the drugs Proscar (finasteride), terazosin, and doxazosin. These drugs relax the muscles of the prostate and bladder to improve urine flow and reduce symptoms.

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