Medical Definition of Prostatitis, nonbacterial

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Prostatitis, nonbacterial: Inflammation of the prostate not due to bacterial infection. The prostate is a walnut-sized organ below the male bladder that surrounds the urethra and contributes fluid to the semen.

Nonbacterial prostatitis is typically a chronic, painful disease. The symptoms (including chills, fever, pain in the lower back and genital area, body aches, burning or painful urination, and the frequent and urgent need to urinate) characteristically go away and then come back without warning. The urine and fluid from the prostate show no evidence of a known infecting organism, but the semen and other fluids from the prostate contain cells that the body usually produces to fight infection.

Treatment with antibiotics and drugs that relax the muscles of the prostate gland is often tried and commonly fails. This form of prostatitis is the most common (and least understood) type of prostatitis. It occurs in association with other diseases such as Reiter syndrome (arthritis, conjunctivitis [eye inflammation] and inflammation of the genital and urinary systems).

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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