What is Prostatitis?


Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland and/or the surrounding area. The prostate gland produces fluid used during ejaculation, it surrounds the urethra and sits at the base of the bladder and in front of the rectum. Prostatitis is problematic, but non-contagious, non-cancerous and unrelated to more common prostate-specific issues such as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or prostate cancer.

Prostatitis Diagnosis
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Acute or chronic

Acute bacterial prostatitis is the rarest type and can occur at any time and typically presents with severe symptoms needing timely treatment. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is also rare and presents no symptoms, but can be diagnosed if ejaculate contains infection-fighting cells. Chronic prostatitis is the most common type, its manageable but incurable. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is rare and recurrent but can be difficult to treat.

Prostatitis Symptoms

Symptoms include persistent, sometimes intense pain in the anus, bladder area, lower back, penis, pelvis, rectum, testicles, upper thighs and surrounding areas. Pain typically increases during urination or following sexual intercourse and upon closer inspection, ejaculate could also contain traces of blood. Urinary issues are also commonplace.

Urinary issues often include an increased regularity and need to urinate, with urination often being broken or uncomfortable. The complete emptying the bladder can also prove difficult. Erectile dysfunction, fever or chills, lower libido, throbbing within the rectum or genitals and urethral discharge during bowel movements can also indicate the condition. If in doubt, consultant your GP or healthcare provider.

Possible causes

While bacteria spreading from the rectum or from infected urine has been identified as being a main cause, patients with several sexually transmitted infections can also develop prostatitis. Deep and difficult to diagnose prostate infections may cause prostatitis, but this remains unknown.


Some people are more at risk of prostatitis than others. Men with anatomically irregular urinary tract, anal or scrotal injuries, BPH, bladder infections may be more at risk. Patients who have recently received invasive urethral tests are at greater risk of prostatitis. A full health history check and a rectal exam should be carried out by your doctor to assist with correct diagnosis and treatment pathway.


Accurately diagnosing prostatitis is difficult because its symptoms are so varied and vague, but regular infections and other known causes for similar symptomatic issues can still be identified. To get an accurate prognosis for your condition tests such as CT scans, flexible cystoscopies, MRI scans, PSA tests, ultrasound scans, urinary flow rate tests and urine samples are all proven, effective measures to accurately assess your condition.

Prostatitis diagnosis

As well as conducting a full review of the patient’s general well-being and history of sexual health, doctors could also use blood tests, DREs (Digital Rectal Examinations), prostate massage, semen and urine culture tests when diagnosing patients; these are sometimes needed to identify other conditions or causes that could potentially be responsible for the symptoms presented.

Diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis

Bladder cancer, chronic prostatitis, endometriosis, kidney stones, STIs and UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) can all cause symptoms similar to those presented by prostatitis; while there is not any way to accurately identify interstitial cystitis, it is possible to identify and eliminate the other conditions and potential causes of a patient’s symptoms.


Prior to identifying therapeutic prostatitis treatment, a patient’s age, general health and symptom severity must be assessed. The type of prostatitis identified will also dictate treatment, but symptoms typically pass within a fortnight, during a full 4 to 6 week course of antibiotics. Basic over-the-counter painkillers can treat symptomatic fever and pain.

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