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Prostatitis is a general term for inflammation of the prostate gland. Prostate is a small organ about the size and shape of a walnut, located just below the bladder. It can be found only in males.

The prostate gland's main function is to produce semen, the fluid that helps nourish and transport sperm. When this inflammation occurs it can cause a variety of symptoms, including a frequent and urgent need to urinate and pain or burning when urinating, often accompanied by pelvic, groin or low back pain. Studies have shown that sex is almost impossible when you have prostatitis because the erections and ejaculations are extremely painful.

Incidence

Prostatitis can affect men of all ages. Prostatitis is one of the most common diseases seen in urology practices in the US, accounting for over 1 million visits per year. Chronic and nonbacterial prostatitis are being most frequently diagnosed. According to the National Institutes of Health, prostatitis may account for up to 25% of all office visits for complaints involving the genital and urinary systems from young and middle-aged men. 

Symptoms and types of prostatitis

There are several characteristic symptoms for each an every type of prostatitis.

Some of the most common are:

Acute bacterial prostatitis

Signs and symptoms of this form of prostatitis usually come on suddenly and may include:

  • Fever and chills
  • A flu-like feeling
  • Pain in the prostate gland, lower back or genital area
  • Increased urinary urgency and frequency,
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating,
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder
  • Blood-colored urine
  • Painful ejaculation


Acute prostatitis is a serious condition and requires urgent medical attention.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis

The signs and symptoms of this type of prostatitis develop more slowly and usually aren't as serious as those of acute prostatitis.

The most common symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis include:

  • A frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • Pain in the lower back and genital area
  • Difficulty starting to urinate, or diminished urine flow
  • Occasional blood in semen or in urine (hematuria)
  • Pain or a burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
  • Pain in the prostate
  • Excessive urination during the night (nocturia)
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Recurring bladder infections


Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis

Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common form of prostatitis. In general, the signs and symptoms of nonbacterial prostatitis are similar to those of chronic bacterial prostatitis. The major difference is that common bacterial tests will not detect any bacteria in patient’s urine or in fluid from prostate gland. 

Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis

There are such cases when the patient does not complain of pain or discomfort but has infection-fighting cells in his semen. Doctors usually find this form of prostatitis when looking for causes of infertility or testing for prostate cancer.

 

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