Definition of Prostatitis
Prostatitis is defined as inflammation of the Prostate Gland. Inflammation is a protective response of body against any harmful stimulus. During Prostatitis, Prostate Gland swells, becomes hot, and usually causes pain. It is further classified into four types :
- Acute Prostatitis : It is sudden inflammation of Prostate in response to Bacterial Infection.
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis : It is gradually increasing inflammation of the Prostate in response to the intermittent Bacterial Infections or other Urinary Tract Infections. It is usually rare.
- Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome : It is most common form of Prostatitis associated with pain. Inflammation occurs without any bacterial infection.
- Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis : In this condition the inflammation is painless but laboratory testing reveals signs of inflammation.
Cause of Prostatitis
Prostatitis can be caused by one of the following reasons :
- Bacterial Infection of Prostate Gland in acute or chronic form is the major cause of Prostatitis. This infection occurs in backward (retrograde) fashion. Urine infected with bacteria enters Prostate from Urethra and causes infection.
- Prostatitis can occur due to Immune System Disorders like Autoimmune Diseases.
- Hormonal disorders can cause Prostatitis.
- Direct injury to the Prostate Gland may result in Prostatitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Prostatitis
Signs and Symptoms associated with Prostatitis are :
- Dysuria (painful or burning urination)
- Difficulty Urinating
- Increased frequency of Urination, especially at night.
- Pain in Lower Abdomen or Pelvis, or Penis and Testicles.
- Pain while Ejaculating (Orgasm).
- Other symptoms of infection if the cause is Bacteria. For example flu etc.
Risk Factors for Prostatitis
Certain Risk Factor are associated with Prostatitis and given as follows :
- Male of young and middle-age are more susceptible.
- Infection of Urethra is a major risk factor.
- Previous history of Prostatitis
- Injury to the Prostate. For example horse riding or bicycling injury etc.
- Unprotected Sexual Intercourse
- AIDS/HIV patients are at increased risk of developing Prostatitis
- Stress and tension increase risk of Prostatitis
- Catheter passed through urethra increases risk of Bacterial infection hence Prostatitis.
- Family history of Prostatitis
Diagnosis of Prostatitis
Diagnosis is based on step wise clinical study. It is done as follows :
- Doctors asks patient about the problem and takes history.
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) is performed. In this clinical procedure doctor after consent and preparation inserts a lubricated gloved finger through anus into the rectum. From there he or she can palpate the Prostate Gland and check for physical signs of Prostatitis easily.
- If signs are positive for Prostatitis a Blood sample is taken and checked for Bacterial Infection.
- Urine may be taken for checking infection or signs of inflammation.
- Prostate massage can be performed to take out Prostatic fluid during DRE. This helps finding out more about condition of Prostate Gland.
- Further tests can be performed to check effect of Prostatitis on the ability of the patient to Urinate. These are called Urodynamic Tests.
Prevention of Prostatitis
Prostatitis can be prevented if following measures are taken :
- Keep yourself clean and practice good hygiene measures.
- Keep Penis and Urinary area clean.
- Drink more water and fluid to regulate Urination.
- Seek medical advice as soon as possible on onset of any Urinary Tract Infection or Signs of Prostatitis.
Treatment of Prostatitis
Treatment of the Prostatitis is based on the cause and type of the disease. Following measures are taken in case the problem arises :
- Anti-Bacterial drugs are taken if Prostatitis is caused by the infection.
- Alpha-Blocker drugs are useful in Prostatitis. Alpha-blockers block the special type of receptors in the Bladder. This causes muscles in the lower part of the Bladder to relax and it results in comfortable urination.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs reduce pain and inflammation thus provide relief to the patient of Prostatitis.
- Prostate Massage is thought to be useful in relieving symptoms and comforting the patient of Prostatitis. However its effectiveness is still debateable.
- Other remedies include applying warmth to the area in form of hot pads or warm water bottles etc.