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  • Rick Alan
Publication Type:





Prostatitis is swelling of the prostate gland in men. There are 4 types of prostatitis:

  • Acute bacterial
  • Chronic bacterial
  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
Prostate Gland.

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Cause will depend on the type of prostatitis:

  • Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis are caused by an infection. A bacteria enters the prostate. It often comes from the nearby urinary tract or rectum.
  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis—causes are not clearly understood.

A cause may not be found in some people.

Risk Factors

Prostatitis is more common in men who use catheters. Other things that may raise the chances of prostatitis are:

  • Having sex without using barriers like condoms
  • Foreskin that does not to fully draw back from the head of the penis— phimosis
  • Urethra that has narrowed
  • Prostate that has grown
  • Past urinary tract infections


Symptoms depend on the type of prostatitis. Many may not have any problems. Symptoms that do occur may include:

  • Needing to urinate (pee) often or feeling an urgent need to often
  • Pain or burning while urinating
  • Having a hard time passing urine
  • Lower belly pain or pressure
  • Pain in penis, rectum, and area in between
  • Lower back pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Problems getting or keeping erection


The doctor will ask about symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. Other tests may be done to help find a cause or rule out other issues, such as:

  • Urine tests
  • Prostate biopsy—small piece of prostate is removed and sent to a lab


How prostatitis is treated will depend on its type.


Steps that may lower the risk of some types of prostatitis include:

  • Practicing safe sex. Using a condom can protect against infections (STIs).
  • Emptying the bladder as soon the urge happens.

Regular exercise may also help some types of prostatitis.

Infectious Prostatitis

Antibiotics can be used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They may be given over several days or weeks. The antibiotics may be given through an IV for infections that are hard to treat.

Symptoms may be treated with:

  • Stool softeners—to ease pressure in area
  • Medicine to ease swelling
  • Pain medicine
  • Medicine to help with urine flow

Alcohol and drinks with caffeine can make symptoms worse.





  • Acute bacterial prostatitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-bacterial-prostatitis.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-bacterial-prostatitis.
  • Prostatitis: inflammation of the prostate. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems/prostatitis-inflammation-prostate.
  • Prostatitis (prostate infection). Urology Care Foundation website. Available at: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/prostatitis-(infection-of-the-prostate)?article=15.
  • Sharp, V.J., Takacs, E.B., et al. Prostatitis: diagnosis and treatment. American Family Physician, 2010; 82 (4): 397-406.
  • 5/18/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-prostatitis-chronic-pelvic-pain-syndrome: Zhang, R., Chomistek, A.K., et al. Physical activity and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2015; 7 (4): 757-764.


  • Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.