A prostate infection (prostatitis) is an inflammation around the prostate and the surrounding areas. Different types of infections can affect the prostate. According to MedicineNet, 10-12% of all men experience prostatitis symptoms, the most common prostate problem affecting men below 50.
There are different types of prostatitis as classified by the NIH
Acute bacterial prostatitis
This is the rarest of all and the easiest to diagnose. It has a shorter duration. If left untreated, it can get severe and threaten life.
Causes OF Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
For acute bacterial prostatitis, bacteria are usually the common microorganism identified. It usually starts suddenly and disappears abruptly. There may be flu-like symptoms. It is usually the least common among others.
Other likely causes are;
- Infection, especially of the urinary tract
- Obstruction of the bladder
- Sexually transmitted diseases, e.g. Chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhoea.
- Prostatic hypertrophy, i.e. enlarged prostate.
Symptoms of Acute Prostate Infection
- Inability to urinate
- Pain when urinating
- Pain in the abdomen or lower back
- Body pain
- Urethral discharge
- Nausea and vomiting
- Prolong frequent urination
- Frequent urination at night
- Unpleasant odour from the urine
- Blood traces in the urine or semen
Chronic bacterial prostatitis
This takes several years to develop and usually affects middle-aged and young men. Symptoms are not so intense and can potentially cause urinary tract infections. Usually, the cause is unknown and is not always clear. Some researchers speculated that it could interact with the immune system to combat a urinary tract infection. Others believe that it is a nerve damage reaction in the area. Finally, the infection could be from other reproductive and urinary tract organs.
Symptoms Of Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis Includes
- Burning sensation during urination
- Frequent urination
- Pain in the bladder
- Heavy feeling behind the scrotum
- Erectile dysfunction
- Pain in the rectum
- Blockage in urine
- Pain in the penis or testicle
- Pain during ejaculation
- Urinary tract infections
This is also referred to as chronic pelvic syndrome, which causes severe pelvic pain. This is usually the most common type. There is no sign/symptoms of infection. This can affect all men of different ages. Symptoms can prolong up to 3-4 months in the penis, scrotum, or lower abdomen. It is ongoing and recurrent. Predisposing factors to this include; stress that is psychological in nature, damage or trauma to the nerve of the pelvic region, and physical injury. Chemicals in urine could also play a role, including immune disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Symptoms of Chronic prostatitis Include
- Pain during or after ejaculation,
- Pain in the penis, between the scrotum and anus, and at the lower back
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis; There are no symptoms, but there is inflammation at the site.
OTHER CAUSES/ RISK FACTORS OF PROSTATITIS
- Autoimmune diseases
- Prostate/bladder stones
- Urinary tract abnormality is structural and functional.
- Prostate cancer
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Abscess of the prostrate
- Urethral stricture
- Bladder cancer
- Spasms of the pelvic floor muscles.
- Urinary retention
- Surgery or biopsy
- Prostate stones
- Age; Young and middle-aged adult
- HIV infection/AIDS
- Previous prostatitis infection
- Drainage of urine with a urinary catheter.
Treatment (Prostate Infection Antibiotics)
Antibiotics: If the cause is a bacterial infection, the doctor will prescribe this. For acute bacterial prostatitis, the treatment course may be up to 14-30 days, starting with the IV route before progressing to orals. For chronic type, it might prolong up to 3 months of antibiotic treatment. Talk to your doctor about it.
Alpha-blockers: These classes of drugs work by relaxing the part of the urinary tract, thereby reducing narrowing or obstruction of the enlarged prostate and improving the urine flow. Examples include tamsulosin and alfuzosin.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: This class of pain relievers can ease swelling, pain, and soreness.
Antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs can help relieve long-term prostate pain, especially neurological ones.
Natural supplements: A natural compound called Quercetin found in plants can relieve inflammation in some people. Another one called cernilton which is a pollen extract can also help.
Urinary catheterization: If you have difficulty urinating, or cannot pee, a catheter will be passed to your bladder to get you out.
Massage of the prostrate can also help to get the fluids in your prostate out.
Physical therapy; If your prostatitis is caused by a problem with the pelvic floor muscle, then a therapist will work with you to strengthen the muscle through a series of exercises, which will subsequently reduce muscle spasms and improve your bowel, bladder, and sexual life.
Mental health therapy: You will be referred to a psychologist or counsellor if your problem results from stress, as psychological stress, anxiety, and depression can also play a role. Stress management techniques can also be incorporated into our treatment.
Lifestyle modification: like diet modification [spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine can worsen symptoms]. Taking a Sitz bath about 2-3 times daily can provide relief and regular exercise. Drinking a high quantity of water can also help flush out bacteria from the bladder, including weight loss.
Surgery: If you have prostate stones or abscesses, or even cancer, surgery might be needed to drain and remove part of the affected organ.
Alternative medicine can also help;
Acupuncture; The use of thin needles inserted at various depths in the skin has been proven beneficial. Biofeedback; The use of monitoring equipment to control specific body responses.