Prostatitis is the swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. This is a painful condition that can affect men at any age, but those 50 years and older are more prone to getting this disease. At around this age, men are beginning to experience lowering levels of testosterone, a change that initiates a number of health problems and sexual dysfunction. Prostatitis, along with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate malignancies (cancer), are the three most common prostate problems for men in this stage of life.

Types of Prostatitis

It is important to know and differentiate the 2 types of prostatitis because these require different treatments and levels of immediacy when it comes to medical attention.

Acute Prostatitis

Cases of acute prostatitis are rarely heard of in the modern western society. This condition is typically caused by bacteria that infect the prostate by traveling through the urinary tract or bloodstream. Common symptoms of acute prostatitis include high fever, a frequent urge to urinate, and pain in the lower pelvic area, testicles, and perineum. One possible complication of this disease is acute urinary retention (AUR) which happens when the prostate swells to the point where it starts to block the passage of urine. AUR is a condition that needs the immediate attention of a doctor.

Chronic Prostatitis

Unlike the rare acute prostatitis, chronic prostatitis is a common disease that affects 25% of males all over the world. The exact cause of this condition remains unknown, but it has been linked to high levels of stress, sexually transmitted diseases, anatomical abnormalities in the urogenital system, and gastrointestinal disturbances, among other possible causes. Its symptoms include pain in the pelvic region, dysuria or pain when urinating, frequent and urgent need to urinate, flu-like symptoms, sexual dysfunction and reduced desire, and painful orgasms.

Prostatitis Treatment Options

Acute Prostatitis

The first order of business in treating acute prostatitis is addressing the acute urinary retention that comes with it. The urologist works around the obstruction in the urinary tract by inserting a catheter in the bladder through the penis. To treat the swelling and inflammation caused by bacteria, the doctor will advise the patient to take antibiotics for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Chronic Prostatitis

A more comprehensive treatment is required for chronic prostatitis. There are a lot of options that can relieve the symptoms that come with this condition, but the challenge is finding the particular treatment that works for a particular patient. Cases caused by bacteria can be treated by taking antibiotics for about 4 to 6 weeks. Alpha blockers can be taken to help relax the bladder, while anti-inflammatory drugs can keep the prostate from swelling.

Home Care

It is important that the patient knows how to manage the symptoms of prostatitis while recuperating at home. The patient is encouraged to initiate lifestyle changes that will help provide a healthier environment for the prostate. These include getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of fluid. High-fiber food such as fruit and vegetables also help avoid constipation, a condition linked to prostatitis. Stool softeners can also be taken if the pain in the groin area is triggered by bowel movement. The patient can also do stress management exercises if the prostatitis seems to be triggered by stress.