What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is the inflammation and infection of the prostate gland. The cause of which is not always easily identifiable but may be secondary to bacterial infection, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). There is often an underlying anatomic reason for prostatitis such as urethral strictures or prostate enlargement. Prostatitis can be classified as acute or chronic. Acute prostatitis is an active infection often associated with the sudden onset of symptoms. Chronic prostatitis is the persistence of symptoms associated with prostatitis without signs of an active infection. The symptoms include but are not limited to pain in the perineal, groin, penis, and scrotum, as well as burning with urination, decreased stream, and urinary frequency/urgency. Patients may also experience some degree of sexual dysfunction such as painful ejaculation or ED (Erectile Dysfunction).


Evaluation usually includes a complete physical exam, a DRE (Digital Rectal Exam), urine analysis, and culture. A cystoscopy may be necessary to evaluate for anatomic abnormalities.


Treatment for acute prostatitis usually involves long term antibiotics for approximately 4 weeks. If acute prostatitis is also associated with a collection of infection in the prostate it may require surgical drainage. Treatment for chronic prostatitis also includes antibiotics but will often involve other medications or surgical procedures to relieve the symptoms.