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Prostatitis is a term used to describe inflammatory conditions of the prostate gland. It is thought that most cases of prostatitis result from bacterial infection, but evidence of infection is not always found. An infected or inflamed prostate can cause painful urination and ejaculation and, if left untreated, serious complications.
Prostatitis can affect men of any age and it is estimated that 50% of men experience the disorder at least once during their lifetime. Prostatitis is one of the most common urological disorders in men over the age of 50 and the third most common disorder in men younger than 50.
Acute bacterial prostatitis (ABP) is inflammation of the prostate gland caused by bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Klebsiella. Severe complications may develop if not promptly treated.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) is a recurrent infection and inflammation of the prostate and urinary tract. Symptoms are less severe than those associated with acute bacterial prostatitis.
Chronic (non bacterial) Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS), is the occurrence of prostatitis symptoms, without bacterial infection. This is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 90% of all cases. The condition is marked by urinary and genital pain. Patients have no bacteria in their urine, but may have other signs of inflammation.
The diagnosis of prostatitis relies on a careful review of medical history and physical examination by a urologist. A urinalyis is an important laboratory test. The need for other blood tests or imaging studies like ultrasound, X-ray, and computerized tomography (CT) may be necessary depending upon the clinical presentation.
Treatment for acute bacterial prostatitis is with antibiotics. Home care includes drinking plenty of fluids and rest.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis may be treated with long-term antibiotics, up to eight weeks or longer because of the poor penetration of antibiotics in general into the infected prostate tissue.