Thursday, December 16

What is Acute Prostatitis? Infection of the Prostate

What Is Acute Prostatitis

In men, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland located beneath the bladder. This gland produces a fluid that when combined with sperm forms semen. Because the prostate surrounds the urethra (the tube that transports pee from the bladder to the outside of the body), diseases that cause the prostate to expand or enlarge may press on the urethra, causing pain or difficulty urinating.

Prostatitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the prostate gland. Acute prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland that manifests itself suddenly. Acute prostatitis is caused by an infection, most commonly by bacteria that migrate up the urethra and into the prostate. Several of these bacteria are common pathogens found on and inside the human body. Other infections are spread sexually.

Prostatitis affects the majority of men who have a normal prostate gland, although the infection may be more prevalent in older men as the gland grows larger with age. Prostatitis and prostate cancer are not known to be associated.


Acute prostatitis is characterized by the following symptoms:

Urination causes burning or dribbling.
Having difficulty initiating the urine stream or being completely unable to pass urine at all.
Urine that is cloudy or contains blood.
Pain in or around the penis, in or around the scrotum, in the back, or in the rectum.
Chills and fever.
Symptoms are similar to the flu, such as muscular aches and general weakness.


Your doctor will gently insert a finger into your rectum to examine your prostate. Generally, when the prostate is infected, it feels swollen. When slight pressure is applied to the gland, you may feel pain or have a strong urge to urinate. Additionally, your doctor will perform a general exam to determine whether the infection has migrated to other organs, such as the kidneys.

A urine specimen will then be examined for signs of infection, such as white blood cells and bacteria. Urine will typically contain white blood cells in a typical case of acute prostatitis. Additionally, blood tests may be performed to determine your kidney function and blood cell count. If your doctor suspects that your swollen prostate is causing urinary obstruction, he or she may perform an ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan.

Expected Timeframe

Prostatitis symptoms often improve within 24 to 48 hours if treated promptly. In more severe situations, infection symptoms may last longer than a week.


Prostatitis cannot be prevented in the majority of cases. However, if an infection is detected early, it has a greater chance of responding rapidly to treatment. Additionally, certain forms of prostatitis are transmitted sexually. Many of these infections are preventable through safe sex practices.


Antibiotics are used to treat acute prostatitis. Antibiotics will be administered intravenously in extreme cases (into a vein). Antibiotics can be given orally in less severe situations. Because antibiotics have a long time to get from the bloodstream into the prostate, they are frequently recommended for three or more weeks.

If you develop severe prostatitis, your doctor may admit you to the hospital to administer intravenous antibiotics and monitor your vital signs. Typically, only a brief stay of a few days is required. If the prostate is extremely enlarged, a catheter may be inserted to allow urine to drain. This catheter may need to be left in place for up to a week, but if the infection is controlled, you should resume normal urination.

When Should You Consult a Professional

Consult a physician if you develop:

Urination discomfort or difficulty
Your urine contains blood or is cloudy.
Back or groin discomfort that is severe in combination with a fever
A side effect of an antibiotic used to treat your prostate infection, such as a rash, nausea with vomiting, or severe diarrhea.
Delay in treatment may result in the spread of the infection. A man may become critically unwell and require emergency care in severe circumstances.


Treatment is effective in the majority of cases of acute prostatitis. Your physician may prescribe an extended course of antibiotics. Even if you begin to feel better, it is critical to complete the entire course of treatment. Symptoms of discomfort or hesitancy when passing urine may persist for a time, but should finally resolve completely.

What Acute Prostatitis

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