Prostatitis

The prostate gland is located deep inside the body at the base of the bladder. Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. This can occur with or without infection. Most cases of prostatitis are long term (chronic). Most do not involve a bacterial infection.

  • Chronic prostatitis is more common in older men. It is usually an inflammatory condition and not an infection. But, bacterial infection can also cause chronic prostatitis. It can cause pain in the rectum, urethra, bladder, or scrotum. It can also make you unable to fully empty the bladder.  You may urinate often, or have burning with urination. Prostatitis may also cause painful ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.

  • Sudden onset (acute) prostatitis usually occurs in men younger than 35. It is from a bacterial infection. You may have severe symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, and pain in the area between the scrotum and anus (perineum). You may have a hard time urinating, or have pain or burning when urinating. There may be blood or pus in the urine.

Your healthcare provider may do a culture test on prostate fluids or discharge from the penis. This will help determine if bacteria are the cause. Treatment can include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicine, prostate medicines, and stool softeners.

Home care

These guidelines will help you care for yourself at home:

  • Rest at home until the fever is gone and you are feeling better.

  • A hot sitz bath may offer some relief. Fill a tub with 6 inches of hot water. Allow the water to run so you can keep it hot for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink alcohol or caffeine until all symptoms are gone.

  • If your healthcare gives you an antibiotic, take it exactly as you are told. Take it until it is all gone.

  • Constipation causes straining and pain. Avoid constipation by eating natural laxatives such as prunes, fresh fruits, and whole-grain cereals. If needed, use a mild over-the-counter (OTC) laxative for constipation. An OTC stool softener may be used to keep the stools soft.

  • If sex is uncomfortable or painful, avoid until symptoms get better.

  • You may use OTC medicines for pain and fever, unless another medicine was given. If you have chronic liver or kidney disease, talk with your healthcare provider before using these medicines. Also talk with your provider if you've ever had a stomach ulcer or GI bleeding.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, a urologist, or as advised to be sure you are responding to treatment. Your healthcare provider may want to see you after you finish your antibiotics to be sure the infection has cleared. If a culture was taken, you may call for the results as directed. A culture test can help your healthcare provider know if you are on the correct antibiotic.

Call 911

Call 911 if any of these occur:

  • Weakness, dizziness, or fainting

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Unable to pass urine for 8 hours

  • Pressure or pain in your bladder gets worse

  • Painful swelling of the testicle or scrotum