Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) can occur in different forms. Most men suffer from an acute inflammation of the prostate gland (prostate). If this disease occurs more often or if it is not treated adequately, it can lead to chronic prostate inflammation (prostatitis). Typical signs are burning and aching pain when urinating, fever and chills.
What is prostate inflammation?
The male prostate is responsible for producing part of the sperm. Like any other organ, however, it can become inflamed:
This is called prostatitis, also known as prostatitis in technical jargon. In a broader sense, this also refers to all other inflammations of the pelvic floor for which no other cause can initially be assigned. See gradphysics for CRPS in English.
Typical symptoms include difficulty and pain when urinating, increased urge to urinate and severe pain after ejaculation.
Acute prostate inflammation (prostatitis) is the body’s response to bacterial infection. In most cases, these are intestinal bacteria of the E. coli species, which can be detected in large quantities in the urine of affected men. Other, albeit rarer, triggers are chlamydia or various mycoplasmas. If the bacterial prostate inflammation has become chronic, other bacteria usually also play a role.
For example, Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been identified as a possible trigger, which must have been preceded by genital tuberculosis. Viruses or fungi are rarely associated with chronic prostatitis. The cause is usually that the triggers of the previous acute illness remained in the urethra and, after the first flare-up of infection had healed, returned in this way to the prostate, which was still weak.
Abacterial prostate inflammation (prostatitis) is by far the most common manifestation. It hardly differs from bacterial inflammation, but has other causes. Neuronal disorders up to autoimmune reactions are possible. Although it is being discussed that bacteria that are difficult to detect could act as pathogens, there is no evidence of this.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Acute prostatitis usually begins with a general feeling of illness. The patient feels tired and exhausted, fever with chills occurs. Urinating causes burning pain, much like a bladder infection. The flow of urine can be restricted by the swollen prostate.
Because little urine can be excreted when going to the toilet, the patient often has the urge to urinate. There is also pain in the perineal area, which can radiate to the penis, testicles, bladder and groin. Pain can also occur during bowel movements and sexual intercourse, especially during or after ejaculation.
As a complication of the acute inflammation, a purulent encapsulation (abscess) in the prostate is possible. It must be surgically opened and cleared. The chronic inflammation of the prostate causes less severe symptoms. There is no fever and no chills. The strongest symptom is a feeling of pressure in the perineum or abdomen.
The ejaculate may be brownish in color due to traces of blood. Blood in the urine is also possible. Even with the chronic form, the man often feels more severe pain during or during ejaculation. In addition, it can lead to libido or potency disorders. If left untreated, the inflammation can spread to surrounding organs, such as the testicles or epididymis.
course of the disease
In acute prostate inflammation (prostatitis), a prostate abscess or urinary retention can occur as a complication as the disease progresses. If a chronic form of prostate inflammation (prostatitis) has already occurred, new infections can occur again and again, so that treatment can be very lengthy and complicated.
Recognized and treated in good time, acute prostatitis heals in most cases within a short period of time without any consequences. Occasionally, the causative bacteria get into the testicles and can cause epididymitis there. A prostate abscess can occur as a further complication, in which pathogens become encapsulated in the prostate and cause massive purulent inflammation.
This can be accompanied by fever, chills and severe pain in the affected area. A prostate abscess is usually surgically opened immediately, otherwise the focus of pus can break through into the bladder, urethra or rectum. Furthermore, problems with urination are possible as a result of prostatitis, which can extend to complete urinary retention – in this case, the urine must be emptied with the help of a catheter.
A rare but life-threatening complication is blood poisoning (urosepsis), where bacteria enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. If not treated quickly, vital organs will fail. Acute prostatitis that is insufficiently treated with antibiotics often turns into chronic prostate inflammation: the infection flares up again and again and must be treated with medication. Discontinuing the antibiotic too early carries the risk of developing resistance, in which case the triggering bacteria no longer respond to the active substance.
When should you go to the doctor?
Symptoms such as burning when urinating, frequent urges to urinate and an uncomfortable feeling in the lower abdomen indicate prostate inflammation. A doctor’s consultation is necessary if the symptoms do not subside within two to three days. If there are general symptoms such as fever or feeling unwell, it is best to consult your family doctor immediately. Sometimes the signs of the disease appear in connection with a bacterial infection or tuberculosis of the genital organs. Then the responsible specialist should be involved.
The same applies if the health problems appear as part of a chlamydia infection. Apart from the family doctor, you should go to a urologist with a prostate infection. In the case of organic causes, the responsible specialist must be consulted so that treatment can be started quickly. If no physical cause is found, the condition may be psychological. The patient should consult a psychologist or psychotherapist if mental health is poor or if a psychological trigger is otherwise suspected.
Treatment & Therapy
Acute prostate inflammation (prostatitis) is first treated with antibiotics. Depending on the pathogen, different preparations can be used. The chronic form is also treated with antibiotics, but other drugs are used. In order to fight the chronic bacterial inflammation of the prostate, gentler means are required, since the administration of antibiotics can extend over 4-6 weeks. In addition, alpha blockers are often prescribed or prostate massages are carried out to help limit the painful symptoms.
Abacterial prostatosis is more difficult to treat. It must first be determined whether it is an inflammation or not. In some cases, the pain can also be accompanied by unhealthy tension in the muscles of the pelvic floor and only affect the prostate, sometimes not at all. Giving antibiotics has been shown to help prevent bacterial infection of the weakened area. However, the main role in drug treatment is played by quercetin, alpha-1 blockers or mepartricin.
Inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) can hardly be effectively prevented, since it emanates from internal processes in the body over which humans have little influence. Basically, thorough personal hygiene and compliance with hygienic principles help to allow the pathogens of the inflammation to penetrate the urethra into the body.
Chronic prostatitis can be prevented by having the acute form treated immediately by a doctor. Antibiotics must be taken to the last pill of the pack or as directed by the doctor, otherwise the bacterial population may not be completely killed. If the symptoms recur or only a slight improvement, the doctor must be consulted again immediately.
Follow-up care for prostatitis takes place a few days after recovery. If the patient is no longer in pain and does not notice any other unusual symptoms, the responsible urologist is consulted. Follow-up includes a physical exam and a patient interview. During the physical exam, the doctor will check the bladder region.
Typical symptoms such as inflammation of the epididymis or fever are clarified. If symptoms persist, a blood test may be necessary. In the patient consultation, other typical symptoms are clarified that are difficult for the doctor to see during the physical examination. These include the typical pain when urinating and general potency problems.
If no abnormalities are found, the treatment can be completed. A prescribed antibiotic must be tapered off. The doctor may prescribe a lighter medication or refer the patient to an alternative doctor.
The aftercare of prostate inflammation is carried out by the urologist who has already taken over the treatment. This is a one-off examination that aims to clarify the symptoms. If the patient has fully recovered, no further visits to the doctor are necessary. Before discharge, the doctor can inform the patient about preventive measures to prevent prostatitis from recurring.
You can do that yourself
Bacterial prostatitis is very often triggered by pathogens that ascend from the urinary tract to the prostate and kidneys. For this reason, countermeasures should be taken immediately at the first sign of urinary tract diseases.
The best way for patients to help themselves is to flush their urinary tract thoroughly to flush out the germs and keep the bacterial concentration as low as possible. You should drink plenty of water or unsweetened herbal or fruit tea. In pharmacies and drugstores there are also special bladder teas that not only flush the urinary tract, but also have a pain-relieving effect. In naturopathy, pumpkin seeds and drops and tablets based on them are also used.
If it is chronic prostatitis, the patient can improve his chances of recovery by protecting himself from hypothermia. Clothing appropriate to the weather, warm underwear and avoiding cold seats all contribute to this. Warm sitz baths can also relieve tension and thus relieve pain. In addition, the patient can learn and apply relaxation techniques such as yoga or tai chi, which also have a positive effect on chronic tension pain in the pelvic area. If the patient also suffers from erectile dysfunction, he should definitely point this out to the doctor treating him and not remain silent out of shame, as this makes diagnosis and therapy more difficult.