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Prostate inflammation, also referred to as prostatitis, is the irritation and swelling of the prostate gland in men. The prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system, making most of the fluid that carries sperm out of the body during ejaculation. Frequent urination and repeated urinary tract infections are common symptoms of prostate inflammation. There are several different types of prostate inflammation, so treatment options vary according to the type of inflammation as well as the specific symptoms. Common treatment options include the use of over-the-counter and prescription medications, or in the more severe cases, surgery.
Acute bacterial prostatitis is the least common cause for prostate inflammation. Symptoms develop rapidly as a result of a bacterial infection and may include pelvic and genital pain as well as a feeling of urinary urgency. The patient may also experience fever, chills, nausea, and a burning sensation when urinating. Urine flow can become blocked if this condition is left untreated, leading to potentially fatal complications. The patient with this condition is usually hospitalized for a period of time to make sure there are no serious complications.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is another potential cause of prostate inflammation. The symptoms of this condition are similar to those of acute bacterial prostatitis, though these symptoms are often much less severe. Antibiotics are generally prescribed for this condition and may need to be taken for several weeks. Pain or anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed along with the antibiotics.
Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, also known as chronic pelvic syndrome, is the most common cause of prostate inflammation. This condition causes urinary pain and genital pain that lasts for at least three months. In many cases, no bacteria is found in the urine, causing the doctor to look for additional signs of inflammation.
It was once believed that most cases of prostate inflammation were caused by sexual intercourse, but it is now known that this is actually one of the less common causes of prostatitis. There is a higher risk of developing an inflamed prostate if there has been a recent surgical procedure performed in that area, such as the use of a catheter to drain urine from the bladder. Men who have had a recent urinary tract infection may also have an increased risk of developing an inflamed prostate. In a few cases, it is found that a man may have an abnormal urinary tract, making him more prone to developing infections that may lead to complications such as prostate inflammation.