What is acute prostatitis?
Acute prostatitis occurs when your prostate becomes suddenly inflamed.
Your prostate is that walnut-like and small organ found at the basal part of your bladder. Women or girls don’t have a prostate. This prostate is in charge of releasing fluids into the urethra when whenever you ejaculate. This prostate can become suddenly swollen. When this happens, it is called acute prostatitis.
Unprotected sexual intercourse, surgical procedures, and genitourinary infections can introduce bacteria into your prostate. Bacteria thus happens to be one of the leading causes of this anomaly in men.
Symptoms of acute prostatitis
Serious pains in different areas around your reproductive organ are always associated with acute prostatitis. The following symptoms are more specific:
- Chills and fever
- pain in your pelvic bone
- painful urination
- blood-tints in your urine
- smelly urine
- decreased urine output
- painful passage of urine
- frequent emptying of the bladder
- painful ejaculation during sexual intercourse
- blood-tinted semen
- painful bowel movements
- pain just above your pubic bone
- rectal pains
- Genitalia pains
- Testicular pain
Causes of acute prostatitis
The same bacteria that are responsible for the development of urinary tract infections are also responsible for the development of acute prostatitis. Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species and, Proteus species are the three bacteria commonly responsible for both conditions.
Certain STDs-inducing bacteria can also bring about acute prostatitis.
Other causes include:
- Swollen urethra
- Inflammation of the epididymis: The epididymis is tube-like. It joins the vas deferens to the testes.
- Phimosis: This is the failure to retract the foreskin covering your penis.
- Perineal injury: The perineum lies right between your rectum and scrotum.
- Obstruction of the bladder opening due to bladder stones or even an enlarged prostate.
- Urinary catheters used for cystoscopy.
Risk factors for acute prostatitis
Acute prostatitis shares risk factors with urethritis, UTIs, and STDs. Common ones are;
- A prolonged state of dehydration due to the habit of not drinking plenty of water.
- Excessive use of urinary catheters.
- Having multiple sex partners
- Unprotected sexual intercourse irrespective of the entry route – vaginal or anal
- Older than 50 years
- Recent urinary tract infections.
- History of prostatitis
- Genetic mutations
- Pelvic injuries sustained from using a bike or horse.
- Orchitis: A state of the testes characterized by inflammation.
- Psychological-induced stress
Diagnosing acute prostatitis
Taking your medical history is the first way your doctor will begin diagnosis on you. He will later proceed to perform a physical examination on you.
A digital rectal examination (DRE) will then be done on you. This involves the doctor inserting his finger into your rectum! Your prostate lies in front of your rectum. The doctor will feel your rectum with his finger. It will feel soft due to inflammation if acute bacterial prostatitis is present.
A DRE might as well require that a massage is done on your prostate by your doctor. The goal is to squeeze some fluid out of it into your urethra which can then be collected for medical testing and analysis. The testing will also include looking out for signs of infections.
Your groin will not be left out at all. It will be palpated to find out whether the lymph nodes located there are tender and bigger than normal.
In addition to all of the aforementioned, further tests might just be needed to ascertain the extent to which your prostate has been affected. Such tests are:
This will be necessary to be sure you have got no bacteria in your blood.
The sole aim of this assessment is to be sure there are no blood cells, blood, or even bacteria in your urine.
Its aim is to rule out the presence of chlamydia or even gonorrhea.
This test is to find out whether you have issues emptying your bladder.
The organ of interest here is the bladder and urethra. The inner part of these two organs will be checked to see if an infection is present or not.
Treatment for acute prostatitis
If you’re having acute prostatitis because of some bacterial infection, you will be given antibiotics. And the antibiotics must suit the bacteria involved. You might have to take the antibiotics for nothing less than six weeks. In fact, it can be more than that if there are recurrent episodes of the infection.
For relief from discomfort, you will be given certain drugs called alpha-blockers. Examples include tamsulosin, doxazosin, and terazosin. These drugs primarily act on the muscles located in the bladder to ensure that they are well-relaxed. Once this has been achieved, you will experience minimal discomfort whenever you want to urinate.
Your pains can be relieved when you are given drugs that block pain-generating pathways. Good examples of such drugs that can be easily bought from the counter are acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
You can get reliefs from your symptoms if you can indulge in some daily activities like;
- Avoiding bicycling
- Wearing padded shorts: Doing this can minimize the impact of pressure on your prostate.
- Cutting down on the consumption of drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
- Low consumption of acidic and spicy meals or snacks
- Sitting on a pillow: you could as well sit on a donut cushion if you have access to it
- Taking warm baths
With adjustments in lifestyle and the right antibiotics, acute prostatitis will check out. It can return notwithstanding. This return can become more serious and last longer than the first. A return can be avoided with the right information obtained from your doctor.
Ifiokobong Ene is a Medical Physiologist, and a freelance medical writer. Ifiok brings his years of medical research experience to help consistently create high-quality, and engaging articles and products that uphold the highest medical standards. He is dedicated to making health and wellness information available, actionable, and understandable so that readers can make the best decisions about their health.