Prostatitis Frequently Asked Questions Part 1 – Dr. David Samadi Explains
Prostatitis is a condition that involves inflammation of the prostate and sometimes the area surrounding it. There are several types of prostatitis, each with their own unique range of symptoms. Some men with the disease will experience severe pain while others aren’t affected and the rest fall somewhere in between the two. However, the symptoms of the disease can have a significant impact on a man’s quality of life. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding prostatitis.
How Common Is Prostatitis?
It is estimated that at least 40% of men’s visits to urologists are caused by prostatitis. It can affect young men, while BPH and prostate cancer are more typical of older men. Because prostatitis varies in severity and because it has attracted little attention from researchers, no one knows how many men suffer from it but the usual statistic quoted is that over 50% of all men will suffer from it at some point in their lifetime.
What Causes Prostatitis?
The bacteria that causes acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis get into the prostate from the urethra by backward flow of infected urine into the prostate ducts. Bacterial prostatitis is not contagious and is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease. Certain conditions or medical procedures can increase the risk of contracting bacterial prostatitis. There is a higher risk if the man has recently had a catheter or other instrument inserted into his urethra, an abnormality of his urinary tract or a recent bladder infection.
The medical community is not sure exactly what causes abacterial prostatitis. In many cases, it seems to be due to an infection that tests can’t detect. Other possible causes include pelvic muscle spasms due to a nervous system disorder or persistent immune reaction to an injury or previous infection.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms of prostatitis are nonspecific, meaning they’re shared by many other diseases, including serious ones like prostate cancer. For this reason, it is important to seek medical help promptly. Common symptoms include:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Difficult urinating (a dribbling or hesitant urine stream, or inability to empty the bladder)
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Urgency (the need to urinate quickly)
- Pain in the abdomen, pelvic area, low back or perineum (between the scrotum and the rectum)
- Pain or unusual sensations in the penis and testicles
- Painful orgasm and ejaculation
- Impotence or decreased libido
With acute prostatitis however, symptoms are severe, come on suddenly, and include fever and chills. Signs of chronic bacterial prostatitis may be milder and come on suddenly or gradually over weeks or months, and the symptoms may come and go. Symptoms alone cannot be used to determine the type of prostatitis you have.
What Are The Risk Factors For Prostatitis?
Prostatitis can affect men from different age groups and it’s estimated that at least 50% of all men will encounter prostatitis-like signs and symptoms at least once in their lifetime. Some of the risk factors for prostatitis include:
- Having unprotected sex
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
- Injury to the lower pelvis
- A recent bladder infection
- High levels of stress
Is Prostatitis Related To Prostate Cancer?
No. Prostatitis is not associated with prostate cancer. Although an inflamed prostate can increase the level of PSA in the blood, having prostatitis is not a sign of prostate cancer, nor does it mean a man will have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer in the future.
Is Prostatitis Contagious?
If you have an active infection in your prostate, it can also be present in a seminal fluid. If you engage in sexual intercourse with someone without a condom. the infection can be passed to another person. It would not necessarily cause any symptoms in your partner. Nevertheless, your partner may become a chronic carrier of infection and pass it back to you during consecutive sexual encounters without a condom.