There are a number of tests which can be used to determine whether or not you have prostatitis. It can however take some time to get a diagnosis – the symptoms of prostatitis can be similar to other conditions such as urine infections, which can make it difficult to diagnose. And Getting the right diagnosis is important because it allows your doctor to determine what type of prostatitis you have and is the key to starting the right course of treatment.
How is prostatitis diagnosed?
Prostatitis is diagnosed by means of specific tests that include, depending on the case: the Digital Rectal Exam, the PSA test, the Urinalysis, Urodynamic tests, Imaging tests, and Cystoscopy.
Tests For Prostatitis
Following a physical exam, your doctor will then perform a series of tests (or order other tests) in order to help make a proper diagnosis. The following include some of the general tests used in diagnosing prostatitis:
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) Many doctors perform a DRE as part of a routine physical exam for any man over the age of 50. The doctor will slide a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and feel the part of the prostate that lies next to it. This exam tells the doctor whether the gland has any bumps, irregularities, soft spots, or hard spots that may require additional tests.
- PSA test To rule out prostate cancer, your doctor may recommend a PSA blood test. The PSA level is often elevated in men who have an inflamed prostate. However, an elevated level of PSA does not necessarily mean you have cancer.
- Urinalysis is a test that detects bacteria, white blood cells and other signs of infection in the urine. In some cases, the physician massages the prostate gland with a finger to stimulate the release of prostate fluid before the urine sample is collected.
- Urodynamic tests If your problem appears to be related to blockage, your doctor or nurse may recommend tests that measure bladder pressure and urine flow rate.
- Imaging tests This may include an MRI, ultrasound, or other imaging tests. These tests are more likely to be used when the doctor suspects a case of bacterial prostatitis or believes that a bacterial prostatitis infection has spread to areas outside the prostate.
- Cystoscopy This is a more invasive test and is not as frequently used as some of the more common and less-invasive tests. A small tube, which contains a lens and light system, is inserted through the urethral opening at the tip of the penis. This allows the doctor to see the inside of the urethra and the bladder. The procedure can help to rule out a urethral stricture and see if any prostate stones are present or if there are any other problems with the prostate.
It’s important to note that this is not a complete list of tests for prostatitis. Your doctor may order a number of other tests to find out what is causing your symptoms, especially if other tests have been unable to reveal the problem. Your doctor can provide you more information on all testing based on your specific circumstances and needs.