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Prostate - Prostatitis PDF Print E-mail
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate. The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system and its main function is to produce fluid for semen, which transports sperm. It is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder, wraps around a tube called the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis and is usually about the size of a walnut. 

There are three types of prostatitis: 

Acute infectious prostatitis 
Acute infectious prostatitis is caused by bacteria comes on suddenly, and its symptoms - including chills and fever, urinary frequency, frequent urination at night, difficulty urinating, burning or painful urination, perineal (referring to the perineum, the area between the scrotum and the anus) and low-back pain, joint or muscle pain, tender or swollen prostate, blood in the urine, or painful ejaculation- are severe. Treatment requires the use of antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection and is typically followed for 7-14 days. 

Chronic infectious prostatitis 
Chronic infectious prostatitis is also caused by bacteria. The symptoms (milder but the same as acute infectious prostatitis) of pain and discomfort around the prostate are persistent and are often due to recurring infections in the urinary tract. Treatment requires the use of antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection and is typically followed for 4 to 6 weeks. If symptoms do not clear up in that time period, some must take a low does of antibiotics for a long period of time. 


Noninfectious prostatitis 
The cause of noninfectious prostatitis is known and treatments vary. 

It is not clear how prostatitis comes about. Some theories include: 

The bacteria that cause prostatitis may get into the prostate from the urethra by backward flow of infected urine into the prostate ducts or from rectal bacteria. 
If you use or have recently used of a urinary catheter 
If you engage in rectal intercourse 
If you have an abnormal urinary tract 
If you have had a recent urinary tract infection 
Or if you have an enlarged prostate 

Prostatitis is diagnosed by a rectal exam, urine culture and a semen analysis. The rectal exam allows the physician to estimate whether the prostate is enlarged or has lumps or other areas of abnormal texture. The semen analysis is used to determine if any bacteria and/or white blood cells are present in the semen. The urine culture is used to determine if any bacteria and/or white blood cells are present in the urine. If bacteria is present in either or both tests, it is important to find out which bacteria is causing the infection to treat the infection with the correct antibiotics.
 
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