Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation of the prostate. At London Urologica, we offer a range of tests and scans to diagnose any symptoms and a personalised treatment plan with leading experts.
What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation in the prostate, a small gland that sits just below the bladder in men and produces a fluid that becomes part of semen.
There are two main types of prostatitis: acute and chronic.
• Acute prostatitis is a bacterial infection that comes on quickly and is usually treated successfully with antibiotics.
• Chronic prostatitis is more common and causes symptoms over a period of three months or more.
Symptoms may be intermittent but can be uncomfortable and affect quality of life. The risk of chronic prostatitis increases with age.
Acute prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection. This can develop when bacteria commonly found in the bowel enter the urinary tract and reach the prostate.
The risk of acute prostatitis is higher if you have recently had a urine infection, an injury to your pelvis or a medical procedure such as a prostate biopsy or catheterisation.
Chronic prostatitis is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection, but in most cases the cause is unclear. In some cases, it may be associated with a previous infection, changes to the immune system or stress. Usually however, a cause cannot be identified.
With acute prostatitis, symptoms develop quickly and may be severe. Typical symptoms include:
• Pain in the pelvic area, particularly around the penis and anus
• Pain on passing stools
• Fever, aches and pains and feeling generally unwell
• Discharge from the penis
• Urinary symptoms including pain, urgency or blood in the urine
If you are experiencing symptoms of acute prostatitis, you should seek medical advice straight away. With chronic prostatitis, symptoms are generally less severe but last for longer. Chronic prostatitis is defined as symptoms that last for three months or more.
Symptoms may continue to come and go over a longer time period and can affect quality of life.
Typical symptoms of chronic prostatitis include:
• Pain in the pelvic area including around the penis, testicles and anus, lower back or lower abdomen
• Urinary symptoms such as urinating more frequently including at night, an urgent need to urinate or stop-start urinating
• Sexual problems including erectile dysfunction or painful ejaculation
Acute prostatitis can be diagnosed by a urine test. A physical examination and blood test may also be advised. Chronic prostatitis usually requires further investigation.
At London Urologica, our expert urologists will take a full history to understand your symptoms and how they may be affecting you. Our team will also work with you to identify any factors that could have triggered your symptoms or be making them worse.
Diagnosis will usually include a physical examination, urine and blood samples and swab tests to check for the presence of bacteria.
Acute prostatitis should be treated promptly with antibiotics to clear the infection. In more severe cases, hospital treatment may be required.
Treatment for chronic prostatitis will depend on the severity.
The symptoms of chronic prostatitis can be distressing and interfere with your quality of life. Although the condition generally improves over time, treatment can help manage the symptoms. At London Urologica, our expert urologists will review whether drug treatments may help with your symptoms, including pain relief, laxatives, antibiotics or drugs to shrink the prostate gland.
You may also be able to take medication to help with erectile dysfunction. We also offer physiotherapy for chronic prostatitis. In more severe cases, if chronic prostatitis is affecting your daily activities, you may wish to consider surgery to reduce or remove the prostate gland.
If you have prostatitis, our expert urologists at London Urologica can offer you advice about your options and personalised treatment plan tailored to your needs. An expert multidisciplinary team will support you from your first consultation, during your treatment and throughout your recovery.