Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland. Whilst it can be very painful, often it will heal itself naturally without treatment.

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a small gland located between the penis and bladder. Its function is to produce a fluid that's mixed with sperm to create semen.

Men of any age can suffer from prostatitis but it is seen most commonly in those aged between 30 and 50.

There are 2 main types of prostatitis:

  • Chronic prostatitis – the symptoms will come and go over several months (this is the more common type)

  • Acute prostatitis – the symptoms are severe and come on suddenly (this is rare) but requires immediate treatment

Prostatitis symptoms

  • Pain and discomfort in the pelvic area

  • Pain on ejaculation

  • Pain in the penis

  • Pain when urinating

  • Needing to urinate frequently (particularly at night)

  • Problems starting or "stop-start" urinating

  • An urgent need to urinate

  • Sometimes, blood in your urine

  • Not being able to urinate, which leads to a build-up of urine in the bladder known as acute urinary retention – this needs urgent medical attention

  • Difficulty sitting down

Symptoms can vary from patient to patient and can be mild to severely debilitating. Prostatitis is usually caused by either an infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. If it is caused by a bacterial infection it can be easily treated with antibiotics. If it is non-bacterial prostatitis (inflammation), this can be harder to treat.

It is important that if you are worried about symptoms that you seek medical advice. In cases where no bacteria is found and standard treatments are not helping, shock wave therapy can be offered, which can help to reduce symptoms of prostatitis.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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