Prostate infections

The prostate gland is a part of the male reproductive system. It produces fluids that help to transport the sperm from the testicles through the penis into the female body during ejaculation. The prostate gland is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The urethra is the tube in which urine travels from the bladder to the end of the penis. It also is the vehicle for seminal fluid and sperm during sexual intercourse.

Infections in the prostate gland or prostatitis occur most often in men between the ages of 30-50 but can occur in older men as well. There are four types of prostate infections that need to be discussed here. Three out of the four are caused by bacterial invasion. One of the main culprits that cause prostate infections is E coli. Other bacteria that can cause these types of infections include staphylococcus and streptococcal organisms however these types of infections are rare.

The first type of prostate infection or prostatitis is acute bacterial prostatitis. These infections occur in one of two ways. A urinary tract infection is present and the infected urine moves through the tissue of the prostate causing an infection. An infection of the prostate can also occur when the urethra has been infected and bacteria moves from the urethra to the prostate ducts into the gland itself.

Symptoms of prostate infections include painful urination, difficulty starting a stream of urine, feeling the need to urinate more often and having increased frequency in urination. There can also be pain noticed in the genital, pelvic or lower abdominal area. Some men have also complained of pain upon ejaculation when this type of infection is present. There is the possibility of a high fever and chills with general malaise that may accompany these symptoms.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is another type of prostate infection. This type of bacterial infection usually attacks the prostate gland after men suffer with recurrent urinary tract infections. These types of infections in the prostate gland have very similar symptoms to the acute bacterial prostatitis. They may also have muscle aches and pains as well as pain in the joints. Some men complain of pain around the testicles with this problem. Chronic bacterial prostatitis usually lasts longer than 30 days in duration.

Chronic abacterial prostatitis is another form of prostate infection. This syndrome has all the signs and symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis however there will be no bacteria found upon examination or testing. Medical professionals feel that this syndrome occurs due to chronic inflammation of the prostate gland. It is also felt that these types of infections may be due to organisms that cannot be cultured routinely using a urine specimen, making it hard to diagnose the culprit of the infection. These organisms include some viruses, fungi, and some anaerobic bacteria.

The last type of prostate infection is prostatodynia. This is a type of inflammation of the prostate gland which is not due to bacterial infection. In this disease, the symptoms can be very painful including high fever, chills, lower back pain, pelvic pain and pain in the genitals, burning upon urination, painful urination, and frequency and urgency of urination. These symptoms will go away and then recur without any cause or warning. There is no cause found upon examination or testing.

Treatment for most types of prostate infections include several rounds of antibiotics. This type of disease is very hard to treat as researchers have found that it is very hard for the drugs to pass through the walls of the prostate gland to effectively attack the bacteria. Treatment for both acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis may be very long term. Antibiotic therapy may have to be continued for several months continuously in order to completely get rid of the infection. The sad fact remains that many men will have recurrences no matter how well they are treated. In the case of prostatodynia there is no effective treatment known at this time. The only thing that can be done is to treat the symptoms. In the past antibiotic therapy and other medications to relax the muscles as well as anti-inflammatory drugs have failed to show any success in treating this chronic disease.

Last updated on Nov 5th, 2009 and filed under Genitourinary Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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