Prostatitis: Types, Causes, and Treatment

infección de próstata

Prostatitis, or prostate infection, is one of the most common urinary pathologies among men. The prostate is a male gland located under the bladder that, along with the seminal vesicles and testicles, is responsible for secreting semen during ejaculation.

It is a health issue that may have a bacterial origin, and it can affect men of all ages although it is more common in men 50 or younger.

What is prostatitis?

Prostatitis is a swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland due to infection. It can either be diagnosed as acute or chronic. The former refers to isolated incidents often caused by bacteria, that if left untreated may lead to a lowering of the body’s defences and the pathology may become chronic.

Types of Prostatitis

Bacterial: An infection of the prostate gland caused by bacteria such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea.

Abacterial: Produces the same infection in the absence of bacteria, due to the following causes:

  • A previous bacterial prostatitis.
  • A virus.
  • Chemicals.
  • Parasites.
  • Irritation caused by urine near the prostate gland.
  • Cycling or horseback riding.

It should also be noted that abacterial prostatitis may also be linked to specific personality types. Evidence suggests that this health issue is more common in patients who are easily stressed, introverted, or who somatize external problems.

Symptoms

  • Burning sensation when urinating.
  • Difficulty urinating and frequent need to urinate.
  • Bladder is not completely empty after urinating.
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Pain in the abdomen, scrotum, testicles, lower stomach, or rectum.
  • Pain when ejaculating or having sex.
  • Loss of sexual desire.
  • Erectile dysfunction.

Risk factors

Some prior issues can lead to prostatitis. The most recurrent are:

  • A prostatitis predisposes the gland to suffer another infection in the future.
  • Infections of the bladder or urethra.
  • Physical actions, such as riding a bicycle or a horse, or trauma to the pelvis.
  • Urinary catheters.
  • AIDS.
  • Prostate biopsies.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases in general.

Diagnosis

In addition to the symptoms referred above and reported by the patient, diagnosis is carried out via a semen and urine sample.

Treatment

In the case of bacterial prostatitis, oral antibiotics are recommended during 4 to 6 weeks. If the infection persists the treatment should be prolonged. Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen may help relieve symptoms. Prostatitis is a relatively complicated pathology to cure and the task of killing the bacteria is often arduous. Some tips for improving the patient’s condition are:

  • Urinate as soon as needed and ensure the complete emptying of the bladder.
  • Take warm baths to reduce pain.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and citrus juices.
  • Drink plenty of water (between 2 and 4 litres daily).

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