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Prostatitis is swelling or infection of the prostate. It's often painful. The prostate lies just below your bladder and makes part of the fluid for semen. Prostatitis can be chronic (long-lasting) or, less often, acute (short-term).
Sometimes prostatitis is caused by bacteria. But often the cause isn't known. When bacteria are the cause, they most likely enter the prostate by travelling through the urethra. Or they may be introduced through the use of a urinary catheter.
Symptoms of chronic prostatitis are often mild and start slowly over weeks or months. Symptoms of acute prostatitis usually start suddenly and are severe.
When you have prostatitis, you may have pain when you urinate or ejaculate. You may urinate often or have trouble starting a stream of urine. You may pass only a little urine and feel like your bladder isn't completely empty. With acute prostatitis, you may also have a fever and chills.
A doctor can often tell if you have prostatitis by asking about your symptoms. The doctor will do a physical examination, including a digital rectal examination to feel the prostate. You may need blood and urine tests to check which type of prostatitis you have or to look for another cause of your problems.
Treatment for chronic prostatitis usually starts with taking an antibiotic for several weeks. If you start to feel better, you may keep taking the medicine for 2 to 3 months. If you don't get better while taking antibiotics, more tests may be done.
You may need to try more than one treatment. Other treatments include muscle relaxers and medicines that slow the growth of the prostate.
Treatment may also include self-care, such as drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
Acute prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics and with self-care, such as drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. Your doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce pain and swelling or to soften your stool and relax your bladder muscles.
Things that can increase your risk for prostatitis include:
If you have had chronic bacterial prostatitis, you have an increased chance of developing it again.
You may not be able to prevent prostatitis. But seek early treatment if you have a possible urinary tract infection. And practicing safer sex can reduce your chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection that could cause prostatitis.
Symptoms of chronic prostatitis are often mild and start slowly over weeks or months. They may include:
Sometimes there are no symptoms.
Symptoms of acute prostatitis usually start suddenly and are severe. They may include a fever, chills, and pain when you urinate or ejaculate. You may urinate often or have trouble starting a stream of urine. You may pass only a little urine and feel like your bladder isn't completely empty.
There are different types of prostatitis. The symptoms, treatment, and course of the disease vary for each type.
Symptoms usually start suddenly and include severe pain and fever. A delay in getting treatment increases the risk of problems. These may include an abscess in the prostate or a severe infection (sepsis), which can be fatal.
Symptoms are often mild and start slowly over weeks or months. Chronic prostatitis often gets better over time without serious problems. But the symptoms sometimes come back.
When chronic prostatitis is caused by bacteria, it:
Prostatitis can cause stress, anxiety, or depression, especially if it lasts for a long time.
Call your doctor now if you have sudden fever, chills, and urinary symptoms, such as pain or burning with urination or blood or pus in the urine. These symptoms may point to acute prostatitis.
Call your doctor if you have:
It's common to have some discomfort in your prostate (prostatitis) at some time during your life. If you don't have a fever and chills or extreme pain, you may try home treatment for a few weeks. Take non-prescription pain medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, to relieve pain. But if your urinary symptoms and pain continue, be sure to see a doctor.
A doctor can often tell if you have prostatitis by asking about your symptoms and past health. Your doctor will also do a physical examination, including a digital rectal examination to feel the prostate.
Your doctor may not be able to tell what type of prostatitis you have just from your health history and symptoms. You may need tests to help find out the cause of your prostatitis.
More tests may be needed if:
Tests may include:
Treatment for chronic prostatitis usually starts with taking an antibiotic for several weeks. If you start to feel better, you may keep taking the medicine for a longer time. If you don't get better while taking antibiotics, more tests may be done.
You may need to try more than one treatment for chronic prostatitis. There isn't a standard treatment that works well for everyone. Treatments may include:
Other treatments may be tried.
To treat chronic bacterial prostatitis, antibiotics are given for 6 to 12 weeks. Long-term antibiotic treatment may be needed if the infection comes back.
Acute prostatitis is treated with antibiotics, pain and fever medicine, stool softeners, fluids, and rest.
Treatment usually starts with taking an antibiotic. If you don't get better while taking antibiotics, more tests may be done.
If you continue to have a fever, can't urinate, or you need intravenous (IV) antibiotics, you may need to go to a hospital for a short time for treatment.
Most people get better quickly. Treatment is usually done at home. This includes drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
There are some things you can do at home that may help you be more comfortable.
Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Get plenty of rest, and drink lots of fluids. This will make you feel better and may speed your recovery.
Straining to pass a bowel movement may be very painful when your prostate is inflamed.
Sitting for long periods of time can make this problem worse. Try to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every hour while you are awake.
Spicy foods include hot peppers, chili, pickles, and salsa. Acidic foods include tomato-based products and citrus fruits or juices.
Stress and anxiety may make your symptoms worse.
Current as of: October 18, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineChristopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as of: October 18, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher G. Wood MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
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