Prostatitis – the Inflamed Prostate Gland

Prostate is a small walnut shaped gland located just below the urinary bladder in men.

What Does the Prostate Do?

It produces semen, a secretion essential for the nourishment of sperms.

The sperms are produced in the testes and stored in the epididymis. They are transported from there to the urethra, when required, via vas deferens. This duct passes through the prostate. Here, the sperms are poured in the seminal fluid, which is essential for maintaining them healthy.

Semen maintain an ideal pH, provides nourishment and lubrication essential to keep the sperms motile.

Any inflammation of the prostate gland is called prostatitis.

It may be due to any irritant, usually an infection.

Types of Prostatitis

Depending upon the cause, prostatitis may be of many types.

It may be acute (sudden) in its onset and severe. This type is caused by certain bacterial infections.

it may be gradual (slow)  to set in with chronic symptoms.

Some forms of prostatitis are recurrent, that is, they occur again and again.

Symptoms

  • The first complain a patient feels is usually pain during urinating. This may be accompanied with a burning sensation.
  • The stream of urine is not good, or weak. He may feel as if he is not able to urinate completely.
  • There is an urge to urinate again and again, as one time urinating does not feel enough, as if something is obstructing the urine stream.
  • Pain in the groin region is there. This may be an ache or sometimes severe. Some people describe it more specifically as pain being in the area between the scrotum and the rectum.
  • Problems with ejaculations, pain and inadequacy feel.
  • Mild fever, weakness.

What Makes You Prone to Prostatitis?

  • Prostatitis occurs when a bacteria present in urine leaks into the prostate gland. So, people who have a urinary infection are prone to prostatitis.
  • The chances are more in middle aged men.
  • If you drink less of water, the daily drainage of tissue debris, toxins and infections is poor via your urine. You may become prone to infections of the urinary tract.
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • Physical stress or poor nutrition state may decline your overall immunity, making you prone to prostate infections.
  • Trauma in the groin area, in during horse riding or bicycling.
  • Post operative conditions where urinary catheter has been used.

It is essential to treat the condition promptly. If left untreated, it may spread to near by organs. Functions of the gland may get affected, leading to infertility.

Diagnosing the Condition

A thorough history of complains need to be taken. Your doctor may insert his finger into your anal canal and palpate the gland from inside to see if it is enlarged or not.

Inflamed glands are often enlarged.

Urine analysis with culture may be done. There may be indications of infection in it.

Urodynamic studies may be conducted. An obstruction in the flow of urine may indicate enlargement of the prostate.

Increased level of PSA (prostate specific antigen). PSA may be elevated in many other condition of prostate, like its hypertrophy or malignancy.

Treatment

The mainstay treatment is prescribing antibiotics which can penetrate the prostate gland and kill the causative bacteria there. These bugs often difficult to approach and tend to hide inside the prostate tissues. So, the antibiotic course is usually long, may be 4 to 6 weeks or even longer.

Anti-inflammatory medications may be given to reduce inflammation and swelling of the gland. This would alleviate the symptoms immediately.

If the infection is chronic or recurrent, say from 2 to 3 years, simultaneously inflammation and scarring occurs.

In such cases, TURP may be done to remove the excess tissue and alleviate obstructive symptoms.