What Is It?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits below the bladder in men. This gland makes fluid that mixes with sperm to form semen.
Prostatitis is inflammation or swelling of the prostate gland. When symptoms start gradually and linger for more than a couple of weeks, the condition is called chronic prostatitis.
Three major types of chronic prostatitis are:
Chronic prostatitis is common and affects adult men of all ages and from all backgrounds. About five percent of men experience symptoms of chronic prostatitis at some point in their lives. Chronic prostatitis is the reason for up to 25% of office visits to urologists. Urologists are doctors who specialize in diseases of the urinary tract.
Some men develop a chronic infection in the prostate that does not cause any symptoms. Men with this problem may be diagnosed during an evaluation for other urological conditions, such as enlarged prostate or infertility. Doctors often treat the infection with the same antibiotics used for chronic bacterial prostatitis.
Bacterial infection of the prostate gland also can cause acute prostatitis, which starts suddenly and usually causes fever and more serious symptoms. Acute prostatitis is less common than chronic prostatitis.
Page 1 of 9 Next Page: Chronic Prostatitis Symptoms
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.
You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.