Prostatitis - Symptoms and Treatment
Prostatitis is an infection of the prostate that has nothing at all to do either with benign tumors or cancer. It often affects young men or those with prostatic adenoma.
Unmistakable Symptoms of Prostatis
Acute prostatitis results from bacteria, from the family of urinary bacteria (most often Escherichia Coli). Such bacteria can be transmitted sexually.
Acute prostatitis begins like influenza, with muscular pain and fever, between 38-40 °C (100-104 °F). The symptoms of urinary infection next appear with a burning sensation, the frequent desire to urinate, but only passing a small amount of urine. It's possible to have to get out of bed 10 or 15 times a night to pass only a few drops.
Rectal examination will create a sharp pain around the prostate indicating that it is infected. It's necessary to carry out a urine analysis to identify the bacteria causing the problem, but it's not necessary to await the result before starting treatment.
The doctor will gnerally prescribe an active anti-inflammatory for the pain and antibiotics to be taken for at least three weeks. It's very important to respect the duration of the medication, even if you seem much better after only a few days, otherwise a reversal will be almost inevitable. The antibiotics need to penetrate the prostate and destroy any lingering germs. However, a reprise of the illness, even several years later, is always possible.
Precautions in case of Sexually Transmitted Bacteria
If the results of the tests show that sexually transmittable bacteria are present, the patient's partner should also be treated in the same way, even in the absence of symptoms. This will avoid re-contaminition via the partner. All sexual contact during the course of the treatment should be protected by the use of condoms.
It is possible that chronic prostatitis will follow repeated episodes of acute prostatitis, however it can also occur from the outset. Unfortunately we don't yet fully understand what triggers it off.
Diagnosis is often difficult since the symptoms can be various: pain, sometimes just a little disturbance or heaviness beneath the pubis, perineal region or the testes with intermittent pain or burning. The prostate might be sensitive to a rectal examination and ultrasound might detect some prostatic calcification. However the tests (urine, urethral, sperm culture) don't always systematically reveal the presence of bacteria.
Treatment consists of a lenfthy course of antibiotics that aren't always highly effective. There are also alternatives such as heat, acupuncture and certain food supplements (pollen, quercetine)which are worth trying.
In a few cases the problem is so severe as to literally ruin the life of a sufferer and some even decide that it's better to have the prostate removed, in spite of the associated problems.
Sometimes during a bout of acute prostatitis, abscesses can occur. These are diagnosed with ultrasound. Antibiotic treatment might suffice as treatment, although occasionally puncture is necessary, via endorectal ultrasonography or endoscopic resection, to drain the abscess.