Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland located directly below the bladder in men. The prostate gland produces fluid (semen) that nourishes and transports sperm. Prostatitis often causes painful or difficult urination. Other symptoms of prostatitis include pain in the groin, pelvic area or genitals, and sometimes, flu-like symptoms.
Acute bacterial prostatitis is often caused by common strains of bacteria. The infection may start when bacteria carried in urine leaks into your prostate.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis may be the result of small amounts of bacteria that aren't eliminated with antibiotics because they "hide" in the prostate. Some men with chronic prostatitis have pain but no evidence of an inflamed prostate.
In most cases of prostatitis, the cause is never identified. Causes other than bacterial infection can include:
- An immune system disorder
- A nervous system disorder
- Injury to the prostate or prostate area
Prostatitis symptoms vary depending on the cause. They may include:
- Pain or burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
- Frequent urination, particularly at night (nocturia)
- Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
- Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles
- Flu-like symptoms (with bacterial prostatitis)
- Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination
- Urgent need to urinate
- Pain in the area between the scrotum and rectum (perineum)
- Painful orgasms (ejaculations)
Based on your symptoms, you may have one of the following types of prostatitis:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis. This type of prostatitis may cause flu-like symptoms associated with the sudden onset of infection, such as fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. It can usually be treated with antibiotics.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis. This is bacterial prostatitis that lasts for at least three months due to recurring or difficult-to-treat infections. Urinary tract infections are common with this type of prostatitis. Between bouts of infection, chronic bacterial prostatitis may not cause symptoms or may cause minor symptoms that become severe when infection flares up.
- Chronic prostatitis not caused by bacteria. This condition is often referred to as chronic abacterial prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. It lasts for at least three months. Most cases of prostatitis fall into this category. For some men, symptoms remain about the same over time. For others, the symptoms go through cycles of being more and less severe. Symptoms sometimes improve over time without treatment.
- Prostatitis that doesn't cause symptoms. This type of prostatitis is called asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, and it doesn't cause any symptoms that you notice. It's found only by chance when you're undergoing tests for other conditions. It doesn't require treatment.
Risk factors for prostatitis include:
- Being a young or middle-aged man
- Having a past episode of prostatitis
- Having an infection in the bladder or the tube that transports semen and urine to the penis (urethra)
- Having a pelvic trauma, such as injury from bicycling or horseback riding
- Not drinking enough fluids (dehydration)
- Using a urinary catheter, a tube inserted into the urethra to drain the bladder
- Having unprotected sexual intercourse
- Having HIV/AIDS
- Being under psychological stress
- Having certain inherited traits - particular genes may make some men more susceptible to prostatitis
Complications of prostatitis can include:
- Bacterial infection of the blood (bacteremia)
- Inflammation of the coiled tube attached to the back of the testicle (epididymitis)
- Pus-filled cavity in the prostate (prostatic abscess)
- Abnormalities in semen and infertility (this can occur with chronic prostatitis)
In conventional medicine, surgery is often recommended and can be effective. However, surgical treatment at times can result in incontinence and sexual dysfunction and other age-related complications. For these reasons, homeopathic practitioners attempt to avoid such surgery whenever possible. The correct Homoeopathic remedy can reverse the symptoms of prostate enlargement, restoring the state of health without the need for surgical intervention.
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