Symptoms and Signs of Prostate Infections (Prostatitis)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/15/2021

Doctor's Notes on Prostate Infections (Prostatitis)

The prostate gland in men secrete fluids that help transport sperm. Prostate infections are usually classified as acute or chronic. Signs and symptoms of acute prostate infections may include

  • increased urinary frequency,
  • urgency to pass urine,
  • pain with urination,
  • difficulty producing a normal urine stream,
  • pain in the genital area, and/or
  • pain with ejaculation.

Chronic prostate infections may have all the same symptoms and in addition, may have

  • increased pain in lower back, testes, epididymis, or penis,
  • low-grade fever,
  • joint pains,
  • muscle aches,
  • sexual dysfunction, and
  • urethral discharge.

Occasionally, acute and/or chronic infections may cause fever, chills, and fatigue.

Prostate infections are mainly caused (about 80%) by bacteria that are gram-negative that invade the prostate gland through the prostatic ducts or through the ejaculatory ducts (for example, E. coli, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas). Organisms that are STDs may cause prostate infection in sexually active men usually under 35 years of age. Rarely, other bacteria and other organisms such as fungi, viruses, and/or parasites may be the cause.

What Are the Treatments for Prostate Infections (Prostatitis)?

The usual treatment for prostatitis is an antibiotic since most infections are caused by bacteria. The choices of antibiotics are made according to the bacterial type although some infections are self-limiting. Your doctor may choose one of the following for treatment:

Individuals may slowly recover. Although the usual time to take antibiotics for acute prostatitis is 2-6 weeks, chronic prostatitis treatment with antibiotics may take 12 weeks. Anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce pain. Severe symptoms may require IV antibiotics.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.