Prostatitis is an inflammatory condition of the prostate gland that affects nearly 9 percent of men at some point during their lives. The disease exists in four forms, two of which are caused by bacteria (acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis) and two that are not (chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic prostatitis). The symptoms of prostatitis for three of these conditions are nearly the same regardless of type, and we have listed them below, with a note about two specific additional symptoms.
The eight symptoms of prostatitis common to three of the four types include:
- A strong urged to urinate immediately, often referred to as urinary urgency
- Difficulty starting the urinary stream
- A weak urinary stream once it starts
- Dribbling after you think you’re finished
- Frequent nighttime urination, also known as nocturia
- Pain and/or burning when you urinate
- Pain in the genital and pelvic area
- Pain when you ejaculate
Symptoms of chronic bacterial prostatitis include all the above plus frequent urinary tract infections. Symptoms of chronic nonbacterial prostatitis include the original eight plus blood in your urine or semen. In addition, some men experience flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, chills, and/or fever.
Men who are diagnosed with asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis experience no symptoms. This form of prostatitis is typically discovered when men are being worked up for an elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or infertility. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis is usually left untreated.
It should be noted that symptoms of prostatitis are also similar to those associated with an enlarged prostate (aka, benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) and prostate cancer. Some of them, in fact, are also characteristic of urinary tract infections (e.g., urinary urgency, burning during or after urination). Therefore, it’s important to consult your healthcare provider if you are suffering with these symptoms so he or she can identify the cause and then arrange for proper treatment.