Sometimes one of the causes of prostatitis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as Herpes chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, or Ureaplasma urealyticum. Sexually active men who have multiple sex partners are at an increased risk of STDs and thus prostatitis, especially if they do not use a condom. Also at high risk are men who engage in anal sex without using a condom. Acute prostatitis associated with STD causes of prostatitis is typically seen in men younger than age 35.
Prostate Cancer and STD Causes of Prostatitis
A possible association between prostatitis, STDs, and prostate cancer has been the subject of debate and research.
A recent study on this topic was conducted with the California Men’s Health Study, when researchers investigated this relationship among 68,675 men. They found that having an STD was not associated with overall risk of prostate cancer, but the results did “suggest that prostatitis and STDs may be involved in prostate cancer susceptibility.” (Cheng 2010) It’s important to note, however, that these findings do not prove prostatitis causes prostate cancer, because it may be that men with prostatitis symptoms are more likely to go to a doctor, who then goes on to test for prostate cancer.
Sex and STDs
Should you have sex if you have prostatitis? If you have an STD, you should definitely avoid sex until you see your doctor and are treated for the infection. If your prostatitis is not associated with an STD, it’s generally safe to have sex. Overall, regular safe sexual activity seems to be healthy for the prostate and for prostatitis. If you are receiving treatment for prostatitis with antibiotics, it is often recommended that you ejaculate two to three times a week.
Some men experience pain during or after ejaculation and find that it interferes with their ability to enjoy sex until they get their prostatitis symptoms under control. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to communicate openly with your partner to find ways to have sexual activity that is mutually satisfying. If you involve your partner in your prostatitis treatment program, any sexual challenges can be easier to handle.
Cheng I et al. Prostatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, and prostate cancer: the California Men’s Health Study. PLoS One 2010 Jan 15; 5(1): e8736