Prostatitis is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes inflamed and swollen. This male health problem can cause uncomfortable symptoms like painful or difficult urination and pain in the groin and genitals. Some men also develop flu-like symptoms. There are several different types of prostatitis, along with a variety of possible causes, including bacterial infection, urinary tract infection, and bladder outlet obstruction.
How is prostatitis diagnosed?
Your first step in developing a treatment plan is to undergo a series of tests to determine which type of prostatitis you have and what the underlying cause might be. Expect your doctor to request your full medical history, including any other medical conditions you have or drugs and supplements you take. Expect your doctor to ask you about your symptoms, including whether they are consistent or intermittent and how long you have experienced them.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and a digital rectal examination (DRE). He may also order blood, urine, and semen tests, along with a bladder test. He may also insert a cystoscope into the bladder to examine the region.
What are some of the medications for prostatitis
Several different medications can be prescribed to treat and manage prostatitis. Your doctor might recommend that you take a pain reliever if you experience discomfort.
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed when prostatitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Oral antibiotics may be taken for four to six weeks or longer. Some men may require intravenous antibiotics. It’s vitally important to complete the full course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning.
In some cases, the doctor might also prescribe an alpha blocker drug to relax the muscles in the region. This can alleviate symptoms like painful urination.
If your doctor prescribes medications to treat prostatitis, always tell him about other drugs or supplements you take in order to prevent an interaction. As well, question him about the potential side effects of the drugs. Alpha blockers, for example, may decrease blood pressure and cause headaches.
Your doctor might recommend a prostate massage. If so, he will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum. A prostate massage can increase blood flow to help fight infections and alleviate fluid buildup.
Lifestyle remedies for prostatitis
In addition to medical treatment, there are a number of lifestyle and alternative remedies you can try to relieve prostatitis symptoms. Avoid food and drink that can irritate the condition. These include alcohol, spicy foods, acidic foods, and products that contain caffeine. You might also try sitz baths, avoiding bicycling and horseback riding, and placing a cushion on your chair. Some men also find relief with biofeedback, acupuncture, and herbal supplements like quercetin, saw palmetto, and rye grass.
Read more in our Prostatitis Health Center.