Prostatitis

  • Basics

    Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland, and tends to be more common in older men Figure 01. The prostate is a gland about the size and shape of a chestnut that surrounds the urethra at the point where the urethra connects to the bladder. Prostatitis occurs when this gland becomes infected. Acute prostatitis strikes suddenly, and produces severe symptoms; chronic prostatitis may result from repeated infections, and is generally less severe.

    Click to enlarge: The Prostate Gland

    Figure 01. The Prostate Gland

  • Causes

    Prostatitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Bacterial prostatitis is caused by E. coli in 80% of cases; however, many other types of bacteria can also invade the urinary tract and cause prostatitis.

    Bacteria can enter the urethra during catheter use, or can transfer from the rectum.

    Nonbacterial prostatitis results in the same symptoms as prostatis caused by bacteria. Most often present in young, sexually active men, nonbacterial prostatitis occurs when a man has the signs and symptoms of prostate inflammation, but no evidence of bacterial infection.

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