What Is Prostatitis?

Prostatitis is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes inflamed and can cause significant discomfort, pain, and a variety of other sexual health related symptoms.

Types of Prostatitis

Acute bacterial prostatitis:

An acute bacterial infection of the prostate gland. This is the least common type of prostatitis and as the name suggests, it is caused by bacteria, usually Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Chronic bacterial prostatitis:

A recurrent bacterial infection of the prostate gland. This is another uncommon type of prostatitis that is also caused by bacteria, but it lasts longer (three months or longer) than acute bacterial prostatitis.

Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS):

Also known as chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, this is a condition in which an infection cannot be found. There are two subgroups, which include:

  • Inflammatory chronic pain syndrome: a condition in which white blood cells are found in semen or static secretions.
  • Non-inflammatory chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a condition in which white blood cells are NOT found in semen or static secretions.

Asymptomatic Prostatitis:

A condition in which the patient and physician can detect no symptoms, but white blood cells are founding the prostatic secretions or in prostate tissue during an evaluation of other disorders. This is an uncommon type of prostatitis in which the prostate may be inflamed but men do not have other symptoms typical of other forms of prostatitis.

Symptoms of Prostatitis

Here are some generalizations about the symptoms of prostatitis. For more in-depth information, you should read about the symptoms for each of the individual types of prostatitis (below).

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis symptoms tend to affect the entire body. That’s because it is a bacterial infection, which runs through the circulatory system. Therefore, in addition to symptoms associated with the urinary tract, men with acute bacterial prostatitis can expect to experience fever, chills, and other symptoms not typical of nonbacterial forms of prostatitis. Acute bacterial prostatitis symptoms also develop quickly rather than over a prolonged period of time.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis symptoms are similar to those associated with acute bacterial prostatitis. Unlike acute bacterial prostatitis symptoms, however, those associated with chronic bacterial prostatitis develop over time and last for three months or longer.
  • Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) symptoms tend to both involve the urinary tract as well as your sexual function. Pain also is a key part of CPPS symptoms. Because it is a chronic condition, chronic pelvic pain syndrome symptoms tend to last for months or even years.
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis does not display symptoms. Doctors typically discover this form of prostatitis when they are examining men for other conditions.