Prostatitis is a term used to describe inflammatory conditions of the prostate gland. It is thought that most cases of prostatitis result from bacterial infection, but evidence of infection is not always found. An infected or inflamed prostate can cause painful urination and ejaculation, and if left untreated, serious complications.
Incidence and Prevalence
Prostatitis can affect men of any age and it is estimated that 50% of men experience the disorder during their lifetime. Prostatitis is the most common urological disorder in men over the age of 50 and the third most common disorder in men younger than 50.
According to the National Institutes of Health, prostatitis accounts for 25% of all office visits involving the genitourinary system by young and middle-aged men.
Nonbacterial prostatitis and prostatodynia, which is also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), are the most common diagnoses. Bacterial prostatitis (acute and chronic) accounts for less than 5–10% of cases. Acute bacterial prostatitis occurs most often in men under age 35, and chronic bacterial prostatitis primarily affects men between the ages of 40 and 70.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It secretes seminal fluid, a milky substance that combines with sperm to form semen. During sexual climax, muscles in the prostate propel the semen through the urethra and out through the penis.
There are four types of prostatitis: acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, nonbacterial prostatitis, and prostatodynia.
Acute bacterial prostatitis (ABP) is inflammation of the prostate gland caused by bacteria such asEscherichia coli and Klebsiella. Severe complications may develop if not promptly treated. ABP can be fatal if the bacterial infection is untreated and travels to the bloodstream (sepsis).
Chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) is a recurrent infection and inflammation of the prostate and urinary tract. Symptoms are less severe than those associated with acute bacterial prostatitis.
Nonbacterial prostatitis is an inflamed prostate without bacterial infection.
Prostatodynia, sometimes called chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), is the occurrence of prostatitis symptoms, without inflammation or bacterial infection.