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What is Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis?

By K T Solis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Chronic bacterial prostatitis is a rare medical condition that strikes men who are young or in their middle aged years. It occurs when bacteria invades the prostate, a gland connected to the male's urethra. As a result, the patient suffers from ongoing urinary tract infections.

Men with chronic bacterial prostatitis experience pain when urinating. They also experience difficulties when trying to completely eliminate urine from the bladder. Other common symptoms include abdominal pain, lower back pain, and pain within the testicles and penis. Men may also experience discomfort during ejaculation.

This painful medical condition is caused by the presence of bacteria. The bacteria enters the prostate when it is transported by the urethra, a tube that transports both urine and semen in men. If men take steps to prevent urinary tract infections, they can avoid developing chronic bacterial prostatitis. The condition may also be caused by HIV infection, using a urinary catheter, or dehydration. In some cases, men who have experienced damage from bicycle or horseback riding accidents may also develop chronic bacterial prostatitis.

Patients who may be suffering from this bacterial disease, are typically given a series of medical exams. One common exam is the digital rectal exam (DRE) which consists of a finger test — a doctor inserts his or her finger into the patient's rectum to determine if the prostate is swollen. The doctor can also order a urinalysis, so he or she can examine the patient's urine. Examining the sample beneath a microscope can determine if bacteria is growing within the patient's urine.

Another way to diagnose chronic bacterial prostatitis is to use a lubricated, gloved finger to massage the prostate. This causes the urethra to secrete prostate liquid in addition to urine. The prostate liquid is examined beneath a microscope. If the doctor locates a large number of white blood cells in the specimen, the patient is diagnosed with chronic bacterial prostatitis. If bacteria is present in the prostate fluid or urine, the patient is also diagnosed with this medical condition as well.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is treated through the use of antibiotics, medication that prevents microorganisms from flourishing. Treatment usually lasts at least three months but can be administered for up to six months. Since it is difficult to treat the prostate with antibiotics, doctors prescribe aggressive, long-term treatment to kill stubborn bacteria. Patients who have trouble urinating may require surgery to remove any blockages that exist. Men who have serious cases of the medical condition may need to have a prostatectomy, a procedure that removes the majority of the prostate.

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