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Men's Health

Prostate Infection (Prostatitis)

Prevention - Home Treatment - When to Call a Health Professional

The prostate is a doughnut-shaped gland that lies under the bladder, about halfway between the rectum and the base of the penis. It encircles the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the penis. This walnut-sized gland produces some of the fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation.

There are 4 types of prostatitis. They include nonbacterial prostatitis, which has no known cause; acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis; and prostatodynia, which is often related to stress or anxiety. Symptoms are similar for all forms of prostatitis. With the exception of acute bacterial prostatitis (in which the symptoms are severe, come on suddenly, and may include fever and chills), it is difficult to determine the exact kind of prostatitis a man has based on symptoms alone.

Symptoms may include:

Bacterial prostate infections usually respond well to self-care and antibiotics. If the infection recurs, long-term antibiotic treatment may be needed. Prostate infections that are not caused by bacteria usually respond to Home Treatment.

Prevention

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There is no reliable way to prevent prostatitis. Taking the full amount of the antibiotic prescribed by your doctor for acute or chronic bacterial prostatitis can reduce the possibility of having another infection in the future.

Home Treatment

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  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, especially if they make your symptoms worse.

  • Take hot baths to help soothe pain and reduce stress.

  • Eat plenty of high-fibre foods, and drink enough water to avoid constipation. Straining to pass stools can be very painful when your prostate is inflamed.

  • Taking aspirin or ibuprofen may help ease painful prostate symptoms.

When to Call a Health Professional

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  • If urinary symptoms occur with fever, chills, vomiting, or pain in the back or abdomen.

  • If your urine is red or pink and there is no dietary reason for this (See Blood in the Urine). Always call your doctor if you have blood in your urine.

  • If symptoms continue for 5 days despite Home Treatment.

  • If your symptoms suddenly change or get worse.

  • If you have pain during urination or ejaculation. If there is also an unusual discharge from your penis, See Sexually Transmitted Diseases See Prevention.

  • If you have urinary symptoms, such as trouble starting to urinate, inability to empty your bladder completely, or frequent urination (especially at night), that are not related to drinking more fluids.

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