One of the health issues that face men as they age is Prostate infection. Prostate infection is one of the causes of Protatitis, or inflammation of the prostate. Prostate infection symptoms in both acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis are identical. But before we discuss the clinical manifestations and the corresponding treatments for each category, it is important to have a simple overview on the importance of the Prostate.
The Prostate Gland
The Prostate gland is one of the most important organs of the male reproductive system. The fluid that it produces is one of the components that make up the semen. It is also responsible for maintaining the seminal alkalinity needed by the sperm cells in order to survive the acidic environment of the vagina. This alkalinity provides sperm cells enough time to travel along the female reproductive tract, all the way to the fallopian tube, where the union of both sex cells occurs. During ejaculation, the smooth muscles of the prostate gland help in the expulsion of semen. Surprisingly, infection of the prostate only accounts for a small percentage as the leading cause of Prostatitis. Prostate infection is often a complication of an underlying infection like infection on the urethra or in the urinary bladder. The spread of pathogens toward the prostate gland is easy because of the prostate’s approximate location with these organs.
Prostate Infection and It’s Symptoms
In acute prostate infection, patient suffers various discomforting and to some extent, incapacitating signs and symptoms. Classic acute prostate infection symptoms include severe genitalia pain affecting the entire penis and the scrotum. If it is a complication of a urinary traction infection, patient may also have Dysuria (painful urination), strong urgency to urinate, frequent urination, blood in the urine (hematuria) and foul-smelling urine due to the presence of microbes. In prostatitis, the prostate is enlarged, this compresses the urethra and the rectum, hence, constipation and difficulty to pass a free-flowing urine are also observed. Other symptom include fever, chills, pain in the lower back, body aches, thick urethral discharges and painful ejaculation.
Diagnostic and laboratory testing may be done to look for quantitative signs of infection like CBC (Complete Blood Count), Urinalysis, PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test and Semen Analysis. Invasive procedures like digital rectal palpation may be performed, as well as Cystoscopy to visually assess and confirm the presence of prostate inflammation. Once diagnosis is confirmed, acute bacterial prostatitis considered to be an emergency situation and should be given immediate medical attention and treatment.
Chronic prostate infection rarely causes prostatitis. It has a lower morbidity and prevalence rate. Chronic prostrate infection symptoms are similar with the acute type, but manifestations are milder but are persistent with longer duration.
Treatment for acute and chronic infection
Treatments for acute and chronic prostate infections are the same. This includes antibiotic therapy for at least 4 weeks, and may reach up to 6 weeks to prevent recurrence. Antibacterial medications that are usually prescribed are Tetracycline (Doxycycline), Fluoroquinolones (Ciprofloxacin), and Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (Co-trimoxazole)For chronic prostate infection, antibiotic therapy may last up to 2 months or 8 weeks.Analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications may also be prescribed to relieve pain and improve inflammation. For difficult defecation, stool softeners can help ease bowel movement.
Home remedies that can lessen prostate infection symptoms and promote comfort are bed rest, warm baths for genital and lower back pain and discomfort. Warm baths are also used to ease difficult urination. Remember to advice patient to avoid foods and beverages that are irritating to the bladder like caffeinated drinks such coffee, tea and some energy drinks, as well as alcohol, spices and citrus juice. Smoking is also discouraged. To flush bacteria off, encourage more fluid intake at least 6-8 glasses of water a day.
If complications like abscess in the prostate, systemic sepsis, or bacteremia (bacteria in the blood) arise, immediate hospitalization is required and antibiotic IV therapy are initiated until the infection is neutralized.
As you can see prostate infection symptoms are easy to identify and treat. If infection does occur or if you have one and continues to persist or if complications occur, consult your physician and never treat it yourself at home. With sufficient knowledge and proper medical attention, bacterial prostatitis can be beaten and eliminated quite easily and efficiently.