Prostatitis, and the pelvic pain associated with it, is considered one of the most common urological problems men face. Since prostatitis can affect men of any age, it accounts for nearly 25% of all men’s visits to their medical providers in regards to pelvic or urological issues. Chronic prostatitis (when the symptoms will not go away) is the number one cause of visits to a specialist in men under 50 years of age.
Causes and Symptoms
Generally, bladder infections and inflammation cause the symptoms of prostatitis. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty and/or pain when urinating
- Frequent need to urinate, often at night
- Pain in the bladder or between the sexual organs and the anus
- Difficulty and sometimes painful ejaculation
- Fever or chills
- Intense burning sensation when urinating
- Difficulty fully emptying bladder
Diagnosis and Next Steps
If a patient’s family doctor suspects prostatitis, he or she will likely refer the patient to a urologist. Patients should be prepared to undergo a comprehensive physical exam that may include a digital rectal examination (DRE), in order to whether the prostate gland has become enlarged or is tender. During the DRE, the provider will examine the rectum with a lubricated gloved finger, checking the prostate and also for any signs of prostate cancer. Patients undergoing a DRE will be asked by the provider to indicate levels of pain when tissue near the prostate is pressed.
If the DRE does not provide a full diagnosis, a provider may order other tests, including taking urine specimens, ultrasounds, urodynamics (urine flow studies), or a cystoscopy.
Patients suffering from any of the symptoms of prostatitis, or from any pain in the prostate, should contact a urology specialist immediately.
Some conditions that may contribute to prostatitis include:
- Recent insertion of a catheter or other medical instrument in the urethra
- Recent bladder infections
- Abnormal urinary tract or multiple urinary tract infections
- Engagement in rectal intercourse
- Enlarged prostate
Patients for whom any of these conditions are present should notify their providers during their initial visit.
If you have been suffering pain in or around your prostate and are concerned you may be suffering from prostatitis, Associated Urologists of North Carolina’s board certified specialists offer personalized care for every one of their patients. Their main branch and administrative office is located at 3821 Ed Drive, Raleigh, NC 27612 and can be reached at 919-758-8723. Contact information and driving directions for all eight of AUNC’s offices throughout the region can be found at our “Contact Us” page on our website.