What is the Prostate? 
The prostate is a gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate helps make fluid for semen. Semen protects and energizes sperm.
 
What is Prostatitis? 
Prostatitis is an infection or inflammation of the prostate that most often is felt in and around the pelvic zone. It can happen to men of all ages. 
 
What are the Symptoms of Prostatitis? 
The type of symptoms and the length of time you have had those symptoms will help your doctor pinpoint the type of prostatitis or pelvic pain you have. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), prostatitis exists on a spectrum with pelvic pain. There are many symptoms and lab values your doctor can use to find out which you have. 
 
 Acute Bacterial Prostatitis (ABP) is an infection of the prostate due to bacteria. Symptoms can come on quickly and include fever, chills, urinary changes, ejaculatory pain and pain in the pelvis or nearby zones. Treatment with antibiotics often leads to quick releif. 
 
 Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis (CBP) also occurs from a bacterial infection. Symptoms are often more gradual and may take longer to treat. Fever and chills are not common but pain in the pelvis is still felt along with urinary symptoms and/or ejaculatory pain.
 
 Nonbacterial Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate that causes pain. It is not due to a bacterial infection and may be from stress, nerve irritation, injuries or past urinary tract infections. This form of prostatitis has no signs of bacteria in the urine or semen. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/ CPPS) is an inflammation of the prostate or the nerves to this zone. Pain from CP/CPPS can last for weeks to months to years. This pain may also be due to the muscles in the pelvis. This is NOT an infection but symptoms may be like those in men with CBP.
 
 What Causes Prostatitis? 
The cause for prostatitis or pelvis pain is not always known. Some things can raise the risk of a bacterial infection of the prostate like a bladder infection, a catheter, an infection from sex, or a problem in the urinary tract.
 Pelvic pain may not be from prostatitis. Other reasons for pelvic pain are: • Pelvic muscle tightness • Prostate or bladder stones • Prostate abscess • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) • Urethral stricture • Prostate cancer • Bladder cancer 
 
How is Prostatitis Diagnosed? Your healthcare provider may start by asking you questions about your pain to find out what’s wrong. A digital rectal h exam (DRE) may be done to check the prostate. Your doctor may do a transrectal ultrasound to look at your prostate or do a test called cystoscopy to check your urinary system. You may also be asked to get lab tests to look for bacteria in your urine or prostate fluid. A urine flow study or urodynamics test may be done to look for a block in your urinary system. 
 
What are My Treatment Options? 
Your treatment will depend on your symptoms, lab tests and findings during your visit. Patients may need many treatments. 
Antibiotics: often used as a first step to kill any bacteria. Alpha-blockers: drugs that may help to relax the muscles around the prostate and at the base of the bladder.
 Anti-inflammatory Agents: non-steroidal drugs to reduce pain from inflammation in the prostate or muscles. 
Prostatic Massage: helps to ease pressure in the prostate. It is done by draining fluid from the prostate ducts. 
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy: a way to learn how to relax certain muscles in your pelvis. It is done with an expert to help you lessen tension in your pelvic floor muscles. 
Home Care: there are many things that can be done at home to help reduce pain. These include hot baths, hot water bottles, heating pads and a donut-shaped pillow. 
Lifestyle Changes: such as weight loss and diet changes, learning to relax and exercises to ease symptoms. 
Acupuncture: involves an expert placing very thin needles through the skin at many depths and points on your body to help reduce pain. 
Surgery: on either the urethra or prostate may be needed in rare cases. There must be a trackable problem that could cause pain for surgery to work