Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis causes long-term pain and urinary symptoms. It involves the prostate gland or other parts of a man's lower urinary tract or genital area. This condition is not caused by an infection with bacteria.
Possible causes of nonbacterial prostatitis include:
Life stresses and emotional factors may play a part in the problem.
Most men with chronic prostatitis have the nonbacterial form.
Most of the time a physical exam is normal. However, the prostate may be swollen or tender.
Urine tests may show white or red blood cells in the urine. A semen culture may show a higher number of white blood cells and low sperm count with poor movement.
Urine culture or culture from the prostate does not show bacteria.
Treatment for nonbacterial prostatitis is difficult. The problem is hard to cure, so the goal is to control symptoms.
Several types of medicines may be used to treat the condition. These include:
Some people have found some relief from pollen extract (Cernitin) and allopurinol, although research does not confirm their benefit. Stool softeners may help reduce discomfort with bowel movements.
Surgery, called transurethral resection of the prostate may be done in rare cases if medicine does not help. This surgery is not usually done on younger men because it may cause retrograde ejaculation. This can lead to sterility, impotence, and incontinence.
Other treatments that may be tried include:
Many people respond to treatment. However, others do not get relief, even after trying many things. Symptoms often come back and may not be treatable.
Untreated symptoms of nonbacterial prostatitis may lead to sexual and urinary problems. These problems can affect your lifestyle and emotional well-being.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of prostatitis.
NBP; Prostatodynia; Pelvic pain syndrome; CPPS; Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis; Chronic genitourinary pain
Nickel JC. In: Wein AJ, ed. Prostatitis and related conditions, orchitis, and epididymitis. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 11.
Barry MJ, McNaughton-Collins M. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 131.
Updated by: Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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