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Nonbacterial Prostatitis

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It sits just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. The urethra is the tube that takes urine and semen out of the body. Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland. Nonbacterial prostatitis is the most common form. It causes the prostate to become painful and swollen. It then makes the urethra narrow. It can block the neck of the bladder. It can cause discomfort. But in most cases, it is not a serious health problem.

Image of bladder, prostate, and urethra

Causes of Nonbacterial Prostatitis

Causes can include:

  • Stress that tightens the pelvic muscles

  • Reflux of urine into the prostate ducts

  • Unknown reasons

Symptoms of Nonbacterial Prostatitis

Symptoms are often vague and tend to be mild. They can include:

  • Burning sensation, pressure, or pain when passing urine; frequent need to pass urine

  • Pain in the lower abdomen or back

  • Pain with ejaculation

Treating Nonbacterial Prostatitis

The goal of treatment is to help relieve symptoms. Treatments can include one or more of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory or muscle-relaxing medications 

  • Alpha-blocker medications, which relax the muscles in and around the gland

  • Sitz baths

  • Prostate massage

Chronic Prostatitis

Prostatitis can turn into a chronic (ongoing) problem.

  • Causes can include repeat infections or stress. Or, it may be caused by not ejaculating often enough. It may occur with no clear cause.

  • Symptoms can include a burning sensation when passing urine. You may feel a frequent need to pass urine. Pain in your lower abdomen or back can also occur. This pain may come and go.

  • Treatment can include medications. Dietary changes and biofeedback may also be part of treatment.


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