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Bacterial Prostatitis

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. The gland sits just below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. Bacterial prostatitis is an infection of the prostate. It causes the prostate to become painful and swollen. The problem often comes on suddenly, and can make you very sick. But it can be treated. Read on to learn more.

Causes and Symptoms

Bacterial prostatitis is due to infection with a bacteria (germ). Infection makes the prostate swell. This squeezes the urethra and narrows or blocks it. Symptoms may be severe. They can include:

  • Fever and chills

  • Low back pain

  • Having to urinate often

  • Pain with urination

  • A less forceful urine stream

  • Need to strain to urinate

  • Can’t urinate


The infection is treated with antibiotic medications. Take all of the medication until it is gone, even if you start to feel better. If you don’t, the infection may come back and be harder to treat. Your provider may also suggest other care, such as resting and drinking more fluid. Closely follow any instructions you are given.

Chronic Prostatitis

Prostatitis can turn into a chronic (ongoing) problem. In this case, there is often no infection. Instead, the prostate stays swollen and inflamed. Possible causes include repeated infections or not ejaculating often enough. Stress can be a cause. Often the cause is not known. Symptoms include pain and burning with urination and needing to urinate often. It may also cause lower abdomen or back pain. Symptoms may come and go for no clear reason. If you have this problem, your healthcare provider will discuss treatment with you.


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