written by: AlyssaAst
• edited by: dianahardin
• updated: 2/26/2011
Prostatitis is a condition that occurs when the prostate becomes inflamed. The causes of prostatitis can vary depending on the form that is present; however, symptoms generally remain unchanged.
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Prostatitis is an inflammation of the small organ known as the prostate. The prostate aids in the male reproductive system. The prostate often becomes inflamed due to an infection but can become inflamed without an infection being present. Prostatitis can affect men of all ages and fortunately, doesn’t increase a man's risk for prostate cancer. The main symptom associated with prostatitis is repeat bladder infections, which can cause a number of symptoms.
There are four types of prostatitis that can occur; however, the most common forms are acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis. Each of these forms of prostatitis are caused by different factors and require a separate form of treatment to prevent further complications. The causes of prostatitis can range from a bacterial infection to frequent urinary tract infections.
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Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
Acute bacterial prostatitis is caused by a sudden bacterial infection, which leads to inflammation of the prostate. While this is the least common form of prostatitis to occur, it can lead to serious complications, such as prostate abscesses and an urethra blockage. This form of prostatitis causes an acute urinary tract infection to occur.
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Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is caused from frequent urinary tract infections that have entered the prostate gland. Often, the condition progresses because it isn’t diagnosed until years after the infection developed. Often, chronic bacterial prostatitis reoccurs in cycles, which can vary in severity.
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Chronic prostatitis is the most common form of prostatitis. Unlike the causes of prostatitis, chronic prostatitis isn’t caused by a bacterial infection, but it does produce the same symptoms. Many people with immune system disorders, nervous system disorders and certain infections develop chronic prostatitis. Psychological stress or traumatic injury are known to cause this condition as well. Diseased tissue that puts pressure on the prostate can result in chronic prostatitis also.
While anyone can suffer from bacterial prostatitis, there are certain risk factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing this condition. Risk factors for prostatitis include an infection in the bladder or urethra and dehydration. Trauma, such as that received from horse riding or bicycling, can cause the condition as well. In some cases, use of a urinary catheter can cause prostatitis. Those with an HIV infection have an increased risk for prostatitis.
Little remains known about chronic prostatitis and the exact causes and risk factors aren’t certain. It’s believed chronic prostatitis is an inherited condition. Research shows certain genes may be responsible for causing the condition, increasing a person’s risk for the condition.
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If left untreated, complications from bacterial prostatitis can arise. Complications of acute bacterial prostatitis include the progress of the condition to chronic bacterial prostatitis. An infection of the blood can occur due to bacterial, as well as epididymitis, which is an inflammation of the tubes that carry sperm. The prostate can become abscessed, causing further complications.