A bladder infection is a type of urinary tract infection that affects the bladder, the bodily organ responsible for storage of urine. A bladder infection results from the spread of bacteria in the bladder. This type of infection is more common in females than males.
A chronic bladder infection is a series of infections that recur several times over a period of six months, or a single infection that remains for over two weeks, according to Healthcentral.com. Prostate infections occur when bacteria grow within the prostate, a gland that creates and stimulates the production of semen in men. Although chronic prostate infections are uncommon for men, they occur when males develop an enlarged prostate for months at a time or have reoccurring forms of prostatitis. Chronic prostate and bladder infections in men are often related, as males often get both types of infections at the same time.
Signs and Symptoms
Men with a chronic prostate and bladder infection generally have few or no symptoms. Middle-aged and elderly men, including those using catheters to help them urinate, are more at risk for developing chronic prostatitis and bladder infections. Symptoms shared by chronic prostate and bladder infections include pain or burning during urination, back pain, nausea, difficulty urinating, vomiting and a frequent need to urinate.
Men with chronic bladder infections sometimes have bloody urine and pain in their sides as well. Some males with prostate infections can develop pain in different parts of their genital region or abdomen as well as painful sensations during ejaculation. When men develop chronic prostate infections but do not have bladder infections, they sometimes develop pain in their pelvises, testicles or rectums, or have difficulty getting and sustaining erections.
Bladder infections can turn into kidney infections if left untreated. Kidney infections can cause severe damage to the kidneys and even result in kidney failure. Bladder infections can also cause blood poisoning. Chronic prostate and bladder infections in men can sometimes be indicative of more serious conditions, such as kidney stones, bladder stones or prostate cancer. Men with chronic forms of these infections should get a prostate-specific-antigen test, which measures for high levels of a specific protein in the blood, to find out if they could potentially have prostate cancer.
Chronic bladder infections and prostate infections caused by bacteria can sometimes be treated with antibiotics, but they often reoccur within a few weeks or months of treatment. Bladder infections in men have a better chance of becoming chronic if they do not take their medications as directed. If men continue to have prostate and bladder infections after taking antibiotics, they may have to return to their doctors’ offices to get different antibiotics.
Chronic prostate infections tend to take longer to treat than chronic bladder infections because it can take as long as four months for antibiotics to cure prostate infections, according to an article by Dr. Donald Feeney for Healthcentral.com. Alpha blockers can relieve some symptoms of bladder infections, such as pain during urination. Patients with chronic bladder infections sometimes need to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to reduce their symptoms. Drinking an excess amount of water every day over a period of months can also help people to treat chronic bladder and prostate infections. Patients can sometimes help keep bladder infections from reoccurring by drinking cranberry juice.
Healthcentral.com: Urinary Tract Infection-Chronic or Recurrent
Mayo Clinic; Recurrent Prostate Infection; What are the Treatment Options; Erik Castle
Healthcentral.com; Chronic Prostatitis; Donald Feeney
National Cancer Institute: Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Test
Mayo Clinic: Urinary Tract Infection
Mayo Clinic: Kidney Infection