What is prostatitis?

The prostate is a gland found only in men, which is located below the bladder, surrounding the urethra. It is about the size of a chestnut. The prostate produces seminal fluid, which when mixed with sperm, makes semen.

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland.

Men who have to have a catheter (tube draining the bladder) are at a higher risk of developing prostatitis.

Are there different types of prostatitis?

Yes, there are four types of prostatitis.

Non-bacterial prostatitis

Non-bacterial prostatitis is the most common form of this condition. Unfortunately however, it is also the least understood form. It can be a very painful condition, and can strike males of any age. While it may be treated with antibiotics and other drugs, these may have only limited success.

Acute bacterial prostatitis

Acute bacterial prostatitis is a sudden severe infection of the prostate caused by bacteria. It is the least common type of prostatitis, however it is the easiest type to diagnose. Symptoms include pain in the lower back and genital areas, chills and fever, painful or burning urination, and a general feeling of being unwell. This infection may or may not be due to a sexually transmitted infection. This form of prostatitis can usually be treated with antibiotics.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is basically a more long-term form of prostatitis. It is usually associated with some underlying defect in the prostate, and is quite uncommon. Symptoms can include pain in the lower back and genital areas, mild pain on urination, and a frequent need to urinate. Antibiotics alone usually aren't enough to combat this form of prostatitis, as the defect which is causing it has to be dealt with first.


This is similar to non-bacterial prostatitis. It can affect men of all ages and many treatments are ineffective.

Is this condition contagious?

No. Prostatitis cannot be passed on to other people.

Is it true that prostatitis can lead to septic shock?

Yes but this is a rare complication of prostatitis. Acute bacterial prostatitis can lead to the spread of bacteria into the bloodstream. This can result in septic shock. Septic shock is a full body infection which causes dangerously low blood pressure.

What is the outlook?

Despite treatment, the condition may be slow to clear up and tends to recur.

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