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Prostatitis is a swollen prostate gland. It is a common condition that most often affects men between the ages of 30 and 50.


What is prostatitis?

The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the penis. If the prostate becomes swollen, it is known as prostatitis.

There are two types of prostatitis – chronic and acute. Chronic comes and goes over the course of many months or years, acute is marked by severe pain and it comes on abruptly.

What are the symptoms of prostatitis?

The symptoms of prostatitis depend on whether it is acute or chronic. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain in the penis, testicles, anus, abdomen or lower back
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain during bowel movements
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Urinary retention (the inability to urinate)
  • Difficulty starting or a “stop-start” sensation when urinating
  • Bloody urine
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Painful ejaculations
  • Pain during or after sexual intercourse
  • Aches, pains, high temperature or a general feeling of being unwell
  • A large or tender prostate

What causes prostatitis?

Acute prostatitis is generally caused by bacteria entering any part of the urinary tract. Sometimes, in cases of chronic prostatitis, the cause is unclear, because evidence of bacteria is not present.

How is prostatitis diagnosed?

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should speak to your consultant.

At your appointment your consultant will inquire about your symptoms and conduct a physical examination where they feel your abdomen. If more investigation is necessary, they might also recommend that you undergo:

  • A rectal exam
  • Urine tests
  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • Post-prostatic exams – a test of the secretions in your prostate gland

How is prostatitis treated?

The treatment depends on whether you have acute or chronic prostatitis. The treatment for prostatitis is antibiotics, but your consultant might also recommend that you take other medications (e.g. laxatives, pain killers) to help manage the symptoms.

You and your consultant can discuss which treatment would be best for you.

If you’re unsure what treatment you should go for, or the above treatments don’t work for you, our team of expert specialists are here to help.

This content has been checked and approved by

Mr Julian Shah  ›

Mr Shah is a neuro-urologist consultant at King Edward VII’s Hospital.

Find your specialist in prostatitis at King Edward VII's Hospital

If you suspect you have prostatitis and you’re seeking an expert opinion, you can find the UK’s leading urology specialists here at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Our consultants are hand-picked for you, making it easy to access the best possible care.

Mr Julian Shah  ›
Special interests include:
Incontinence (+ 10) more
Mr Marios Hadjipavlou  ›
Special interests include:
Benign prostatic disease (+ 7) more
Mr Richard Nobrega  ›
Special interests include:
Neuro-urology (+ 14) more

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