Prostatitis, a disease of the prostate gland, can cause pain in the groin, painful urination, difficulty urinating and related symptoms. The prostate gland produces components of semen, the fluid that helps support and transport sperm.
Prostatitis isn’t a single condition but a group of disorders with related symptoms. Some forms of prostatitis are generally well understood. More common forms of prostatitis aren’t as well understood and are more difficult to diagnose and treat. Some medications help manage the symptoms, and new therapies are under investigation.
Learning general information can lead to a correct diagnosis.
The National Institutes of Health classification for prostatitis divides it into four categories, based on such factors as cause, typical course of the disease, immune system activity and symptoms. The four categories are:
Category 1: Acute bacterial prostatitis
Category 2: Chronic bacterial prostatitis
Category 3: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain
Category 4: Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
Prostatitis symptoms vary depending on the type of prostatitis you have. In general, the symptoms are related to pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, problems with urination and problems with ejaculations. Signs and symptoms may include: pain or burning sensation when urinating; difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination; frequent urination, particularly at night Urgent need to urinate; pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back; pain in the area between the penis and rectum (perineum); pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles; painful ejaculations
Acute bacterial prostatitis
If you have acute bacterial prostatitis, you may have symptoms associated with the sudden onset of infection: high fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and a general feeling of being unwell.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis:
The key feature of chronic bacterial prostatitis is frequent urinary tract infections. Between episodes of these infections, a person with chronic bacterial prostatitis may have no symptoms, mild symptoms or severe symptoms.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain:
The condition is generally considered chronic if the symptoms last for at least three months. For some men, the symptoms remain about the same over time, and for others the symptoms go through cycles of being more and less severe. Symptoms sometimes improve over time without treatment.
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis:
If you have asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, you have no symptoms. Inflammation of the prostate gland is found only by chance when you’re undergoing tests for other conditions.
When to see a doctor:
The symptoms of prostatitis are similar to many other diseases affecting the urinary tract and the male sexual organs. Many of these can have serious consequences if left untreated, and they usually affect your everyday life and general well-being. If you experience any pelvic pain, difficult or painful urination, or painful ejaculations, see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt, appropriate treatment. There are notable differences in symptoms of the four categories.