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Prostatitis - nonbacterial
Alternative namesNBP; Prostatodynia; Pelvic pain syndrome
DefinitionNonbacterial prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland with no known cause.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
There are many theories about the cause of nonbacterial prostatitis: fungi, viruses, trichomonads, and obligate anaerobic bacteria have been suspected. Irritation caused by a reflux of urine flowing into the prostate may also be a cause.
Up to 65% of patients with chronic prostatitis have the nonbacterial form. The disorder is seen in 5 of every 10,000 outpatient visits by men.
SymptomsThe common symptoms associated with nonbacterial prostatitis include:
The symptoms of nonbacterial prostatitis are the same as those of chronic bacterial prostatitis.
Signs and tests
A physical examination usually will not reveal anything unusual, although the prostate may be swollen, firm, warm, and tender.
A urinalysis reveals increased white blood cells, but no bacterial growth, upon culture of urine #3. Blood may be detected in the urine. Prostatic secretions also contain increased levels of white blood cells and no bacteria.
A semen culture will not demonstrate bacterial infection but may demonstrate increased numbers of white blood cells and decreased numbers of sperm, with poor motility.
Treatment for nonbacterial prostatitis is difficult and is aimed at treating the symptoms.
Other medications used to relieve prostatic urinary obstruction, including doxazosin, terazosin, and tamsulosin, are successful in many patients. Anti-inflammatory agents such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve the symptoms in some patients.
Some people have had limited success with pollen extract (Cernitin) and allopurinol. Stool softeners may be recommended to reduce the discomfort associated with bowel movements.
Many patients respond to treatment while others are not relieved despite multiple treatment attempts. Symptoms often recur after treatment and may eventually not be treatable.
Unresolved symptoms of nonbacterial prostatitis may cause significant changes in lifestyle and emotional well-being related to sexual and urinary problems.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if symptoms of prostatitis occur.
Update Date: 5/25/2002Young Kang, M.D., Department of Urology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT