Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. It is often painful and can cause frequent urination, difficulty urinating, or a burning feeling while urinating. You may feel pain in the genital area, groin, lower abdomen or lower back. Prostatitis is sometimes, but not always, caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common diseases seen in urology practices in the United States, accounting for close to two million visits every year.

There are two types of bacterial prostatitis – acute and chronic. The acute type happens suddenly and lasts a short time. Chronic prostatitis develops slowly and can last a long time, even years. The symptoms are similar for both.

There is also a nonbacterial form of prostatitis that is often called chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The cause for this is unknown, although some research suggests that a bug of some sort (not bacteria) may be responsible.

Medical specialties treating prostatitis

Prostatitis is treated by a primary care physician or a urologist.

How prostatitis is treated

Both chronic and acute bacterial prostatitis are treated with antibiotics. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is often treated for six weeks or more. Acute bacterial prostatitis is treated for at least 30 days, and sometimes as long as six months to prevent a recurring infection. It is important to complete the full course of medication as it is prescribed, even when symptoms begin to clear up before you are treated.

Some bacteria that cause prostatitis can develop resistance to specific antibiotics, so that they cannot be effectively treated with those antibiotics. This is why all MicroGenDX diagnostic tests include detection of antibiotic resistance genes in your sample, and then provide alternative antibiotics for your doctor to consider prescribing to you.

If your test reveals no infection, then nondrug therapy, pain relievers, or muscle relaxants may be prescribed.

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