What is prostatitis?
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, which is called the prostate. The prostate gland is a secondary part of the male reproductive organs. It is located below the bladder, around its neck. The thing is, the urethra passes through the prostate, so the prostate is located around the urethral tube. It is precisely because of this that the urethral channel is compressed when the prostate enlarges, which hinders the passage of urine.
In men over 35, the prostate often enlarges. This is a typical phenomenon. The majority of diseases in men over 50 are just a consequence of a violation of the genitourinary system, that is, as a result of inflammation of the prostate gland. It is important to remember that the larger the prostate gland, the more urine will be blocked, thus the body will be increasingly poisoned by this urine.
The disease is quite common and is diagnosed in more than 80% of mature men, of whom approximately 30% are found in the age category of 20 to 40 years. If we refer to statistical studies, we can say that prostatitis is detected in every 10th patient.
Causes of Prostatitis
The causes of prostatitis include:
The main cause of prostatitis is a disturbance in blood circulation, which leads to an enlargement of the prostate. A sedentary lifestyle and being overweight are the reasons for the disturbance in blood circulation.
Another reason for the occurrence of prostatitis is the presence of infection. Infection can often occur as a result of gonorrhea or urethritis, and less commonly as a result of complications from angina, the flu, or tuberculosis.
Bacterial inflammation of the prostate begins when infectious agents enter the prostate gland through blood, lymph, during unprotected sex, or, in other words, through the body’s biological fluids. Various microorganisms that are constantly present on human skin or even in the abdominal cavity organs, such as the intestine, can under certain conditions trigger the development of the disease.
Injuries to the organs and soft tissues of the pelvic area and their impaired blood circulation are often the cause of prostatitis. Typically, this applies most to drivers whose work is associated with occupational hazards such as constant vibrations, shaking, and increased stress on the muscles of the perineum.
Frequent hypothermia, low physical activity, the presence of chronic genitourinary diseases or hormonal imbalances, retention of urine, and irregular sexual life can also contribute to the development of the disease.
During vigorous sexual activity in men, nervous and physical exhaustion occurs rapidly, disrupting the functioning of the hormonal system and the secretions of the sex glands, which leads to a gradual decrease in potency. Interrupted sexual intercourse also adversely affects men’s health.
A sedentary lifestyle affects the functioning of the endocrine, nervous, and cardiovascular systems. It is observed that blood circulation in the pelvic organs deteriorates, leading to congestion and tissue oxygen deprivation in the prostate. All of these factors predispose to the growth and reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms, which in turn can cause prostatitis. These factors are not the primary cause of the inflammatory process, but serve as entry points for infection to enter the prostate gland.
The presence of inflammation in the rectum or urethra often becomes the cause of secondary infection of the prostate – by the ascending type, if microbes move upward from the external urethral canal, or by the descending type, when microbes enter the prostate from infected urine.
Chronic constipation is also a predisposing factor for prostatitis. Frequent stool disorders can lead to inflammation in the prostate.
The immune system also plays a significant role in the development of this disease. Due to harmful habits, emotional stress, poor nutrition, physical exhaustion, the immune system weakens, and the human body becomes vulnerable to various infectious agents, including those that cause inflammation of the prostate gland.
Among the causes of prostatitis are urological infections and some venereal diseases, such as gonorrhea or urethritis. Even chronic diseases in the body, such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, untreated carious teeth, can be the cause of this disease.
Signs of prostatitis
The signs of acute prostatitis are an increase in body temperature and frequent urination accompanied by burning and weak pressure. In addition, signs of prostatitis include burning in the perineum and pain in the rectum during defecation. In the stage of purulent inflammation, spontaneous opening of the abscess and discharge of pus from the urethral canal or rectum are possible.
The sign of chronic prostatitis is burning in the urethra and perineum, discharge of pus at the end of defecation or urination, increased fatigue, and irritability of the body.
Difficulty urinating is very dangerous in prostatitis, which, if left untreated, can lead to acute urinary retention.
Men should not ignore such indirect signs of prostatitis as a complete or partial decrease in sexual desire, accelerated ejaculation, sometimes painful, prolonged erections at night. All of these symptoms are characteristic of inflammation of the prostate gland, even in the uncomplicated stage and can be treated adequately.
If we talk about visible manifestations that even a non-specialist can notice, in most cases, patients observe transparent or sometimes purulent discharge from the urethra, especially noticeable in the morning, and the presence of white flakes and threads in the urine.
Symptoms of prostatitis
Prostatitis is divided into acute and chronic forms, like many other diseases. The general symptoms are characteristic of the acute form of the disease.
The patient develops general weakness and obvious malaise.
It is often accompanied by a fever and headaches.
Pain in the groin area is usually intense, affecting the pubic region and worsening during urination or defecation.
The feeling of frequent urges to urinate that do not bring relief due to incomplete emptying of the bladder leads to increased irritability and nervousness in patients. In severe cases, acute urinary retention develops.
In contrast to the acute form, chronic prostatitis has a symptomless course and runs latently (that is, without pronounced characteristic signs). The clinical picture is often blurred, with weakly expressed symptoms, and patients do not pay proper attention to obvious discomfort and do not consider it necessary to seek medical help, confusing prostatitis symptoms with adenoma of the prostate gland, which is extremely dangerous. The treatment principles for these diseases are completely different, as are the possible complications with undesirable consequences.
Frequently, worsening of overall well-being, problems with potency, and nervous disorders in men are attributed to fatigue and lack of rest, meaning that a person simply does not want to realize that he is sick and needs treatment. Annual preventive check-ups play an important role in the timely detection of this disease, allowing for an early diagnosis.
White flakes in urine
Chronic prostatitis is characterized by quickly passing, weakly expressed pain in the groin, pubic, and lower abdominal areas. Usually, the duration of sexual intercourse changes, both in the direction of elongation and in the opposite direction, and the intensity of sexual sensations. Secretions appear from the urethra, especially in the morning, or white flakes are visible in the urine to the naked eye (if collected in a glass, flakes can be seen in the form of white smoke).
Poor urine flow
Since the inflammatory process leads to a narrowing of the lumen of the urethra, there is a disturbance in urination, which men should pay attention to first and foremost: the urine stream becomes weak, there may be dribbling or difficulty in starting or stopping urination. Many patients report a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder or uncontrolled urine leakage.
The inflammatory process irritatingly affects the nerve endings, leading to increased urination, especially at night, usually in small portions. All of these symptoms clearly indicate the development of a pathological process and require immediate medical attention. Only a specialist can establish the correct diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, these symptoms may also be hiding such a terrible disease as prostate cancer.
Diagnosis of Prostatitis
Diagnosis of prostatitis is carried out by a urologist. He diagnoses the fact of prostate gland damage. Based on the symptoms of the disease, the doctor can determine the stage of its development during the first visit. The patient will be required to undergo an ultrasound of the prostate.
Possible diagnostic procedures:
- Taking a prostate juice sample and its analysis – this is the main method for diagnosing prostatitis.
- Taking a smear from the urethra. The obtained secret is sent for bacteriological analysis.
- Urine analysis.
- Evaluation of the PSA level. It represents the prostate-specific antigen.
- If the obtained data is insufficient to make a diagnosis, the patient is hospitalized and urodynamic examination is performed in its conditions.
- Cystoscopy is a method of diagnosing prostate diseases, during which the doctor can perform some therapeutic manipulations. However, it is rarely used.
Treatment of Acute Bacterial Prostatitis
Although a condition like prostatitis has long been known and is widely spread among men of different ages, it is difficult to treat.
The treatment of acute bacterial prostatitis directly depends on the severity of the symptoms of the disease. Sometimes the patient’s condition can be extremely severe, which often happens with intoxication of the body.
The disease manifests itself acutely, with a sudden increase in body temperature, chills, pain in the pelvic area, lower back, perineum. Nausea, vomiting, difficulty emptying the bladder with stinging sensations, and other symptoms may occur. Such a condition is dangerous due to its complications. Bacterial infection, the development of a prostatic abscess, septicemia, and septicopyemia may occur. Complications often occur against the background of existing chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
If the disease is acute, a man must be hospitalized in a urological department. If this is not possible, the patient is admitted to a general surgical department.
There is a general treatment strategy for managing patients with acute prostatitis:
- Bed rest.
- Prescription of antibacterial drugs.
- Prohibition of prostate massage, even for the purpose of obtaining prostatic secretion. The ban is due to the high risk of developing sepsis.
- Prescribing drugs aimed at normalizing blood microcirculation, increasing its fluidity and viscosity.
- Surgical intervention is necessary if there is a complete inability to empty the bladder independently, or if an abscess of the prostate has formed.
The use of antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial prostatitis is mandatory. If the disease starts acutely and there are symptoms of intoxication, antibacterial drugs should be prescribed as soon as possible, as waiting for the results of bacterial flora analysis in this case is impractical and dangerous.
Complications and consequences
Inflammatory process of the prostate gland, if treated in a timely manner, does not lead to gross violations in the sexual sphere. However, in the absence of treatment, it often causes a decrease in sexual desire and infertility in men of reproductive age. Among the fairly common complications of untreated prostatitis are various secondary infections of the urinary tract, which can lead to the development of chronic renal failure. Bladder stones and acute urinary retention are no less dangerous.
The disease progresses and affects the bladder – due to impaired blood circulation, there is a disturbance of urine outflow and sclerosis of the walls, these pathological changes are irreversible.
Prevention measures for chronic prostatitis are aimed primarily at avoiding exacerbations. If an exacerbation has already occurred, inflammation should be relieved as soon as possible.
To minimize the risk of recurrence, it is necessary to completely eliminate or minimize the impact of the following negative factors:
Alcohol consumption. This does not mean that you should completely abstain, but you should limit yourself. No one forbids a glass of red wine, but drinking a whole bottle is not worth it.
Smoking. The prostate is an organ that constantly experiences oxygen starvation due to poor blood supply. Inhaling tobacco smoke causes spasm of blood vessels and further disrupts blood microcirculation. In addition, all smokers sooner or later will suffer from high blood pressure.
Lack of exercise. You need to make yourself get off the couch and start moving.
Stress. You should learn to remove all the negative things that were received during the day from your head. Family in this case will become the best antidepressant. Weekends spent with loved ones will replace any sedatives.
Hypothermia, colds. These negative factors directly affect the prostate. If you have a car, make sure it has a heated seat.
Physical overwork is no less dangerous than lack of exercise. You should not lift weights if your body is not prepared for it.
There are also several recommendations that will help strengthen men’s health
Physical activity. You should dedicate at least 10 minutes of your morning time to do some exercise. There’s no need to include heavy exercises. Let it be simple gymnastics that will help get the stagnant blood moving. This rule is also relevant for those who have sedentary jobs.
Contrast shower is also an excellent way to improve your well-being. It’s very effective to take it before sexual intercourse. Moreover, it’s important to let the water affect not only the whole body but also the prostate area. Visiting a bathhouse is also useful in this regard. But it’s not recommended to pour cold water on yourself immediately after leaving the steam room – it will only do harm.
When it comes to food, you should include raw pumpkin seeds, honey, garlic, prunes, parsley, and walnuts in your diet.
It’s necessary to avoid pickled products, especially those with vinegar added – mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, marinades, etc.
Sexual life should be regular. Unfinished sexual acts and unfulfilled erections are very harmful. It’s better to get rid of the stagnant secretions yourself than to treat stagnant prostatitis for a long time.