While you bend over or lie on your side or back, the doctor inserts
a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and presses each side of the
prostate gland 6 or 7 times. The
urethra is then gently "milked" with a gloved finger.
The secretions are collected in a tube or on a swab.
"Help me ... help you. Help me, help you."
That famous line from the film Jerry Maguire may be the best advice a
doctor could give his or her patient.
"Some patients have the attitude, 'I'm putting myself in the hands of a
professional,'" says Stephen Permut, MD, chairman of family and community
medicine at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia. "They want
you to make all their decisions for them."
Permut prefers to have patients get involved in their own care and engage
Findings of expressed prostatic secretions may include the
This may also be called a negative result.
Few or no white blood cells are seen when the sample is viewed
under a microscope.
No bacteria grow in the sample.
A negative culture may mean that the symptoms are caused by
chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome, inflammatory or
This may also be called a positive result.
White blood cells, pus cells, or other types of cells
that point to inflammation are seen when the sample is viewed under the
Bacteria grow in the sample.
What To Think About
Your doctor may ask you to avoid ejaculation for 5
days prior to this test. This allows prostatic fluid to build up and prevents
an increase in the number of white blood cells in the prostate fluid, which
could interfere with test results.
The results of the test may help show which type of prostatitis
is causing your symptoms. But this test often fails to provide conclusive
evidence of the cause of symptoms.
Nickel JC (2007). Inflammatory conditions of the male
genitourinary tract: Prostatitis and related conditions, orchitis, and
epididymitis. In AJ Wein et al., eds., Campbell-Walsh Urology, 9th ed., vol. 1, pp. 304–329. Philadelphia: Saunders
Shoskes DA, et al. (2003). Long-term results of
multimodal therapy for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Journal of Urology, 169(4): 1406–1410.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology
December 3, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
December 03, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this