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.
The secretions are examined under a microscope for signs of inflammation and are cultured in the lab to find out if bacteria are present.
Why It Is Done
This test may be done if you have:
- Repeated urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Symptoms that would suggest chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome, inflammatory, or chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome, noninflammatory.
Findings of expressed prostatic secretions may include the following.
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.
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 microscope.
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.
Other Works Consulted
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 ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology
Current as ofMay 22, 2015