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Men's Health

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What Is the Treatment for Prostatitis?

Treatments vary among urologists and are tailored to the type of prostatitis you have. Correct diagnosis is crucial and treatments vary. It's important to make sure your symptoms are not caused by urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) or some other condition that may lead to permanent bladder or kidney damage.

Treatments for prostatitis can include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs along with warm sitz baths (sitting in two to three inches of warm water); this is the most conservative treatment for chronic prostatitis.
  • Antibiotics for infectious prostatitis; these drugs are not effective treatments for noninfectious prostatitis. For acute infectious prostatitis, patients usually need to take antibiotics for 14-21 days. Almost all acute infections can be cured with this treatment.
  • For chronic infectious prostatitis, antibiotics are taken for a longer period of time, usually four to 12 weeks. About 75% of all cases of chronic infectious prostatitis clear up with this treatment. For cases that don't, taking antibiotics at a low dose for a long time may be recommended to relieve the symptoms.
  • Pain medications
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Surgical removal of the infected portions of the prostate; a doctor may advise this treatment for severe cases of chronic prostatitis or for men whose swollen prostate is blocking the flow of urine.
  • Supportive therapies for chronic prostatitis, including stool softeners and prostate massage

Other treatments for chronic noninfectious prostatitis include the use of the alpha blocker drugs such as Hytrin, Cardura, Tamsulosin (Flomax), Rapiflo, or Uroxatral. These drugs relax the muscles of the prostate and bladder to improve urine flow and decrease symptoms. Other drugs that lower hormone levels, such as Proscar, may help to shrink the prostate gland in some men.

Some people may benefit from avoiding spicy foods and caffeinated or acidic drinks. Activities that aggravate the condition, such as bicycling, may need to be eliminated, as well.

Many cases of abacterial (nonbacterial) prostatitis (also considered chronic pelvic pain syndrome) respond to a mix of treatments that include exercise, myofascial trigger point release, progressive relaxation, and counseling.

Prostatitis is a treatable disease. Even if the problem cannot be cured, you can usually get relief from your symptoms by following the recommended treatment. Be sure to follow the full course any prescription you are given, even if you no longer have any symptoms. With infectious prostatitis, for example, the symptoms may disappear before the infection has completely cleared.

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