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Prostatitis - Exams and Tests

If your doctor suspects that you have prostatitis, he or she will begin with a complete medical history and physical exam. The type of prostatitis that you have cannot be determined solely from your history and symptoms. Your doctor will do tests to find out the cause of your prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis is the least common type but the easiest to diagnose. If acute prostatitis is suspected, a urine culture will be done to test for the presence and type of bacteria.

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If your history and physical exam show that you do not have acute prostatitis, a pre- and post-massage test (PPMT) or expressed prostatic secretions test may be done to find out which type of prostatitis you have. An expressed prostatic secretions test is not done if acute prostatitis is suspected, because when the prostate is inflamed or infected, massaging it to obtain a sample for tests is very painful and possibly dangerous. Some doctors believe that massaging an infected prostate increases the risk of developing a bacterial infection of the blood (septicemia).

More tests may be needed if:

  • Your symptoms do not improve with treatment.
  • You continue to have prostate infections.
  • The symptoms could be caused by bladder or prostate cancer.
  • Your doctor suspects you have a complication related to prostatitis, such as an abscess.

Tests that may be done include:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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