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An enlarged prostate gland might also indicate the presence of prostatitis. Prostatitis is often referred to as Everyman's prostate problem, since it affects thousands of men each year. This infection can be caused by the presence of bacteria. It makes the prostate tissue swell, causing obstruction.
Among male patients, prostatitis accounts for about 25 percent of the visits to a doctor for genitourinary tract complaints. Frequent and painful urination is a common symptom, accompanied by a feeling that the bladder cannot be completely emptied. Pain or aching may be felt in the rectum, the groin, the end of die penis, or the lower back. The infection may cause painful, bloody, or premature ejaculation. Even if pain is not present, in the mornings a small, watery discharge may appear at the tip of the penis; this discharge sometimes causes the opening of the urethra to stick together, or it may stain the inside of a man's shorts. An itching feeling in the penis, pain while defecating, or cloudy urine might also occurall are good reasons to see a doctor as soon as possible.
There are various types of prostatitis. If you see a doctor for the symptoms described above, die doctor will most likely take a culture of your semen or prostatic secretions to see which of the varieties of prostatitis you have. Obtaining this sample takes only a few seconds. The doctor will bear down on the back wall with his finger and stroke the gland. The pressure will cause a small quantity of fluid to flow out of the gland and into the urethra. The fluid emerges at the tip of the penis and will be collected on a microscope slide to be examined. The laboratory report may indicate that you have one of the following types of prostatitis.
Bacterial Prostatitis
A sudden infusion of bacteria into die gland causes swelling. Symptoms are chills, fever, and a painful and frequent need CO urinate. As threatening as it may sound, it can be treated successfully with antibiotics and bed rest. A follow-up visit to the doctor is important to make sure the condition doesn't become chronic.
Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis
This variant can be caused by bacteria that reach the prostate via die rectum or through the bloodstream. Gonorrhea can also cause this problem. Sexual partners are putting themselves at risk of being infected. Often the only symptom is a bladder infection. This condition is treatable with a combination of drugs.
Swelling of the prostate without an infection indicates the presence of this annoyance. Many men go to their urologist with this condition, which is about eight times more common than bacterial prostatitis. Doctors are not sure what causes it; despite the presence of inflamed cells, no infectious agent can be found. The condition may result from destruction of the fluid-producing glands within the prostate. This typically happens to a man who, accustomed to ejaculating several times a week, finds that routine suddenly curtailed. The gland fills with fluid, causing inflammation (prostatosis). Prostatodynia is usually relieved by use of hot sitz baths, muscle relaxants, or other drugs.
Prostatostasis is a condition in which the prostate becomes congested. Bacteria are not the cause of this problem. In prostatostasis, the prostate produces more fluid than is released by ejaculation. This can result in the enlarged prostate pressing on the urethra and not allowing the bladder to empty. As discussed earlier, if a man does not ejaculate, prostate fluid will build up. The frequency of ejaculation needed to empty the prostate gland is different for each male. Many doctors use prostatic massage to relieve this condition. The doctor inserts his finger as during a digital rectal exam and then forcefully massages each of the two lateral lobes that often grow into the prostatic urethra and cause the symptoms of BPH; secretions come out through the urethra, relieving the pressure.
This sounds like a simple enough therapy, but Dr. Stephen N. Rous, a prominent urologist and author of books on the prostate, refers to the practice as "chronic remunerative prostatitis," because he feels that the massage serves no purpose other than to separate a patient from his money.