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Chronic Prostatitis

A condition of the prostate gland that continues or gets worse over a long period of time. Symptoms include body aches, pain in the lower back and genital area, a burning feeling during urination, and problems with emptying the bladder all the way.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

The exact cause of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is unknown. Researchers believe a microorganism, though not a bacterial infection, may cause the condition.

This type of prostatitis may relate to chemicals in the urine, the immune system's response to a previous urinary tract infection (UTI), or nerve damage in the pelvic area...Read more about Prostatitis NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Little evidence that antibiotics or alpha‐blocker drugs help to relieve chronic abacterial prostatitis, but heat treatments might be effective and more research is needed.

Chronic abacterial prostatitis (CAP) involves inflammation of the prostate gland and commonly affects men of all ages. It can cause problems urinating, including discomfort and pain, increased frequency and urge, or problems emptying the bladder. In most cases, the cause is unknown. Treatments for CAP include heat treatments (using microwaves) and several different types of drugs. The review found that there is little evidence to support the routine use of antibiotic or alpha‐blocking drugs for CAP. Heat treatments in comparison may be useful. However, the few studies that have been performed are generally of poor quality. More studies are needed.

The use of pregabalin analgesia for patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

It has been suggested that chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is due to pain caused by the nerves in or around the prostate. Pregabalin is a pain killer that is specific for nerve pain. Therefore we conducted a search of the literature to evaluate the use of pregabalin for this ailment and whether or not it was better than placebo.

Interventions to treat chronic infection of the prostate gland (chronic bacterial prostatitis)

Chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) involves infection and inflammation of the prostate gland in men of all ages. It can cause problems urinating, including discomfort and pain, increased frequency and urge, or problems emptying the bladder. Bacteria infecting the prostate are the cause of CBP. These bacteria may be sexually transmitted. To cure CBP, antibiotics must be administered for extended periods of time (four weeks or longer), but a permanent cure is not always guaranteed. Other drugs may be combined with antibiotics to improve CBP symptoms. This review found that fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, ofloxacin or prulifloxacin have equivalent effects and equivalent success rates in CBP patients. If atypical bacteria like chlamydia are suspected to cause CBP, macrolide antibiotics such as azithromycin may achieve better results compared to the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin. It must be taken into account that some of the studies that have been performed are of poor quality or have been performed on small numbers of participants. More studies are needed, focusing on new agents or on optimized doses of currently prescribed antibiotics.

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Summaries for consumers

Little evidence that antibiotics or alpha‐blocker drugs help to relieve chronic abacterial prostatitis, but heat treatments might be effective and more research is needed.

Chronic abacterial prostatitis (CAP) involves inflammation of the prostate gland and commonly affects men of all ages. It can cause problems urinating, including discomfort and pain, increased frequency and urge, or problems emptying the bladder. In most cases, the cause is unknown. Treatments for CAP include heat treatments (using microwaves) and several different types of drugs. The review found that there is little evidence to support the routine use of antibiotic or alpha‐blocking drugs for CAP. Heat treatments in comparison may be useful. However, the few studies that have been performed are generally of poor quality. More studies are needed.

The use of pregabalin analgesia for patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome

It has been suggested that chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is due to pain caused by the nerves in or around the prostate. Pregabalin is a pain killer that is specific for nerve pain. Therefore we conducted a search of the literature to evaluate the use of pregabalin for this ailment and whether or not it was better than placebo.

Interventions to treat chronic infection of the prostate gland (chronic bacterial prostatitis)

Chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) involves infection and inflammation of the prostate gland in men of all ages. It can cause problems urinating, including discomfort and pain, increased frequency and urge, or problems emptying the bladder. Bacteria infecting the prostate are the cause of CBP. These bacteria may be sexually transmitted. To cure CBP, antibiotics must be administered for extended periods of time (four weeks or longer), but a permanent cure is not always guaranteed. Other drugs may be combined with antibiotics to improve CBP symptoms. This review found that fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, ofloxacin or prulifloxacin have equivalent effects and equivalent success rates in CBP patients. If atypical bacteria like chlamydia are suspected to cause CBP, macrolide antibiotics such as azithromycin may achieve better results compared to the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin. It must be taken into account that some of the studies that have been performed are of poor quality or have been performed on small numbers of participants. More studies are needed, focusing on new agents or on optimized doses of currently prescribed antibiotics.

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Terms to know

Acute
Describes something that happens suddenly and for a short time. Opposite of chronic, or long lasting.
Bladder
The organ that stores urine.
Chronic
Refers to disorders that last a long time, often years. Chronic is the opposite of acute, or brief.
Inflammation
Redness, swelling, pain, and/or a feeling of heat in an area of the body. This is a protective reaction to injury, disease, or irritation of the tissues.
Prostate
A gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate surrounds the part of the urethra (the tube that empties the bladder) just below the bladder, and produces a fluid that forms part of the semen.

More about Chronic Prostatitis

Photo of an adult man

Also called: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, Chronic abacterial prostatitis, CP, CP/CPPS

See Also: Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis, Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis, Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

Other terms to know: See all 5
Acute, Bladder, Chronic

Keep up with systematic reviews on Chronic Prostatitis:

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