All men have a prostate gland. It’s found just under your bladder. It starts out the size of a walnut but gets bigger as you age. The prostate makes semen, the fluid that carries sperm. If something causes it to become swollen, tender, or inflamed, you have what’s called “prostatitis.”
Prostatitis isn’t cancer and doesn’t cause cancer. Still, it can be tricky to treat. There’s not one specific cure. Men get prostatitis for many different reasons, and doctors don’t understand them all.
Your doctor will try to reduce your symptoms and ease your pain. What treatments you receive will depend on the type of prostatitis you have. These treatments can include the following:
Antibiotics. If a bacterial infection is causing you to have severe symptoms, your doctor may want you to go the hospital and get antibiotics through an IV at first.
You may need to take them by mouth for up to a month.
If your symptoms keep coming back, your doctor might suggest you stay on a low dose of antibiotics for the long term.
Alpha-blockers. These drugs help relax parts of your urinary tract. They help reduce obstruction from an enlarged prostate,. Urinary obstruction predisposes to UTIs and prostatitis.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Over-the-counter pain relief can help ease any soreness and swelling.
Pain medicine. Anti-depressants or anti-seizure medications are just two types of medicine that can be used to treat long-term prostate pain.
Supplements. Quercetin, a natural compound found in plants, has been shown to ease inflammation in some men who have prostatitis. A pollen extract called cernilton may also help. Be sure to speak to your doctor before trying any supplements or herbal remedies. They could make other medicines you’re taking not work as well.
Medications that improve sexual function. It’s common for prostatitis to lead to problems with your sex life. If you have trouble getting or keeping an erection, your doctor can prescribe a medicine like sildenafil (Viagra) to help.
At some point, you may also need one of the following therapies:
Urinary catheter. If you can’t pee, a nurse can insert a flexible tube into your urethra (the tube that removes urine from your body) to drain your bladder.
Prostate massage. This helps empty fluid from your prostate ducts (tubes). Having it done 2 to 3 times a week could help. Frequent ejaculation (releasing semen when you orgasm) may help just as much.
Physical therapy. Sometimes prostatitis is caused by a problem with your pelvic floor muscles. These support your bladder and bowel and help with sexual function.
Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who can help you improve your strength and posture. They can also help you learn about habits you have that could be causing damage to your pelvic floor.
Mental health therapy. Stress, depression, and feeling helpless may play a part in some types of prostatitis. Talk to a mental health counselor. They can help you learn to control your negative thoughts so you can feel better.
Many lifestyle changes can make a difference, too. These options may help you start to feel better right away:
Watch your diet. Spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol can all make your symptoms worse.
Take “sitz baths.” Sitting in 2 to 3 inches of warm water can provide some relief from your symptoms.
Protect yourself. If you must sit at a desk or in a chair for a long time, sit on a cushion.
Be active when you can. Regular exercise may not only reduce your pain but also improve your outlook.
- Prostate Cancer UK: “Prostatitis: A Guide to Inflammation and Infection of the Prostate.”
- Urology Care Foundation: “How is Prostatitis Treated?”
- Prostate Cancer and Prostate Disease: “Management of Prostatitis.”
- Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management: “Current Treatment Options in the Management of Chronic Prostatitis.”
- Mayo Clinic: “Prostatitis,” “Kegel exercises for Men: Understand the Benefits.”
- Reviews in Urology: “Management of Men Diagnosed with Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Who Have Failed Traditional Management.”
- Cleveland Clinic: “Prostatitis.”
- The Urologic Clinics of North America: “Quercetin for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome.”
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Quercetin.”