What Is Prostatitis?

The National Institutes of Health classification for Prostatitis divides it into four categories, based on such factors as cause, typical course of the disease, immune system activity and symptoms. The four categories are:

  • Category 1: Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Category 2: Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Category 3: Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain
  • Category 4: Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis

Common Symptoms

Prostatitis symptoms vary depending on the type of prostatitis you have. In general, the symptoms are related to pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, problems with urination and problems with ejaculations. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Pain or burning sensation when urinating (dysuria)
  • Difficulty urinating, such as dribbling or hesitant urination
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night (nocturia)
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
  • Pain in the area between the penis and rectum (perineum)
  • Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles
  • Painful ejaculations

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

If you have acute bacterial prostatitis, you may have symptoms associated with the sudden onset of infection:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • General feeling of being unwell

Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

The key feature of chronic bacterial prostatitis is frequent urinary tract infections. Between episodes of these infections, a person with chronic bacterial prostatitis may have no symptoms, mild symptoms or severe symptoms.

Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain

The condition is generally considered chronic if the symptoms last for at least three months. For some men, the symptoms remain about the same over time, and, for others the symptoms go through cycles of being more and less severe. Symptoms sometimes improve over time without treatment.

Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis

If you have asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, you have no symptoms. Inflammation of the prostate gland is found only by chance when you’re undergoing tests for other conditions.

When to See a Doctor

The symptoms of prostatitis are similar to many other diseases affecting the urinary tract and the male sexual organs. Many of these can have serious consequences if left untreated, and, they usually affect your everyday life and general well-being. If you experience any pelvic pain, difficult or painful urination or painful ejaculations, see your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt and appropriate treatment.