Prostatitis

Prostatitis, a disease of the prostate gland, can cause groin pain/discomfort, painful urination, difficult urination and other related symptoms. The prostate gland typically functions to produce components of semen, a fluid that transports sperm. The gland, about the size and shape of a walnut or lime, is located below the bladder and surrounds the tube that transports both semen and urine out of the penis.

Prostatitis isn’t a single condition but a group of disorders with related symptoms. Prostatitis may be a short-term problem that is treated and resolves quickly.  Conversely, prostatitis may sometimes be a persistent problem that requires continued management and therapy by your physician.  Our specialists will help to determine optimal treatment plans and management to minimize symptoms and discomfort.  Diagnosis and treatment may require tests including history and physical examination, genital and rectal examination, cystoscopy (looking in the bladder with a camera), urodynamics studies (evaluating the function of the bladder), etc.

Common symptoms

Prostatitis symptoms vary, but 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
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Frequent urination during the day or at night
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Pain in the abdomen, groin or lower back
  • Pain in the area between the penis and rectum
  • Pain or discomfort of the penis or testicles
  • Painful ejaculations

Prostatitis and PSA levels

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by both cancerous and non-cancerous prostate tissue. Cancerous cells in the prostate typically result in higher levels of PSA than noncancerous cells do.  Therefore, levels of PSA in the blood may provide useful information for screening for prostate cancer. Other conditions, including prostatitis, can increase PSA levels.

Prostatitis doesn’t cause cancer or increase your risk of cancer. However, management of prostatitis can be important in helping your doctor interpret the results of PSA tests.

Symptoms of prostatitis may overlap other important urologic or other medical disorders.  Only a physician/specialist can differentiate prostatitis from a more serious problem, like prostate or bladder cancer.