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FAQ: Non-Bacterial Prostatitis Print E-mail
Written by Amanda Wattson, MD   
Thursday, 29 October 2009

In non-bacterial prostatitis, men have the symptoms of prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate gland, but do not have a bacterial infection. The symptoms include difficulty with urination and pain in the groin area.

What is going on in the body?

In this syndrome, men have the symptoms of prostate infection but do not have any evidence of a bacterial infection. Some researchers argue that the organism chlamydia is responsible, but this is very controversial. The symptoms are probably caused by spasms of the sphincter muscles of the bladder and the pelvic floor. This may also increase the pressure in the urethra, which forces urine down into the prostate.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Since the cause is not completely understood, it's hard to know what the risks are. Anxiety about the symptoms can make them worse. Men should be reassured that the condition cannot turn into anything more serious.

What are the treatments for the disease?
A combination of medications are used to lessen the spasms in the sphincter and pelvic muscles, and to calm the inflammation in the prostate. Alpha-blockers such as terazosin can be used for spasms. Sometimes a short course of a muscle relaxant like diazepam is used to help break the spasm. Anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen can address the inflammation. Warm baths once or twice a day may also help.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Alpha-blockers can cause nasal congestion and headache. Diazepam and other muscle relaxants can cause drowsiness.

What happens after treatment for the disease?
Non-bacterial prostatitis usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. It helps a lot for the man to know that this is not a dangerous condition.

How is the disease monitored?
Once symptoms are gone there is no need for further monitoring. The man should contact a healthcare provider if symptoms persist or return.


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