Prostate Inflammation Symptoms

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome are the three forms of symptomatic prostate inflammation. The National Center for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates 14 percent of American men experience some form of prostatitis in their lifetime. Prostatitis symptoms vary from person to person and according to the type of prostatitis present.

Pelvic and Genital Pain

Men with prostatitis may experience pain in the testicles, penis or perineum–the area between the testicles and rectum. Passing a bowel movement may trigger genital or perineal pain. Groin or lower abdominal pain can also occur. Prostate inflammation may cause pain during or after ejaculation; this is particularly common with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Pain associated with chronic prostatitis typically comes and goes; acute prostatitis pain is more constant.

Low Back Pain

Prostatitis may cause low back pain. Pain in this location represents referred pain wherein pain generated in one location (the prostate) is felt in another area (the back). Low back pain can occur with or without pelvic and genital pain.

Painful Urination

Pain or burning with urination is a frequent symptom of acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis. The bacteria infecting the prostate contaminate the urinary bladder causing infection and pain. Painful urination is not characteristic of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.

Urinary Frequency and Urgency

The need to urinate more than once every two to three hours is considered increased urinary frequency. Men with any symptomatic form of prostatitis may experience urinary frequency, although it is more common with the bacterial forms of the disorder. Urinary urgency–difficulty holding your urine once you feel the urge to go–is also common with bacterial prostatitis. Men with prostatitis and urinary symptoms may have occasional urinary incontinence–uncontrollable urine flow.

Urine Flow Difficulties and Incomplete Bladder Emptying

Prostate inflammation often causes swelling, which may partially block urine outflow from the bladder. Such obstruction may cause a delay in starting the urine stream, weak urine flow, decreased volume at each urination attempt, and incomplete bladder emptying. Failure to empty the bladder contributes to urinary frequency and urgency, even in the absence of bacterial infection of the prostate.

Decreased Libido and Impotence

Decreased interest in sexual activity can occur with prostatitis, especially in men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Transient or chronic impotence (inability to get an erection) can also occur.

Fever and Chills

Fever and chills are characteristic of acute bacterial prostatitis. Urinary bladder infection usually accompanies the prostate infection. The genitourinary infections provoke a vigorous immune response including fever.

Body Aches

Generalized body aches are typical of acute bacterial prostatitis. However, this symptom is not characteristic of the other forms of prostate inflammation.

About this Author

Tina Andrews has been a medical writer and editor since 2000. She has published in “Cancer,” “Ethnicity & Disease,” and “Liver Health Today,” and was formerly a medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Andrews holds a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry.