There are many types of prostatitis, and they may be caused by a number of different things. Some types of prostatitis are caused by bacterial infection, but for other types, the cause is unknown. The treatment a healthcare provider recommends will vary somewhat based on what triggered the disease.
In some cases, prostatitis is caused by bacterial infection. These cases are treated with antibiotics to kill off the infection. But the more common forms of prostatitis are not associated with any known infecting organism. Antibiotics are, therefore, often ineffective in treating these forms of prostatitis.
The four main types of prostatitis and their causes are described in the following sections.
Acute bacterial prostatitis comes on suddenly (acute) and is caused by bacteria. This is the least common of the four types of prostatitis, yet it's the easiest to diagnose and treat. The treatment includes a high dose of antibiotics, taken for 7 to 14 days, and then lower doses for several weeks.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is also caused by bacteria. Though this condition doesn't come on suddenly, it can still be bothersome. In some men with this condition, the only prostatitis symptoms they have are bladder infections that keep coming back (chronic). Chronic bacterial prostatitis treatment includes antibiotics over a long period of time. This type of treatment lasts from 4 to 12 weeks and clears up about 60 percent of these cases.
This disorder is the most common form of prostatitis, yet it is the least understood. Found in men of any age from late teens to the elderly, the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain syndrome go away and then return without warning. With this form of the disease, there can be pain or discomfort in the groin or bladder area.
The exact causes of chronic prostatitis are not known.