When treating prostatitis, the exact treatment a healthcare provider recommends depends on which type of prostatitis a patient has. Antibiotics can be used in some cases, while others may not respond to antibiotics at all. Other medications, such as alpha-blockers, are sometimes used as well. Acute bacterial prostatitis is the easiest to treat; chronic prostatitis tends to be the hardest.
There are four types of prostatitis. The treatment a healthcare provider recommends will vary somewhat, based on the type the patient has.
The different forms of prostatitis include:
- Acute bacterial prostatitis
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis
- Chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.
This infection comes on suddenly (acute) and is caused by bacteria. Symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis include severe chills and fever. There is often blood in the urine. Men with this form of prostatitis must go to the doctor's office or emergency room for treatment. This is the least common of the four types of prostatitis, yet it's the easiest to diagnose and treat.
Treating prostatitis of this kind includes a high dose of antibiotics, taken for 7 to 14 days, and then lower doses for several weeks. This treatment will usually cure acute bacterial prostatitis. Drugs to help with pain or discomfort may also be needed.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis is also uncommon. It is caused by bacteria, but it doesn't come on suddenly. However, it can still be bothersome. The only symptom of chronic bacterial prostatitis that some men have is a bladder infection that keeps coming back (chronic). The cause may be a defect in the prostate that lets bacteria collect in the urinary tract.
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. Long-term, low-dose antibiotics may help relieve symptoms in cases that won't clear up with initial treatment.