We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Patient Page |

Prostatitis FREE

Ryszard M. Pluta, MD, PhD, Writer; Cassio Lynm, MA, Illustrator; Robert M. Golub, MD, Editor
JAMA. 2012;307(5):527. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.2008.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland surrounding the urethra (urinary tube), located directly below the bladder. It produces a fluid that helps transport sperm during ejaculation. Inflammation or infection of the prostate results in prostatitis. It affects about 10% of men of all ages but most often those in their 40s. Prostatitis has several forms. The most common is a nonbacterial (no infection) inflammation that causes pelvic pain and is also called chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Less common is an acute bacterial infection lasting for several days, and least common is a chronic bacterial infection that recurs and may last for weeks or months.


The cause of nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is unknown, but it may be related to previous infection with a bacteria or virus. Bacterial prostatitis is caused by bacteria that enter the urethra or bladder and then infect the prostate.


Men with prostatitis typically have persistent pain between the scrotum and rectum that may also be felt in the groin and genitals. The pain may also occur with urination, and it may be accompanied by urgency and frequency of urination and painful ejaculation. The acute bacterial form of prostatitis causes fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Men with acute prostatitis sometimes require hospitalization. Chronic bacterial prostatitis may result in recurrent urinary tract infections.


A thorough workup is important for diagnosis because symptoms of prostatitis are not very specific and can resemble inflammation of the urethra or other problems. A digital rectal examination and urine analysis are usually sufficient to diagnose prostatitis. However, your doctor may refer you to a urologist (a specialist in urinary tract diseases) who may perform additional studies such as analysis of prostate secretions, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, urodynamics (bladder pressure testing), or cytoscopy (an examination in which a flexible fiberoptic tube with a camera is used to see the urethra and the bladder from inside). Imaging tests such as transrectal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) might also be performed. Rarely, if prostate cancer is suspected, a prostate biopsy may be performed. However, prostatitis does not increase the risk of prostate cancer.


There is no known way to prevent prostatitis. Bacterial prostatitis is treated with antibiotics for 4 to 16 weeks. Nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome may be treated with pain relievers, physical therapy, antibiotics, or medications to help urination and relax the bladder muscles. Lifestyle changes may be recommended, including exercise; avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods; or using a cushion while sitting.


Untreated bacterial prostatitis may lead to sepsis (an infection in the blood that is a medical emergency), infection of the testicles, prostate abscess, or infertility. If you experience pain while urinating or pain in the scrotal area, you should contact your doctor for an examination.



To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA 's Web site at www.jama.com. Many are available in English and Spanish.

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Spanish Patient Pages
Supplemental Content

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles