Urinary Tract Infections of the Prostate

Basic Facts

    • Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland.
    • Inflammation is a result of an infection or nonbacterial processes.
    • Acute prostatitis usually responds to 14 days of antibiotic treatment.
    • Chronic prostatitis usually clears up in 12 weeks with antibiotics. It may not resolve, however, and require other medication to eliminate the symptoms.

Infection of the prostate, called prostatitis, is an inflammation of the prostate. The prostate is a walnut-size gland located below the bladder and wrapped around the urethra. The disease has acute and chronic forms, with acute being much less common.


Prosatitis is caused by bacteria, the most common of which is Escherichia coli, or E. coli. Factors that increase a man’s risk for developing prostatitis include:

    • Poor hygiene of an uncircumcised penis;
    • Diabetes mellitus;
    • Recent treatment during which a catheter was inserted;
    • Sexual activity with more than one sexual partner; and
    • Sexual activity with a woman wearing a diaphragm.


Symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis may include one or more of the following:

    • Chills;
    • Fever;
    • Frequent, urgent urination;
    • Low back pain;
    • Pain on the underside of the penis or scrotum;
    • Painful urination;
    • Blood or pus in the urine;
    • Groin pain; and
    • Painful ejaculation.

Symptoms of chronic prostatitis are slower to develop than acute symptoms and include:

    • Painful ejaculation;
    • Slight fever;
    • Excessive urination during the night;
    • Prostate pain;
    • Pain or burning sensation when urinating;
    • Difficulty starting or continuing to urinate, or diminished urine flow;
    • Occasional blood in semen or urine;
    • Mild lower back pain;
    • Pelvic discomfort; and
    • Frequent, urgent urination.


Men with these symptoms must submit a prostate-specific urine sample for chemical or microscopic analysis. This sample is taken by halting the urine stream and massaging the prostate to combine prostatic fluid with the remaining urine.


If tests reveal that a man has acute prostatitis, he will be treated with a 10- to 14-day course of antibiotics. The most common antibiotics for prostate infection include:

    • Fluorquinolones;
    • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole; and
    • Doxycycline.

Antibiotics are also the first line of treatment for chronic prostatitis. In most cases, men must take a drug for at least 4 to 12 weeks to kill all bacteria.

Surgery may be especially warranted in men with small calculi, or stones, in the prostate. The most frequently recommended surgery is transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP.

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