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Acute prostatitis
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Acute prostatitis

Contributors: Neil Mendoza MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Acute prostatitis is acute inflammation of the prostate due to infection with uropathogenic bacteria.

Patients typically present systemically ill. They complain of urinary tract symptoms including dysuria. They may have abdominal or suprapubic tenderness.

On rectal examination, there will be exquisite tenderness of the prostate. Rarely, there may be gas accumulation (emphysematous prostatitis) on x-ray.

Laboratory evaluation may reveal bacteremia. Urinalysis reveals pyuria, and urine culture should reveal the causative organism. Gram-negative pathogens including Escherichia coli are commonly identified.

Patients who have recently undergone procedures on the genitourinary tract, including prostate biopsy, are at risk for this infection. Treatment is with antibiotics.

Related Topic: Chronic Prostatitis


N41.0 – Acute prostatitis

79411002 – Acute prostatitis

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Last Reviewed:03/19/2017
Last Updated:03/19/2017
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Patient Information for Acute prostatitis
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


Acute prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate due to infection from uropathogenic bacteria. Acute prostatitis is typically caused by the same bacteria that causes sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections. These bacteria can travel to the prostate from the blood, or after a procedure.

Who’s At Risk

Acute prostatitis only occurs in men. Some of the risk factors include:
  • Age (over 50) with enlarged prostate
  • Pelvic injuries, urologic abnormalities, indwelling bladder catheter, prostate biopsy
  • Bacterial urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted diseases (cystitis, urethritis, epididymitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea) or other bacterial infection, such as E. coli increase risk of acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Multiple sexual partners, or men who have sex with men
  • HIV infection

Signs & Symptoms

Acute prostatitis can have the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Painful urination or ejaculation
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Pain above pubic bone
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Bowel movement discomfort

Self-Care Guidelines

Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be taken to help ease pain.

To reduce discomfort, follow these guidelines:
  • Drink plenty of fluids and urinate frequently and completely
  • Reduce alcohol, caffeine, and spicy or acidic foods
  • Take warm baths
  • Use a stool softener to ease painful bowel movements
  • Bed rest
  • Sit on pillows or padded seats
To prevent prostatitis, practice safe sex by using condoms and get regularly screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Follow up with your health care provider after completing a full course of antibiotics to check that infection is cleared.

When to Seek Medical Care

If you experience the symptoms of acute prostatitis or believe you may have an STD, contact a health care provider.


Treatment of acute prostatitis involves antibiotics for four to six weeks although it may last longer if you have had acute prostatitis more than once.

Other treatments may be recommended to ease bladder and urination discomfort.
Copyright © 2023 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Acute prostatitis
Copyright © 2023 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.