Causes of Bacterial Prostatitis
The causes of bacterial prostatitis involve bacterial infections. There are two types of prostatitis caused by bacterial infections: acute bacterial prostatitis and chronic bacterial prostatitis. Although both types of bacterial prostatitis causes have some differences, they can be caused by the same varieties of bacteria. At the same time, there is still much experts do not know about causes of bacterial prostatitis.
For example, how does the prostate become infected? Investigators have proposed that bacteria may enter the prostate from the urethra if infected urine backs up into the gland. A recent bladder infection can lead to bacterial prostatitis. Another possible cause is bacteria in the stool, which may contaminate the urine and then infect the prostate gland. This is possible when bacteria get into the bladder and prostate through food contamination and undercooked meat. Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria from undercooked chicken (or other meat) can get into the digestive tract. The E. coli can creep up into the bladder from the rectum. Then the bacteria get in the urine and make their way into the prostate.
Sometimes men get prostatitis after having medical procedures such as a prostate biopsy or from recent use of a urinary catheter. Lifestyle and sexual habits can contribute as well. Engaging in anal intercourse without a condom or having unprotected sex with someone who has a bacterial infection can cause bacterial to get into the urethra and make its way to the bladder and prostate. If you can identify what causes your bacterial prostatitis, you may be able to make lifestyle modifications to prevent it from recurring.
Once a bacterium is identified, treatment usually consists of antibiotics. While this might work faster for treating acute bacterial prostatitis symptoms, if you have chronic bacterial prostatitis, your prostatitis symptoms may last longer and keep coming back. You may need a longer dose of antibiotics and to consider other therapies as well. Several studies have shown that combining natural prostatitis treatments, such as supplements, with antibiotics can help men keep their chronic bacterial prostatitis from recurring.
Bacteria That Cause Bacterial Prostatitis
Many different types of bacteria have been associated with the causes of bacterial prostatitis, but the most common ones are E. coli (the main bacteria species found to cause bacterial prostatitis), Klebsiella pneumonia, Enterobacter, Enterococcus spp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Proteus mirabilis. All of these bacteria are known as gram-negative bacteria, and they cause about 80% of acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis infections.
The other 20% of bacterial prostatitis cases may be caused by organisms associated with sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhea, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum). Some of these bacteria such as Ureaplasma urealyticum and Chlamydia trachomatis are much harder to identify and therefore treat because they do not grow in standard culture conditions.
To discover the cause of either acute or chronic bacterial prostatitis, men need to see a healthcare provider who will conduct a physical examination and order the appropriate tests to identify the bacteria causing the infection or other possible reasons for a man’s prostatitis symptoms. It is critical for healthcare providers to accurately identify the cause of a man’s prostatitis symptoms, because the cause helps determine how to best treat the disease. For more information about how acute bacterial prostatitis and chronic bacterial prostatitis are diagnosed, see Diagnosing Bacterial Prostatitis.
If a physician cannot find bacteria, he or she might consider chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS), which is a much more common chronic nonbacterial form of prostatitis stemming from chronic prostatitis causes. This form is much harder to diagnose and treat. Unfortunately, doctors frequently cannot identify the cause of a man’s prostatitis symptoms. One reason is that men may have more than one factor causing their symptoms. Another reason is that prostatitis symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. That means a doctor may need to rule out other possible conditions while diagnosing prostatitis. Therefore, it can be a challenge to accurately identify the causes of prostatitis.