Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Prostatitis
Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) are two known causes of bacterial prostatitis. Typically, men younger than age 35 are the ones who develop acute bacterial prostatitis or chronic bacterial prostatitis associated with sexually transmitted disease and HIV. Even though sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are associated with bacterial prostatitis causes, STDs and HIV can also lead to chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) by creating inflammation in the prostate. Some STDs have no symptoms in men, allowing the diseases to go undetected and lead to chronic prostatitis symptoms. Sexual habits, bacteria, and viruses (including HIV) could play an initial role in chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. Besides HIV, other autoimmune disorders and sexual activity are known chronic prostatitis causes.
The following sexually transmitted diseases are associated with prostatitis causes:
Chlamydia: This STD is transmitted by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis and is the most common STD in the United States.
Gonorrhea: The bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae are responsible for this STD. Gonorrhea bacteria can thrive in moist, warm areas of the body, including the urethra. They also can be spread easily by any type of sexual activity.
Herpes: Genital herpes is a virus characterized by genital or rectal blisters. It is spread by sexual contact. It has no cure, but there are antiviral medications to help manage the disease. One theory about how herpes can cause prostatitis is that during outbreaks the fluid from open blisters can travel into the anus and reach the prostate through the rectum. Prostatitis that is caused by herpes may show up only during an outbreak. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to help you treat it. You may find pain relief through alternative prostatitis treatments.
Trichomoniasis: This STD is transmitted by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. Trichomoniasis usually does not cause symptoms in men, so it can go undetected and lead to prostatitis without warning.
Ureaplasma urealyticum: This bacterium can affect up to 70% of sexually active adults. It is highly contagious, and most people who are infected do not realize it because the infection has no symptoms. Left untreated, however, Ureaplasma urealyticum can result in prostatitis, urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), chorioamnionitis (inflammation around the genitals along with discharge), and epididymitis (inflammation of the testicles).
HIV: HIV is an autoimmune deficiency virus that can predispose men to become infected with other organisms because their immune system is compromised. Thus men with HIV are at greater risk of developing prostatitis.
Generally, men who have many sexual partners or those who engage in anal sex without wearing a condom are at risk of developing a sexually transmitted disease or HIV and subsequently, prostatitis. Unprotected sex with a partner who has an STD could cause bacteria to enter the urethra. Besides an increased risk for other diseases, having anal sex without a condom could also cause bacteria (such as Escherichia coli) to enter the urethra, get into the bladder, and make their way into the prostate via the urine. Once the bacteria get into the prostate they can cause inflammation and chronic prostatitis symptoms.
Bacterial infections are usually treated with antibiotics, but studies show that combing natural prostatitis treatments, such as certain supplements, with antibiotics can help keep chronic prostatitis from returning. Antibiotics do not treat sexually transmitted diseases caused by viruses. You may want to look to alternative prostatitis treatments for relief from your prostatitis symptoms. Be sure to be honest and upfront with your doctor regarding your sexual history and sexual habits, especially when diagnosing prostatitis, so he or she can best determine what is causing your symptoms and come up with the best prostatitis treatment plan for you.