Tests for Bacterial Prostatitis
Tests for bacterial prostatitis is easier than testing for non-bacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). That is not to say that bacterial prostatitis is not a serious condition, because acute bacterial prostatitis can cause fever, intense pain, and may even require hospitalization. Because bacterial prostatitis is caused by bacteria, if the doctor finds bacteria you can treat it, usually with antibiotics. Chronic bacterial prostatitis will take longer to treat, and treatment for chronic bacterial prostatitis also involves other treatments such as natural and alternative treatments in addition to antibiotics.
Testing for acute bacterial prostatitis involves a physical examination and some simple tests. When you see your doctor, he or she should take a complete medical history. You should go over your medical and surgical history and any medications you take or allergies your have. The doctor should find out the location, severity, frequency, and duration of your pain and ask questions about lower urinary tract symptoms.
When conducting tests for acute bacterial prostatitis, your doctor will complete a physical exam of your abdomen, external genitalia, perineum, and prostate. Your doctor will most likely perform a digital rectal exam (DRE), but it is not recommended to perform a prostate massage during the DRE. Your doctor will perform a urinalysis and culture to check for the presence and type of bacteria that may be causing your symptoms. A PSA test is not generally recommended because an infection could temporarily elevate your PSA level and cause unnecessary worry.
If you have had symptoms on and off for several months and are concerned about chronic bacterial prostatitis, your doctor may perform additional tests. Again, your doctor will perform a physical exam, but he or she will also take some cultures of your lower urinary tract via the Meares-Stanley “Four Glass Test” or even a 2-glass pre- and post-massage test (PPMT). Semen cultures are not considered helpful. Certain indications may suggest a transrectal prostatic ultrasound, but generally this test is not necessary. If you are concerned about a urinary obstruction, your doctor may check that with urodynamics.