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Anatomy of the Prostate Gland  

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Definition  

Prostatitis is swelling of the prostate gland. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men that surrounds the urethra. It produces a fluid that is part of semen.

There are four types of prostatitis:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
  • Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis
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Causes  

Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis are caused by an infection. A bacteria enters the prostate—usually from the urinary tract or rectum.

The causes of chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis are not clearly understood. In some people, it is possible that a cause may not be found.

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Risk Factors  

Prostatitis is most common in men who use catheters. Other factors that may increase your risk of prostatitis include:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Phimosis—inability of the foreskin to fully retract over the head of the penis
  • Narrowing of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body
  • Enlarged prostate
  • History of urinary tract infections
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Symptoms