What are the treatment options for recurrent prostate infection?

Answers from Erik P. Castle, M.D.

A recurring prostate infection, also known as chronic bacterial prostatitis, is typically treated with antibiotics. This type of prostate infection is caused by bacteria in the prostate gland. A prostate infection might recur because antibiotics aren't able to get deep enough into the prostate tissue to destroy all of the bacteria or because the antibiotic isn't effective against the type of bacterium causing the prostate infection.

To treat a prostate infection that doesn't get better with antibiotics or keeps coming back, you might need to:

  • Try a different antibiotic. One type of antibiotic might work better than another.
  • Take a longer course of an antibiotic. You might need a course of antibiotics that lasts longer than six weeks.
  • Use medications to help relieve bothersome symptoms. For example, alpha blockers can relieve urinary symptoms and anti-inflammatory medications can ease pain.

If you're taking antibiotics, take them exactly as instructed, even if you begin to feel better. Not taking the full course of antibiotics or missing doses can interfere with the antibiotic's ability to completely kill the bacteria.

If you have recurring prostate infections that don't improve with treatment, see a doctor who specializes in men's urinary and reproductive health (urologist). You might need to have fluid taken from your prostate to determine the bacterium causing the problem and the antibiotic that is likely to work best. You might need a CT scan or a cystoscopy, a procedure used to see inside your urinary bladder and urethra. A urologist can also look for any underlying problems that would make you more vulnerable to infection or prevent treatment from being effective.

Aug. 18, 2011