What are the treatment options for recurrent prostate infection?

Answers from Erik P. Castle, M.D.

A recurring prostate infection is also known as chronic bacterial prostatitis. This type of prostate infection is caused by bacteria in the prostate gland. It's generally treated with antibiotics. A prostate infection may 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 that's causing the prostate infection.

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

  • Try a different antibiotic. One type of antibiotic may work better than another.
  • Take a longer course of an antibiotic, which may last several weeks. In some cases, a course of antibiotics may last two to three months.
  • Use medications to help relieve bothersome symptoms, such as alpha blockers to relieve urinary symptoms and anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

If you're taking antibiotics, take them exactly as instructed, even if you 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). A urologist might obtain fluid from your prostate to determine the bacterium causing the problem and the antibiotic that is likely to work best. The urologist can also look for any prostate or urinary system problems that would make you more vulnerable to infection. Examples of conditions that increase your risk of recurrent prostate infections include kidney stones, bladder stones and trouble emptying your bladder all the way because of an enlarged prostate.

Aug. 18, 2011