What are the treatments for a prostate infection that keeps coming back?
Answer From Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.
What's called a recurring prostate infection is most often treated with medicines called antibiotics. Also known as chronic bacterial prostatitis, this infection is caused by bacteria in the prostate gland.
A prostate infection may come back because antibiotics weren't able to get deep enough into the prostate tissue to kill all the bacteria. Or it could be that the first antibiotic didn't work against the bacterium causing the infection.
Treating a prostate infection that keeps coming back might mean:
- Trying another antibiotic. One type of antibiotic might work better than another for the infection. Treatment also might involve taking more than one antibiotic.
- Taking an antibiotic longer. This could mean taking an antibiotic for six weeks or longer.
- Using other medicines to help relieve symptoms. Medicines called alpha blockers can relieve urinary symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease pain.
It's important to take antibiotics exactly as you were told, even after feeling better. Missing doses or not taking all the antibiotic can keep the antibiotic from killing all the bacteria.
If you have prostate infections that keep coming back and don't get better with treatment, see a doctor who specializes in urinary and reproductive health, called a urologist. You might need to have fluid taken from your prostate to find what bacterium is causing the problem and what antibiotic is likely to work best. It's also possible to have a form of prostatitis that isn't caused by a bacterium.
A CT scan or a procedure used to see inside your urinary bladder and urethra, called cystoscopy, can look for other causes of symptoms. A urologist can look for problems such as a blockage that keeps treatment from working or raises the risk of infection.
Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.
Aug. 15, 2023
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Click here for an email preview.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing!
You'll soon start receiving the latest Mayo Clinic health information you requested in your inbox.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
See more Expert Answers
- Meyrier A, et al. Chronic bacterial prostatitis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed April 14, 2023.
- AskMayoExpert. Prostatitis (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2022.
- Su ZT, et al. Management of chronic bacterial prostatitis. Current Urology Reports. 2020; doi:10.1007/s11934-020-00978-z.
- Prostatitis: Inflammation of the prostate. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/prostate-problems/prostatitis-inflammation-prostate. Accessed April 14, 2023.
- Khattak AS, et al. Contemporary management of chronic prostatitis. Cureus. 2021; doi:10.7759/cureus.20243.