What are the treatment options for a recurrent prostate infection?
Answer From Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.
A recurring prostate infection is usually treated with 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 destroy all of the bacteria. Or it's possible that the original antibiotic wasn't effective against the specific bacterium causing the infection.
To treat a prostate infection that keeps coming back, you might need to:
- Try a different antibiotic. One type of antibiotic might work better than another for your infection.
- Take a longer course of an antibiotic. You might need a course of antibiotics that lasts six weeks or longer.
- Use additional medications to help relieve bothersome symptoms. For example, drugs called alpha blockers can relieve urinary symptoms and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can ease pain.
If you're prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as instructed, even if you begin to feel better. Missing doses or not taking the full course of antibiotics may 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. It's also possible you may have a form of prostatitis that isn't caused by a bacterium.
You might need a CT scan or a procedure used to see inside your urinary bladder and urethra (cystoscopy) to look for other causes for your symptoms. A urologist can look for any underlying problems, such as a blockage, that would prevent treatment from being effective or make you more vulnerable to infection.
Patricio C. Gargollo, M.D.
Dec. 21, 2022
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See more Expert Answers
- AskMayoExpert. Prostatitis (adult). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2019.
- 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 May 13, 2019.
- Mayrier A, et al. Chronic bacterial prostatitis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 13, 2019.
- Gill BC, et al. Bacterial prostatitis. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 2016;29:86.