Normal and enlarged prostate

Prostatitis is defined as inflammation and/or infection of the tissues of the prostate gland.  Inflammation causes the prostate to enlarge, or swell.  The inflammation can be macroscopic or microscopic.

The prostate gland lies between the bladder and the rectum in men. The prostate is about the size of a walnut and produces 70% of ejaculation fluid.  Prostatitis affects all men differently. Prostatitis can be very painful or it may not cause any symptoms at all.

Prostatitis can affect men of any age. Prostatitis is a common condition accounting for 1% of the diagnoses made in male patients who visit a primary care practitioner in the United States.  Chronic prostatitis is one of the main reasons why patients under the age of 50 years visit an urologist.

Classification of Prostatitis

Prostatitis can be divided into 4 classification syndromes of prostatitis namely:  acute bacterial prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis (also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome), and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.

The causes of prostatitis will be discussed under each classification as the causes of each vary according to its classification category.