How is prostatitis diagnosed?

Prostatitis means that the tissue of men’s prostate gland gets infected. According to the degree of pain, duration of symptoms, types of bacteria and white blood cells in the urine, it is classified into acute prostatitis, chronic bacterial prostatitis, chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome and asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis refers to an infection of the prostate gland caused by bacterial which needs urgent treatment. Chronic bacterial prostatitis is usually related to intermittent urinary tract infections. Chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome is also called chronic nonbacterial prostatitis. It is the most common type of prostatitis. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis patients basically have no symptoms except leukocytosis. Since symptoms and causes of these types are different, how does a doctor to make a diagnosis of prostatitis?

It is not easy to draw a conclusion for the diagnosis result of prostatitis. Men with prostatitis often have different symptoms such as abdominal pain, testicular pain and ejaculation pain. It is hard to distinguish different types of prostatitis. There are several ways which are employed by doctors for the diagnosis of prostatitis. The first way is to ask patients questions about the health history and symptoms. Sometimes, doctors will ask patients to fill out a questionnaire to help them make a diagnosis of prostatitis. The second way is physical examination. A digital rectal examination is usually performed to check the status of the prostate based on the feeling of touching the prostate surface. The third way is to do tests including blood culture, urine and semen test, cystoscopy and urodynamic tests. Blood culture is used to decide whether there are indicators of infection in the patient’s blood. In the urine and semen test, different samples are extracted for different purposes. For example, the initial voided urine is used for checking urethral infection; the midstream urine is used for checking urinary bladder infection. A cystoscopy is used to examine the urethra and bladder. Urodynamic tests are also called bladder tests. The test is utilized to validate if prostatitis affects the patient’s capacity of urination and how much impacts prostatitis has.

With the continuous development of the diagnostic technique, more and more methods can be used to diagnose prostatitis. Currently, some tests are still difficult to perform. It not only makes patients uncomfortable but also costs a lot. Cheaper and easier diagnostic method is expected in the future to help the patient with prostatitis to get proper and effective treatment.

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