Prostatitis In Young Men

Young men probably think they are free from prostate problems for many years.

Prostate enlargement and other ailments are indeed common as we age.

However, prostatitis is different.

It is one of the few prostate conditions common in young men.

Young men are more likely to suffer from prostatitis than adults.

Regardless of your age, caring for your prostate is essential for men’s health.

If you thought that you’re free from prostate problems or were recently diagnosed with prostatitis as a young man, this article will help you understand prostatitis causes, how it feels, and when to look for medical help.

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What is prostatitis?

The term prostatitis describes the inflammation of the prostate. Indeed, it is an inflammatory process triggered by bacterial infections or an aberrant response by the immune system.

Prostatitis is different from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer.

It causes swelling in the prostate gland and similar symptoms, but it is not always a chronic condition.

It breaks down into acute and chronic prostatitis, depending on the extent of the symptoms.

There’s also an entity known as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, which is usually more difficult to treat.

Can prostatitis affect young men?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, prostatitis is the most common urinary tract condition in males before 50 years. It happens in men of any age group.

However, if you have prostate symptoms as a young man, it is more likely due to prostatitis.

It is still essential to visit your doctor in such cases because prostate cancer in young men is hazardous, and it is important to rule out that possibility (1).

Why is prostatitis a relatively common ailment in young men? Prostatic lithiasis (prostate stones) can form at any age. They are common in young men and cause prostatitis.

Cystitis or an inflammatory process in the rectum develops regardless of the patient’s age. The prostate is contiguous and may become inflamed as well.

Young males are more commonly affected by sexually transmitted diseases.

If they engage in anal sex without protection, they are at a higher risk of prostatitis, epididymitis, and similar conditions.

What causes prostatitis in young men?

The causes of prostatitis are not always apparently clear in young adults. When traceable prostatitis causes are found, it is usually due to bacterial infection.

However, prostatitis is broken down into infectious and non-infectious types.

An aberrant immune response triggers nonbacterial prostatitis, and the exact cause is difficult to trace.

The microbes that infect the prostate are usually the same found in urinary tract infections.

They include Escherichia coli, Enterobacter species, Klebsiella species, Proteus mirabilis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

It is usually one of them that triggers the inflammatory process, more commonly E. coli (2).

How do these microbes reach the prostate?

Different mechanisms have been proposed as prostatitis causes, including:

Prostate Stones

According to some authors, it is due to prostate stones and urinary reflux. Instead of being eliminated, a minimal volume of urine refluxes to the prostate.

The prostatic duct has stones, and the flow of prostatic secretions is stagnant. Bacteria take these conditions to their advantage to colonize the prostate (3).

Prostate Infection

We can also have an ascending prostate infection from the urethra.

For example, in patients with a sexually transmitted disease, the bacteria travel upwards and reach the prostate gland (4).

Rectum Bacteria

The rectum is right behind the prostate and has many bacteria.

Some authors suggest that these bacteria spread by lymphatic vessels (5).

Blood Transmission

Another type of spread is through the blood.

Bacteria traveling in the blood reach the prostate and colonize the organ. This is more common in HIV and immunocompromised patients (5).

Bacteria from a Prostate Biopsy

After a transrectal prostate biopsy, inoculation of bacteria is always a possibility.

Doctors always try to prevent this problem by cleaning the fields and prescribing antibiotics. However, resistant bacteria may still colonize the prostate gland (5).

It is more likely that you get prostatitis as a young adult if you have these risk factors:

  • A recurrent urinary tract infection 
  • Abnormalities in your urinary tract
  • Diagnosed prostatic calculi or intraprostatic ductal reflux
  • If you constantly engage in anal sex
  • Phimosis and excessive foreskin
  • Epididymitis and similar inflammatory processes
  • Abnormal prostatic fluid or calculi in the prostate
  • Patients with a urinary catheter or after a prostate biopsy

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Prostatitis symptoms are different depending on the type.

Acute bacterial prostatitis usually has more disturbing features, and patients are more likely to look for urgent medical help.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is usually not as severe, but the symptoms linger for a very long time and may cause disability.

Acute prostatitis symptoms

Symptoms of acute prostatitis include:


This inflammatory problem in the prostate releases cytokines into the blood.

Upon reaching the brain temperature centers, cytokines trigger fever.

This symptom can be found in almost every case of acute prostatitis.

Pelvic pain

These patients often report dull aches in the lower abdomen.

Severe pain in these cases should be evaluated to rule out a pelvic abscess.

Perineal tenderness

The pelvic floor and the rectum may feel tender. You may find it uncomfortable to sit for a long time.

The digital rectal examination could also trigger a distinct type of pain.

Painful urination

The patient usually feels a burning sensation when urinating. The prostate surrounds the urethra and causes irritation.

Thus, symptoms are similar to those of a urinary tract infection.

Painful ejaculation

The semen volume stays the same, but you could feel pain in the middle of the orgasm.

You could also see blood in the semen.

Weak urine flow

This symptom is common in prostate issues. It often leads to urinary retention.

Increased urinary frequency

Urination frequency increases. This also happens in BPH (enlarged prostate) and prostate cancer.

Prostatitis patients usually feel significant urgency to urinate, too.

Symptoms of chronic prostatitis are similar, but these patients usually don’t have a fever.

The inflammatory response is not as severe, and pain is typically mild or moderate.

But having long-term pain causes significant disability and a reduction in the quality of life.

Chronic prostatitis symptoms

Chronic prostatitis features a wide range of symptoms, and patients’ complaints vary.

They include:

Genitourinary pain

It is usually located in the perineum but can also affect the testicles, the penile tip, or the lower abdomen.

It is triggered or worsened by ejaculation or urination.

Patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome have this as the main symptom.

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)

Similar to acute bacterial prostatitis, this type also features LUTS.

For example, urinary urgency, a burning sensation while urinating, nocturia, weak urinary stream, and frequent urination.

Psychological issues

When prostatitis becomes chronic, it starts causing psychological problems.

These patients are at a higher risk of anxiety, stress, depression, or behavioral issues.

Severe symptoms or a very long-term problem causes an overall decrease in quality of life.

Sexual dysfunction

Ejaculatory pain is more common in chronic prostatitis. The condition is held for a longer time and causes significant sexual dysfunction.

These patients may develop decreased libido or erectile dysfunction. Or, the opposite can also happen, and they could experience premature ejaculation.

When to see a doctor

Prostatitis by itself is not always an emergency, and plenty of patients live with asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis without knowing.

But when you start experiencing symptoms, it is essential to see a doctor and evaluate your condition.

Both acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis have complications.

Acute bacterial prostatitis can trigger a prostatic abscess when it is not adequately treated.

Chronic prostatitis causes sexual dysfunction, depression, and a decrease in quality of life. 

Thus, talk to your doctor whenever you feel pain in your pelvic floor, testicles, or urinary tract, and it does not go away. If your pain frequently returns, you should look for medical help. 


Prostatic inflammation, also known as prostatitis, is the most common prostate problem in young males.

They rarely suffer from prostate enlargement, but prostatitis has similar symptoms, including nocturia, weak urinary flow, and increased urinary frequency. 

Prostatitis causes are sometimes difficult to trace, but most cases are due to a bacterial infection.

The most common bacteria is Escherichia coli, which migrates to the prostate and colonizes the gland.

Prostatitis breaks down into acute and chronic, and each one has its features and complications.

There’s also a chronic pelvic pain syndrome, which is more challenging to treat and mostly features ongoing pelvic pain.

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Next Up

how to prevent prostatitis

Find out How To Prevent Prostatitis.


  1. Nickel, J. C. (2012). Prostatitis and related conditions, orchitis, and epididymitis. Campbell-Walsh Urology, 1, 327-356.
  2. Kanamaru, S., Kurazono, H., Terai, A., Monden, K., Kumon, H., Mizunoe, Y., … & Yamamoto, S. (2006). Increased biofilm formation in Escherichia coli isolated from acute prostatitis. International journal of antimicrobial agents, 28, 21-25.
  3. Funahashi, Y., Majima, T., Matsukawa, Y., Yamamoto, T., Yoshida, M., & Gotoh, M. (2017). Intraprostatic reflux of urine induces inflammation in a rat. The Prostate, 77 (2), 164-172.
  4. Terai, A., Ishitoya, S., Mitsumori, K., & Ogawa, O. (2000). Molecular epidemiological evidence for ascending urethral infection in acute bacterial prostatitis. The Journal of urology, 164(6), 1945-1947.
  5. Brede, C. M., & Shoskes, D. A. (2011). The etiology and management of acute prostatitis. Nature Reviews Urology, 8(4), 207-212.

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