The treatments you’re offered will depend on the type of
prostatitis you’re diagnosed with.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
(CPPS) and Chronic bacterial
prostatitis can go on for a long time, even after initial
treatment. They’re not well understood which can make it difficult
for doctors to know how to treat them - this can be frustrating for
men who have them. The treatments vary from man to man, and you’ll
probably have a number of different treatments – it’s about finding
what works best to control your symptoms.
Each man will respond to the treatments differently. If one
thing doesn’t work, you should be able to try something else, and
there are things you can try to help yourself.
If your symptoms are not improving with the treatment offered by
your GP, ask them to refer you to a urologist who specialises in
Complementary therapies and relaxation
You’re likely to be given the following medicines:
- a course of antibiotics, which you’ll need to
take for at least four to six weeks
- pain-relieving drugs, if you need them.
You might also be offered medicinesto improve the symptoms such
as pain and urinary problems, these include:
- alpha blockers (such as tamsulosin)
- 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (such as
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
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If you have prostatitis that goes on for a long
time, you might be offered the following treatments. Although there
is no strong scientific evidence for them, some men have found them
- Prostate massage. The doctor massages your
prostate through the wall of the back passage. They will use gloves
and gel to make it more comfortable.
- Surgery. Very occasionally, surgery is
an option for men with CPPS.
It usually involves removing the prostate gland or part of it. It
isn’t often done because there is a risk it can make symptoms worse
and cause a number of side effects.
You might also be offered the following to help with the effects
- Anti-depressants. If your prostatitis affects
your mood and you become very low, depressed or anxious, your
doctor might suggest you try taking anti-depressants.
- Treatments for sexual problems. There is
support available for sexual problems so do speak to your doctor or
nurse about these. For example, your doctor can prescribe
medications such as Viagra® or Cialis®.
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There are a number of things you can try which other men have
- Watch what you drink. Drink plenty of water or
other soft drinks (six to eight glasses a day) such as squash or
fruit juice. Avoid alcohol, fizzy drinks and drinks containing
caffeine, such as tea and coffee - they can irritate the bladder
and make urinary symptoms worse.
- Watch what you eat. You might find certain
foods bring on a flare-up - watch out for these so you can avoid
- Sit comfortably. If you need to sit for long
periods during a flare-up, for example if you work in an office,
take in a soft or inflatable cushion to make you more
- Get active. Exercise can help some men feel
better and reduce symptoms, including pain.
- Avoid cycling. Activities that put pressure on
the area between your back passage and testicles (perineum), such
as cycling, can make symptoms worse.
- Keep a diary. It can help you spot something
that brings on a flare-up, and can be a useful way of showing your
doctor what you’re experiencing. Record things like food, drink,
exercise, how stressed you feel and your symptoms.
- Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. These
muscles help control when you urinate. There are exercises you can do to strengthen them
which can help with urinary symptoms. Speak to our Specialist
Nurses for advice.
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therapies and relaxation techniques
Although there isn’t much research behind them, some men find
that complementary therapies can help them feel better about
themselves and their treatment, and can help manage symptoms. They
are used alongside conventional treatments, rather than instead of
- Complementary therapies. You could try
acupuncture, massage or reflexology (a type of massage),
aromatherapy or hypnotherapy, for example. They might help to
relieve stress, making you feel more relaxed.
- Find ways to relax. Techniques such as deep
breathing, relaxation tapes, meditation, taking a warm bath, yoga,
or listening to music, can help you feel more comfortable and take
your mind off any pain.
- Supplements or herbal remedies. Some men have
found that the plant extracts Quercetin and saw palmetto, and a
pollen extract known as cernilton, help with symptoms.
Speak to your doctor or nurse if you’re thinking of using
complementary therapies or supplements, as they may be able to
advise you. You can get advice on finding a properly qualified
therapist from the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council,
and advice on using supplements safely from the Medicines and
Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA).
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As well as trying things to help yourself, some men find getting
support is useful. You might get all the support you need from a
friend or relative, or you may find it helpful to talk to your
doctor or our Specialist
Nurses about how you're feeling.
Some men find talking to a counsellor helpful. They
can help you understand your feelings and find ways to deal with
them. In particular, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help
men find ways to deal with prostatitis. CBT focuses on your
thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how can these affect what you
do and how you feel. It involves talking with a therapist who will
help you come up with practical ways to tackle any patterns of
behaviour or ways of thinking about your prostatitis that are
causing you problems.
Your hospital doctor or
nurse or your GP might be able to refer you to a counsellor, or you
can get information about finding counsellors in your area from The
Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. You can also
get more information and support from the charity Mind.
You can read about treatments for prostatitis, and using
complementary therapies safely, in our booklet, Prostatitis: A guide to
infection or inflammation of the prostate.
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