Medical history and physical exam for prostatitis

A medical history is an evaluation of your past and present health. If prostatitis is suspected, your health professional will ask questions about:

  • Your family's health history.
  • Previous urinary tract infections or other urinary problems.
  • Your sexual history. You may be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Your symptoms such as pelvic pain, difficulty urinating, and excessive need to urinate at night.
  • Whether you have had any discharge from the penis or blood in the urine.
  • Whether you are receiving treatment for any other diseases.

A medical history also includes questions about your general health and the results of any previous tests.

A physical exam for prostatitis includes:

  • Measuring your body temperature.
  • Examining your genitals, lower back, and abdomen.
  • A digital rectal exam to check for prostate enlargement, growths, or inflammation. In acute prostatitis, the prostate is tender and swollen. In other types of prostatitis (chronic bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome, inflammatory and noninflammatory), the prostate often appears normal.
  • After the digital rectal exam, your doctor may perform prostatic massage. To do this test, your doctor will insert a gloved finger into your rectum and press firmly on your prostate. Your doctor will then collect urine or prostate secretion to look for bacteria or cells that indicate inflammation (leukocytes). This test is easy to perform and can help your doctor diagnose the cause of your prostatitis.

Last Updated: December 26, 2009

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