Tests

taken from Small Gland, Big Problem 4th Edition
by Professor Roger Kirby, Health Press 2011

Because prostatitis is often the result of a bacterial infection, your doctor will usually want to check a sample of your urine and prostatic secretions for bacteria (the sample will be sent to the laboratory for analysis, so you will not get the results straight away).

Obtaining a sample of prostatic secretions

You will be asked to pass urine and provide a sample. Your prostate will then be massaged so that secretions are released, which will be collected from the urethra into a sterile pot. Although this process is unquestionably a little uncomfortable, it is not actually painful (see the description of the digital rectal examination on page 20 for an idea of what’s involved). Finally, a second urine sample will be collected. If there is a bacterial infection, bacteria can be grown on an agar plate in the laboratory from cultures of the prostatic secretions and the second urine sample. This method also allows the specific type of bacteria responsible to be identified, and an appropriate antibiotic to be prescribed.

Other tests

Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may also check that you do not have BPH or prostate cancer – the tests that may be performed are discussed on pages 19–21 and 75–78. Remember that prostatitis, particularly when the inflammation is severe, may sometimes cause a temporary increase in blood PSA level (see pages 11–13). Prostatitis can also cause blood flow in the prostate to become increased, and this can show up when a transrectal ultrasound study of the prostate is performed using what is known as a colour Doppler probe.

If a prostatic abscess is suspected, a CT scan may be arranged to confirm or exclude a collection of pus in the prostate.