Stress and prostatitis

Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis (also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome) is the most common form of prostatitis, an all-too-common genitourinary condition in men. It’s characterized by episodes of pain and discomfort that come and go unpredictably, trouble urinating, and sexual dysfunction. Although chronic nonbacterial prostatitis isn’t life-threatening, it can certainly degrade a man’s quality of life and lead to depression. Particularly troubling for doctors and patients alike is the lack of clear diagnostic criteria and effective treatments.

To better understand risk factors for chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, Michigan researchers collected data from 703 men enrolled in the Flint Men’s Health Study, a population-based health study of African American men. Participants were interviewed about their health history and lifestyle factors, such as physical activity. They also answered questions about stress and emotional health.

The researchers reported in 2009 that poor emotional health, high levels of stress (as perceived by study participants), and a lack of social support were associated with a history of prostatitis. The findings were consistent with those of a 2002 Harvard study which observed that men who reported severe stress at work or home were 1.2 and 1.5 times more likely to report prostatitis, respectively, than those whose lives were relatively stress-free.

Stress also seems to heighten prostatitis pain, according to researchers in Seattle. They interviewed men about stress and pain intensity by telephone a month after the men were diagnosed with prostatitis and then again three, six, and 12 months later. They concluded that the men with more perceived stress during the six months following diagnosis were in more pain after a year than those who experienced less stress. Despite the limitations of the study, such as the lack of health data on participants prior to diagnosis, the researchers wrote that treatment should include stress management techniques.

SOURCES: Collins MM, Meigs JB, Barry MJ, et al. Prevalence and Correlates of Prostatitis in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study Cohort. Journal of Urology 2002;167:1363–66. PMID:11832733.

Ullrich PM, Turner JA, Ciol M, Berger R. Stress Is Associated with Subsequent Pain and Disability Among Men with Nonbacterial Prostatitis/Pelvic Pain. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2005;30:112–18. PMID: 16173907.

Wallner LP, Clemens JQ, Sarma AV. Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Prostatitis in African American Men: The Flint Men’s Health Study. Prostate 2009;69:24–32. PMID: 18802926.

Originally published March 2010; last reviewed Feb. 23, 2011


  1. Please give an elaboration on your recovery process. I will have a try if found effective.

  2. Peter

    CPPS has been really a terrible prostate disease, without clear cause reason and keep using antibiotics which do damage to our liver and kidney. This made me crazy and disappointed. I google one herbal diuretic and anti-inflammatory try to cure my chronic prostatitis. Sharing you here as a consideration.

  3. Jeremy

    Many people confuse bph with prostatitis, I was confused about it as well until the doctor explained me the difference between those, I had strong prostate symptoms and they were getting worse and stronger because I had a stressful lifestyle, He prescribed me a treatment based on a supplement named alpharise.. I am so happy!

  4. Gustavo

    Prostatitis is classified into acute barcetial, chronic barcetial and abarcetial prostatitis. Acute prostatitis is caused by urinary tract pathogens, adequate hydration should be maintained, rest encouraged and analgesics such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if required. As acute prostatitis is a serious and severe illness empirical therapy should be started immediately after blood and urine cultures have been obtained. Parenteral or oral treatment should be selected according to the clinical condition of the patient. If there is deterioration or failure to respond to oral therapy urgent admission and parenteral therapy should be arranged. For patients requiring parenteral therapy antibiotics covering the likely organisms should be used. A high dose broad spectrum cephalosporin (for example, cefuroxime, cefotaxime or Ceftriaxone) plus gentamicin.When clinically improved the therapy can be switched to oral treatment according to sensitivities.For patients suitable for oral therapy, quinolones can be used ,Ciprofloxacin 500mg twice daily for 28 days or Ofloxacin 200mg twice daily for 28 days.Chronic barcetial infection of the prostate with or without symptoms of prostatitis, and with a history of recurrent urinary tract infections caused by the same barcetial strain without any structural abnormalities, Antibiotic treatment should be chosen according to barcetial cultures and sensitivities.Fluoroquinolones have become standard of care in CBP they have good penetration of the prostate gland and broad spectrum activity against both gram-negative and gram-positive organisms. Most comparative studies have shown similar rates of clinical success and/or bacteriological cure for the fluoroquinolones. The recommendations for other antibiotics are based on small studies plus expert opinion.For patients with CBP first-line treatment is with a quinolone such as Ciprofloxacin 500mg twice daily for 28 days or Levofloxacin 500mg od for 28 days or Ofloxacin 200mg twice daily for 28 days or Norfloxacin 400mg twice daily for 28 days.

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