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Signs and symptoms

Prostatitis can cause a wide range of symptoms, which vary from man to man. Some common symptoms include:

  • discomfort, pain or aching in your testicles, or the area between your testicles and back passage (perineum), or the tip of your penis
  • discomfort, pain or aching in the lower part of your stomach area (lower abdomen), your groin or your back
  • needing to urinate frequently or urgently
  • pain or stinging during or after urinating
  • feeling as if you’re sitting on a golf ball
  • no desire for sex (lack of libido)
  • less commonly, difficulty getting or keeping an erection (erectile dysfunction), pain or burning during ejaculation, and premature ejaculation.

The different types of prostatitis can also cause other symptoms. Acute bacterial prostatitis can cause pain in your muscles or joints in the pelvic area, thighs and lower back. It can be severe, causing a high temperature (fever), sweating and chills. Some men find they suddenly and painfully can’t pee (acute urinary retention) - this needs treating straight away, usually at a hospital.

Chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS) usually causes pain in the pelvic area (the area below your stomach), including the area between your testicles and back passage (perineum). The symptoms can go on for a long time. You might be diagnosed with CPPS if you’ve had symptoms for more than three of the last six months.

Speak to you GP if you have any of the symptoms listed here.


Updated: July 2013 | Due for review: July 2015

  • List of references  

    • Clinical Effectiveness Group, British Association of Sexual Health and HIV. United Kingdom national guidelines for the management of prostatitis. London: 2008.
    • Grabe M, Bjerklund-Johansen T.E, Botto H, Çek M, Naber K.G, Pickard R.S. et al. EAU Guidelines on Urological infections, 2013 Available from: http://www.uroweb.org/gls/pdf/18_Urological%20infections_LR.pdf
    • Litwin MS, McNaughton-Collins M, Fowler FJ et al. The National Institutes of Health chronic prostatitis symptom index: development and validation of a new outcome measure. Journal of Urology. 1999; 162: 369-375.
    • McNaughton C, Mac Donald R, Wilt T. Interventions for chronic abacterial prostatitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(1):CD002080.
    • Shoskes DA. The Challenge of Erectile Dysfunction in the Man with Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Curr Urol Rep. 2012 May 13;13(4):263–7.