And how do I even know if I have chronic prostatitis?
Presence of a bacterial infection in the male or female genital tract is detrimental to sperm migration. Bacteria in semen will not decrease the quantity but will definitely affect the sperm quality and motility. During our initial clinical evaluation of an infertile couple, we make every effort to detect a genital infection, which is not an uncommon problem.
For the men, bacteria are mainly stored in the prostate, causing what is called chronic prostatitis. The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the neck of a man’s bladder. As part of the reproductive system, the prostate gland’s primary function is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid which carries sperm.
While female chronic infections are generally easy to recognize, male chronic infections are difficult to detect. Most of the time, men have no complaints but under further questioning they might admit chronic fatigue, lower backache and a history of recurrent urinary tract infections.
When checking the results of the semen analysis, we find an excess of round cells and white blood cells (more than one million per ml) and sometimes, much more rarely, the presence of red blood cells. We request cultures but they are, most of the time, negative.
When we diagnose chronic prostatitis, we treat the man with one or two 20-day courses of antibiotics, depending on the severity of the problem. If we are treating a genital infection in an infertile couple, we always also treat the partner in order to avoid recurrence by re-infestation and to prevent germ-resistance to the antibiotic.
For more information about this condition, click here.
If you experience any of the symptoms that may be chronic prostatitis, you can contact us and we can help diagnose it or recommend an urologist.