The Prostatitis Foundation
 
Methods doctors use to try to diagnose prostatitis

When you go to the doctor with symptoms of prostatitis, the doctor needs to find out, as closely as possible, what you really have. Your doctor will want to perform several diagnostic steps, possibly including taking your history, giving you a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE), obtaining urine for culturing, obtaining EPS (Fluid that can be pushed out of your prostate during DRE) for culturing, a blood sample and possibly others. Depending on what your doctor finds on this initial exam, more diagnostic procedures may be called for. Some, like cystoscopy, are used to rule out other (i.e., non-prostatitis) diseases. This page is intended to serve as a "home page" for diagnostic procedures your doctor may or may not want to perform, or which you may want to ask your doctor to perform.

Generally, the more diagnostic tests your doctor performs, the more data your doctor has to aid diagnosis. However, some diagnostic tests are irrelevant or useless for prostatitis, and some carry risks which should be consider in balance with the benefits of the data that can be obtained. Urinalysis is nearly useless for diagnosing prostatitis. You should have a urinalysis on your first visit, to diagnose other problems, but it probably won't help your doctor figure out your prostatitis, because most prostatitis patients aren't "shedding" bacteria in their urine. A cystoscopy can rule out certain cancers and can detect some strictures and other anatomical abnormalities, but usually doesn't reveal anything about prostatitis. Needle biopsy, used to try to detect cancer, is not used to diagnose prostatitis and may even worsen prostatitis symptoms, both by doing minor physical damage to your prostate and by the slight risk of introducing new bacteria with the needle, which is delivered rectally.

There's a lot that can and should be done by patient advocates to improve the diagnosis of prostatitis. Most doctors, even most urologists, do not do culture of EPS or the Stamey-Meares 4-jar test.

Each page on a particular diagnostic technique will have a link back to this page, a brief non-technical description of the procedure and its benefits and risks, and a few quotes from doctors on their use of this technique. Where possible, the pages will provide links for more information on that specific topic. This project was begun on April 23, 1999. Some links on this page may not be active until the target pages are completed.

Suggestions for further pages in this section are welcomed. Comments on any page on this site are also welcomed. Please do not write to the webmaster for medical advice, the webmaster is not a doctor but a patient. Instead, use the "further contact" link and write to the newsgroup/listserv, where questions are discussed and answered, often by doctors.

.........................................................................................
We're sorry you are having to learn about prostatitis, but we're glad you came here, because we think we can help. Please be advised that the Prostatitis Foundation does
not warrant, support, sponsor, endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any health care provider or any treatment or protocol performed by any heath care provider.

© The Prostatitis Foundation
.........................................................................................

 
Add To Site Contact Home