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Prostatitis FAQ Glossary

This is a collection of terms and acronyms which you may run into on the newsgroup, on the website or in your doctor's office. Where a separate entry in the FAQ exists which explains a term in more detail this will be indicated by the entry number in parentheses. Trademark names are in all caps. For medical terms in languages other than English try:


Acidophilus: Any of several species of bacteria which thrive in an acid environment. Cultures of these bacteria are often used to replace those in the intestines killed off by antibiotic therapy. Available as pills or in Sweet Acidophilus milk.

Acinus: One of the 20 to 50 fluid producing ducts found in the prostate. Plural is acini. During an ejaculation the fluid is pressed out of the ducts by contractions of the smooth muscle of the prostate. See http://www.prostatitis.org/tarf/p3.htm for drawing.

Acronym: A word formed from the initials of a phrase. For net acronyms not found here see:


Adjuvant. An additional treatment used to increase the effectiveness of the primary therapy. Radiation therapy and hormonal therapy are often used as adjuvant treatments following a radical prostatectomy.

Aerobic: With air/oxygen. Said of bacteria which thrive in the presence of oxygen.

AFAIK: Net shorthand for: As Far As I Know.

Alanine : An amino acid. See Feinblatt/Gant Study.

Allopurinol: A drug used to treat gout which has been found to be useful in relieving symptoms in some cases of prostatitis. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001673.htm .

Alpha Blocker: Any of a number of drugs which interfere with the nerve stimulation of the muscle cells.

Alpha-1 Blocker: An alpha blocker which interferes with signals to the muscles surrounding the urethra and the blood vessels without interfering with signals to the bladder, thus reducing urine back pressure and blood pressure at the same time. HYTRIN, CARDURA, and MINIPRESS are all alpha-1 blockers. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001796.htm .

Amoxicillin : An antibiotic of the penicillin family. More at:


Ampullary vas: See Vas Deferens.

Anaerobic: Without air/oxygen. Said of bacteria which thrive in the absence of oxygen.

Anal Canal: The narrow passage between the anus and rectum.

Androgen: A hormone that produces male characteristics. See Testosterone.

Anesthetic: A drug that produces general or local loss of physical sensations, particularly pain. A "spinal" is the injection of a local anesthetic into the area surrounding the spinal cord.

Antibody: A protein, produced by the body, that counteracts the toxic effects of a foreign substance, organism, or disease within the body.

Antifungal: A drug used against fungal infections: More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001712.htm .

Antigen: A substance which stimulates the production of an antibody.

Antihistamine: Any of a variety of drugs commonly found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicine. Most can cause a worsening of urine flow related problems and increased prostate pain in men with prostatitis or BPH. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001839.htm .

Anus: Often confused with rectum. This is the external opening of the anal canal which leads to the rectum.

Apex: The narrow end of the prostate on the side going to the penis.

Augmentin: A combination of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate potassium. It is added to Amoxicillin due to its ability to inactivate beta-lactamases. These are substances produced by bacterial defenses. More at:


Auto-immune Disease: A disease caused by the body's protective mechanism becoming confused and attacking a part of the body which is not an invader.

BACTRIM: Trademark name for sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. A combination of antibacterial drugs used for urinary and prostatic infections.. Also: SEPTRA, SMZ-TMP. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001906.htm .

Balloon Dilation: A procedure where a balloon like object is inserted in the urethra via the penis. When the device reaches the prostate the balloon part is inflated. This opens up the urethra and in some patients provides temporary relief of BPH related problems.

Base: An alkaline substance. Opposite of acid.

Biopsy: A procedure where a small hollow needle is inserted into a suspicious body part in order to obtain a specimen for laboratory analysis. Usually used to check for the presence of cancer.

Bladder: Storage organ for urine. During urination the bladder contracts to force urine out.

Bladder Neck: Outlet of the bladder.

BPH: Short for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (or Hyperplasia). Noncancerous enlargement of the prostate. This enlargement often results in urinary flow problems in men. Also see the newsgroup at sci.med.prostate.bph. See: http://isis.nlm.nih.gov/ahcpr/bph/www/bphctxt.html for more details. These are the guidelines for BPH diagnosis and treatment recommended by a government panel and thus give a good idea of the mindset of the average uro. They also contain quite a bit of information on the various tests which you may run into.

For an idea of the UK approach to BPH see:


Brachytherapy: The insertion of a radioactive source into a patient. A therapy used to treat prostate cancer where radioactive beads are implanted in the prostate. See:


BTW: Net shorthand for: By The Way.

Calcification: The body's attempt to render invading bacteria harmless by coating them with calcium. This can result in prostate stones which may cause problems of their own. Small stones may migrate out of the prostate into the urethra causing "sand" in the urine.

Candida albicans: A fungal organism usually responsible for yeast infections in women. May be responsible for some cases of prostatitis. More at:


Candidiasis: A vaginal infection caused by Candida albicans. More at:


Carbenicillin: An antibiotic of the penicillin family. More at:


CARDURA: An alpha-1 blocker used to treat BPH symptoms. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001796.htm .

CAT Scan: Short for Computerized Axial Tomography. A technique using X-rays and a computer to produce a three dimensional picture of a part of the body.

Catheter: A tube inserted in the bladder (via the penis) to allow the bladder to drain.

Chinese Herbs: Recently many readers have been trying Chinese herb pills; Kai Kit Wan and Sexoton. It appears they may open the acini and allow them to drain more easily. A web page dedicated to information on these herbs can be found at: http://www.prostatitis.org/chinesepills.html

Chlamydia: A group of spherical-shaped non-bacterial organisms which can infect the urinary tract and the prostate. Considered a sexual transmitted disease. More widespread than gonorrhea. Often symptom-free though may cause orchitis or epididymitis in men. In women it causes pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to infertility. If acquired during pregnancy can cause blindness in the baby. Symptoms in males: burning sensation during urination, discharge from the penis, testicular tenderness or pain, lower abdominal tenderness. Dr. Feliciano reports finding Chlamydia in 40% of his prostatitis patients.

In females the symptoms may be: burning sensation during urination, vaginal discharge, symptoms of PID. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001345.htm .

CIPRO: Trademark name for ciprofloxacin. One of the family of quinolones. Can cause sore or broken tendons as a side effect. More at:

http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001735.htm .
Also see:

the prostatitis website's compilation of user reports on cipro.

Ciprofloxacin: An antibiotic of the quinoline family. Used to treat urinary and prostatic infections. Can cause sore or broken tendons as a side effect. Relatively new and expensive. More at:


Circumcision: Surgical removal of the foreskin.

CNBP: Short for Chronic Non-Bacterial Prostatitis.

Coitus: The sex act.

Colloidial Silver: A silver based preparation reported (but not proven) to have antibacterial properties. Generally considered a scam. Build up of silver can be irreversible. Not recommended.

Computerized Axial Tomography: See CAT Scan.

Corpura Amylacea: Small semi-solid bodies sometimes found in the prostate or the seminal fluid. Thought to be formed when seminal fluid remains too long in the prostate.

Cryogenic Prostate Surgery: A technique using liquid nitrogen to freeze (and kill) the surrounding tissue in hopes of removing the obstruction or cancerous cells.

Crystal Clear Wand: A commercial device which can be used to self-drain the prostate. Cost is about $50. Open Enterprises in San Francisco (800-289-8423).

Culture: A sample of a bodily fluid is placed into a nutritive medium and allowed to sit for 24 hours or longer. At the end of the time period the sample is inspected for any bacteria which may have grown. The technician can then count and identify the bacteria which were present in the bodily fluid. A culture can also be used to determine which antibiotic is most effective on the bacteria. This is then called sensitivity testing.

Cyst: A pocket of fluid.

Cystitis: Inflammation of the bladder. More at:


Cystoscopy: An examination of the bladder and urethra using a tube inserted in the urethra. (XVII) More at:

Decongestant: Any of a variety of drugs commonly found in over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines. Most can cause a worsening of urine flow related problems and increased prostate pain in men with prostatitis or BPH. More at:


DHEA: Short for dehydroepiandrosterone. The most common steroid hormone found in circulation in the human body. Currently being touted as a "fountain of youth" supplement which gives you energy, builds muscles, takes off fat, and cures whatever is wrong with you. Not recommended for men with prostate problems. May increase the likelihood of prostate cancer or speed up the growth of already existing cancer.

Diazepam: Generic name for the tranquilizer VALIUM. More at:


DIFLUCAN: Trade name for fluconazole, an antifungal. More at:



Digital Rectal Exam: See DRE. (XIII)

DIY: Short for Do-It-Yourself. Usually refers to do-it-yourself prostate drainage. More at:


Doxazosin : Generic form of Cardura. See alpha-1 blocker.

Doxycycline: An antibiotic of the tetracycline family. More at:


Dr. F: Short for Dr. Feliciano, the doctor in the Philippines who has been able to cure some of our prostatitis sufferers when no one else could.

Dr. Fuzzy : Short for Dr. Fugazzotto. A doctor who has been able to cultivate bacteria in cultures when the standard procedures failed.

DRE: Short for Digital Rectal Exam. You bend over and the doctor inserts his gloved finger (covered with lots of K-Y jelly) into your rectum via the anus so that he can feel the size, shape, and condition of the prostate. (XIII)

DS: Short for Double Strength. Often used as part of the trademark name for a drug to indicate a stronger than usual dosage. Example: BACTRIM DS.

Dynamic Obstruction: Blockage of the urethra due to the tightening of the smooth muscle tissue in the prostate.

Dysuria: Burning feeling during urination.

Ejaculation: Forceful expulsion of semen during an orgasm.

Ejaculatory Duct: Term for the duct between the junction of the seminal vesicle & vas deferens and the urethra.

Epididymis: This is the duct which brings the sperm from the top of the testicle to the vas deferens. There are two. Plural is Epididymides. It is coiled for extra length and plays a role in the maturation of sperm. It can also become infected and then you have epididymitis.

Epididymitis: An infection of the epididymis. See Epididymis. More at:


EPS: Short for Expressed Prostatic Secretion. The fluid pressed out of the prostate during a DRE or prostate drainage. Note that "Expressed" is used here with the meaning of "pressed out" not "overnight delivery."

Erythromicin: An antibiotic. More at:


FAQ: Short for Frequently Asked Questions. A list of common questions with answers. Always read the FAQ before posting a question in a newsgroup.

Feinblatt/Gant Study: A study published in March of 1958 in the Journal of the Maine Medical Association Volume 49 Number 3 which reported that patients given a combination of three amino acids (glycine, alanine, and glutamic acid) resulted in considerable improvement in BPH symptoms in most patients.

Finasteride: Generic name for PROSCAR. See Testosterone. More at:


FLAGYL: Trade name for metronidazole. An antibiotic used against anaerobic bacterial infections. More at:


Fluconazole: Generic name for DIFLUCAN, an antifungal. More at:


FLOXIN: One of the quinolone family of antibiotics. More at:


Foley: A catheter which is held in place by a small balloon inside the bladder.

Foreskin: The loose fold of skin which covers the glans in uncircumcised men.

GEOCILLIN: Trade name for carbenicillin, an antibiotic of the penicillin family. More at:


Glans: The tip of the penis.

Gleason Score: A measurement of the potential aggressiveness of prostate cancer. The Gleason scale is from 2 to 10 with 10 being the worst. 2 is the lowest score because the scale is made up of the results of two estimates (rated on a scale of 1 to 5), one of the more immature malignant scales and then the rest.

Gram's method: A staining technique in which the bacteria are stained with crystal violet, treated with iodine, decolorized with alcohol, and counterstained with safranine (a dye). Results of this procedure are used to characterize bacteria as either Gram-positive or Gram-negative. This information is useful in classifying the bacteria and in determining which type of antibiotic might be effective.

Gram-negative: A term used to describe bacteria which do not retain the violet stain used in Gram's method.

Gram-positive: A term used to describe bacteria which retain the violet stain used in Gram's method.

Glutamic Acid: An amino acid. See Feinblatt/Gant Study.

Glycine: An amino acid. See Feinblatt/Gant Study.

Hematospermia: Blood in the seminal fluid.

Hematuria: Blood in the urine.

Hemospermia: Blood in the seminal fluid.

Hesitancy: Slowness to start urination.

HTH: Net Shorthand for: Hope This Helps.

Hydrocele: An accumulation of fluid in a body cavity, esp. in the scrotum. More at:


HYTRIN: Tradename for terazosin. An alpha blocker used to treat the symptoms of BPH. More at:


IC: Short for Interstitial Cystitis

IMHO: Net shorthand for "In My Humble Opinion"

Immunofluorescence: The use of fluorescein-stained or labeled antibodies to locate antigen in tissues. The antibodies combine with their specific antigen. The combination gives off a visible glow under the proper light (Ultra-violet?). Used as a test for certain infective agents. More at:


IMO: Net shorthand for "In My Opinion"

Impotence: The loss of ability to produce and/or sustain an erection.

Incontinence: A loss of urinary control. There are various kinds and degrees of incontinence. Overflow, stress, and total incontinence are listed separately.

Indoramin: An alpha-1 antagonist used to treat BPH in the UK. Presumably similar in effect to HYTRIN. Generic form of DORALESE.


Infarction: Death of tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Common in BPH.

Inflammation: Redness or swelling caused by injury or infection.

INPO: Net shorthand for: In No Particular Order.

Intermittency: Starting and stopping during urination.

Interstitial: Located in the spaces between organs.

Interstitial Cystitis: An inflammation of the bladder wall which results in symptoms similar to BPH. See:


and also:


IOW: Net shorthand for: In Other Words.

IRL: Net shorthand for: In Real Life.

K-Y Jelly: A slippery substance similar to VASELINE but preferred in medical procedures because it washes off easily with water.

Kai Kit Wan: Chinese herb pills which have been reported to assist in draining the acini. See http://www.prostatitis.org/chinese.html

Leukocyte: White blood cell.

Libido: Sexual desire.

Lobe: A subsection of the prostate. There are two lateral (side) lobes, a median (center) lobe, an anterior (front) lobe and a posterior(rear) lobe.

LOL: Net shorthand for: Laughing Out Loud.

Lomefloxacin: An antibiotic of the quinolone family. More at:


MACROBID: Trade name for nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic. More at:


MACRODANTIN: Trade name for nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic. More at:


Meares-Stamey: A test where cultures of the urine are taken before and after a DRE. Currently the standard test used by some urologists to determine whether the prostatitis is bacterial or not.

Medscape: A website which acts as a medical newsletter. Currently a free service but you must register and use a password to access full text of articles. See http://www/medscape.com

Metronidazole: Generic name for FLAGYL. An antibiotic used against anaerobic bacterial infections. More at:


MINIPRESS: A drug used to treat BPH. Similar in effect to HYTRIN.

MINOCIN: Trade name for minocycline. More at:http://www.housecall.com/databases/ami/convert/001723.html

Minocycline: An antibiotic of the tetracycline family. More at:


Morbidity: 1)The number of cases of a disease 2)Unhealthy consequences and complications resulting from treatment.

MOTAS: Net shorthand for: Member Of The Appropriate Sex. Replaces MOTOS (where the second O stood for opposite). See SO.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging. An expensive high tech device for viewing soft tissue inside the body. Can be used to detect cancer, blood flow problems, cysts, and dead cells.

NBCP: Short for Non-Bacterial Chronic Prostatitis.

Nephritis: Chronic or acute infection of the kidney(s).

Net: Short for the internet or world wide web.

Newbie: A newcomer to the net.

Nitrofurantoin: An antibiotic. More at:


Nocturia: Waking up in the middle of the night to urinate.

Norfloxacin: An antibiotic of the quinolone family. More at: http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001735.htm.

Nosocomial: Hospital caused. Disease or problem acquired at a hospital or as a result of medical treatment.

NTK: Net shorthand for: Nice To Know.

NYSTATIN: Trade name for Mycostatin. An antifungal. More at:


ONNA or ONNTA : Net shorthand for: Oh, No, Not (This) Again.

Orchiectomy: Removal of one or both testicles.

Orchitis: An inflammation of one or both of the testicles. More at:


Orofloxacin: Antibiotic of the quinolone family. More at: http://www.familyinternet.com/peds/top/001735.htm.

OTOH: Net shorthand for: On The Other Hand.

Overflow Incontinence: A condition in which the bladder retains too much urine after voiding. As a consequence, the bladder remains full most of the time, resulting in involuntary seepage of urine from the bladder.

Palliative Treatment: Medical care which aims to reduce the symptoms without curing the patient.

Pca: Short for Prostate Cancer.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: See PID

Perineal: Having to do with the perineum.

Perineum: The area between your legs from the anus to the scrotum.

PID: Short for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. A general term referring to infection involving the lining of the uterus, the Fallopian tubes, or the ovaries. More at:


pH: A measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of a solution. Neutral is 7.0. Lower numbers are acidic, higher alkaline.

Placebo: A non working imitation of the real drug or procedure. Used during effectiveness testing as a control to eliminate psychological effects of taking medicine. (Some people will get better just because they think the medicine they are taking will help them.)

Prazosin: A drug used to treat BPH symptoms. Similar to HYTRIN.

Prednisone: A synthetic hormone used as an anti-inflammatory. More at:


Priapism: A painful erection that does not go away.

Prognosis: A forecast of the course of a disease, and future prospects of the patient.

Proloprim: Trade name for trimethoprim, an antibacterial drug. More at:


PROSCAR: Tradename for Finasteride. A drug used to shrink the prostate. See Testosterone. More at:


Prostate: A small organ wrapped around the urethra which provides some of the seminal fluid. During ejaculation the fluid is squeezed out of the prostate by contractions of the smooth muscles in the prostate. (III) See http://www.prostatitis.org/tarf/p3.htm for drawing.

Prostate Cancer: A malignant tumor growing in/on the prostate. See sci.med.prostate.cancer newsgroup or http://www.prostate.com






Prostate Drainage: A technique perfected by Dr. Feliciano which uses maximum finger pressure on the prostate during a DRE in order to squeeze as much of the trapped prostatic fluid as possible. (XIII, XIX)

Prostate Massage: An old remedy which was once the only treatment for prostatitis. During a DRE, the doctor gently strokes and pushes on the prostate. This helps to drain some of the trapped fluid.

Prostate-Specific Antigen: See PSA.

Prostate Stone: A small rock-like formation sometimes found in the prostate. Believed by some to be the result of calcification.

Prostatectomy: A surgical operation where some or all of the prostate is removed. More at:




Prostatitis: An inflammation of the prostate. (III-IX)

Prostatodynia: A word which means simply "prostate pain." Used as a diagnosis for patients when there is no sign of inflammation, even though there is pain in the prostate.

Prostatosis: General term for any disease of the prostate.

PROSTATRON: A device used to treat BPH symptoms using microwaves.

PSA: Short for Prostate-Specific Antigen. This term is usually used when talking about a blood test which measures gamma-seminoprotein activity. Gamma-seminoprotein is a protein which is a key component in the liquification of semen. PSA is usually found in high levels in the prostate but low levels in the blood. When something such as cancer or an infection or injury breaks down prostate tissue, PSA is released into the blood stream. It has been found that high PSA test levels may indicate the presence of prostate cancer up to four years before it can be detected otherwise.

There are several ways to interpret the PSA levels. One system uses 4.0 as the dividing line. Lower is OK higher is suspect. Another system uses a sliding number based on age: 49 and below = 2.5, 50-59 = 3.5, 60-69 = 4.5, 70+ = 6.5. Non-whites should subtract 10 years from each scale. A third system does not worry too much about the absolute value but instead concentrates on the rate of increase over time.

A recent article in Urology (Dec 96 or Jan 97) reported that there are actually two types of PSA. One is termed "free" and the other "bound to ACT." ACT is a protein of some sort. The ratio of "free" to "bound" was found to detect cancer up to 10 years in advance of other detection methods and is claimed to be so accurate that biopsies would no longer be required. Unfortunately the PSA ratio test is not yet in use.

The level of PSA can be influenced by: An ejaculation within 72 hours of the test, prostatitis, allopurinol, and PROSCAR. All but PROSCAR can raise the PSA level. Also recent studies (New England Journal of Medicine July 96. Oesterling) indicate that there is a significant difference in the way the PSA results should be interpreted for non-whites.

The level of PSA may or may not be influenced by Saw Palmetto or a DRE prior to the test. Some recent studies have claimed there were no or only minor effects (0 for Saw Palmetto, +.1 for a DRE) but these are controversial. No information is available on the effect of a Dr. Feliciano style prostate drainage but chances are it could raise the PSA level.

More on PSA at:





Pubis: The area of the body just above the base of the penis.

Pyuria: Pus in the urine.

Quinolone: Any of a family of synthetic antibiotics. CIPRO, FLOXIN are the two most commonly prescribed. More at:


Radical Prostatectomy: An operation to remove the entire prostate gland and seminal vesicles.

RBC: Short for Red Blood Cells. Sometimes found in the EPS or urine. May indicate an infection.

Rectum: The terminal portion of the large intestines.

Reflux: Flowing back. Usually refers to the entry of urine into the prostate.

Reiter's Syndrome: An inflammatory disease effecting several body systems in more-or-less random order: urinary tract, eyes, joints, and skin. Not all persons have the complete set of symptoms, in which case it is called incomplete Reiter's. Men are effected more than women. The urinary tract symptoms are typical of URI's -- burning, urgency, etc -- prostatitis can occur as well. The eye symptoms can be either conjunctivitis or iritis. The joint problems are primarily confined to the spine and pelvic region with some peripheral joints involved. Reiter's effects the tendons, ligaments, etc more than the joint itself. Tendonitis, particularly of the Achilles tendon is typical. So is fascitis of the foot. Permanent damage to joints is rare. The skin problems include rashes and painless sores in the mouth. The disease is typically episodic with flare-ups and remissions.

Reiter's is thought to be an auto-immune disease which like rheumatic fever follows an infection somewhere else in the body. Susceptible persons usually (about 70%) have an antigen called HLA B27 which can be identified from a blood test. The infections that trigger Reiter's can be either urinary tract related or GI related. Multiple organisms have been implicated.

Remission: Complete or partial disappearance of the signs and symptoms of the disease.

Residual Urine: The amount of urine remaining in the bladder after urination.

Retrograde Ejaculation: A condition where the semen is sent to the bladder instead of the penis. Common after a TURP.

Retropubic Prosectomy: Similar to the suprapubic prosectomy except the bladder is not opened. More at:


ROFL or ROTFL: Net shorthand for: Rolling On (The) Floor Laughing. Used as a response to joke or funny statement.

ROTO-ROOTER: Trademark of a drain cleaning service in the USA which uses a rotating device on a flexible hose. Often used jokingly as a synonym for a TURP.

Safranine: A dye used in Gram's method.

Saw Palmetto: A member of the palm family which grows wild in Florida and the southeastern United States. Technically known as Serenoa repens. Often used as a treatment to relieve symptoms of enlarged prostate or BPH. See http://www.cruzio.com/~mendosa/sawpalm.html for more information.

Scrotum: The pouch which contains the testicles.

Selenium: An element. Thought to be required by the human body and often in short supply. Supplements of 200 mg per day have been recommended as a possible cancer prevention measure. More at:


Semen: The fluid produced by an ejaculation.

Seminal Vesicles: Two glands which provides about two-thirds of the fluid which makes up the semen. These are located to the left and right of the prostate. Output of the seminal vesicle mixes with the sperm from the vas deferens and flows through a duct which then passes the fluid through the prostate to the urethra. This duct can also be blocked by a swollen prostate and/or a spreading of the infection.

Sensitivity Testing: A method of determining which antibiotic works best against a particular bacteria.

SEPTRA: Trade name for sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. A combination of antibacterial drugs used for urinary and prostate infections. Also: SMZ-TMP, BACTRIM. More at:


Sexoton. A type of Chinese herb pills. It appears they may open the acini and allow them to drain more easily. A web page dedicated to information on Chinese herbs can be found at: http://www.prostatitis.org/chinese.html.

Sitz Bath: A fancy term for sitting in a tub of hot water. May bring temporary relief of some prostatitis symptoms.

SMZ-TMP: Trade name for sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. A combination of antibacterial drugs used for urinary and prostate infections. Also: SEPTRA, BACTRIM. More at:


SO: Short for Significant Other. (Sexual partner).

Sperm or spermatozoa : The little tadpole like organisms which actually fertilize the egg.

Sphincter: A ringlike muscle that constricts a bodily passage or opening to control the flow through the passage or opening. Sphincters to control the flow of urine in men are found at the bladder neck and on the penis side of the prostate.

Sphincter, Urinary: A ring-like muscle which contracts to cut off urine flow. Located on around the urethra at the exit from the prostate.

Staph: Short for Staphylococcus. A spherical gram-positive bacterium.

Static Obstruction: Blockage of the urethra due to the pressure of the swollen prostate.

Stent: A hollow tube placed in the urethra to keep it open. Still experimental.

Stricture: The narrowing of a passageway.

Strep: Short for Streptococcus. An ovoid gram-positive bacterium which causes Scarlet Fever and Strep throat.

Stress Incontinence: The involuntary discharge of urine when there is increased pressure upon the bladder, as in coughing or straining to lift heavy objects.

Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim: An antibacterial. BACTRIM, SEPTRA. More at:


Superior Pole: When used in reference to the prostate refers to the upper end of the prostate. The end farthest from the anus.

Suprapubic Prosectomy : A prosectomy where the incision is made between the navel and the penis. The bladder is cut open during this procedure.

Terazosin: Generic name for HYTRIN.

Testes : Another name for testicles.

Testosterone: The male sex hormone. This hormone is produced mostly by the testes but the adrenal gland also produces a small amount. You need a supply to maintain your prostate's current size. Castration cuts off the major source of supply and results in shrinkage of the prostate so this is sometimes used to shrink or slow the growth of prostate cancer. Testosterone can not be used directly by the prostate however but must first be converted to Dihydrotestosterone by the action of a prostate enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. PROSCAR (used to shrink the prostate in some BPH cases) works by interfering with this conversion.

Tetrocycline: An antibiotic. More at:


TIA: Net shorthand for "Thanks In Advance."

TLIP: Transurethral Longitudinal Incision of the Prostate. Surgery which makes longitudinal cuts in the urethra in order to relieve some of the obstruction. Not as effective as a TURP but may be easier on the patient's sex life.

Tobramycin: An antibiotic. More at:


Total Incontinence: The loss of control over the sphincters of the bladder neck and urethra, resulting in total loss of retentive ability.

Trabeculation: Irregular configuration of the bladder caused by an obstruction.

Trimethoprim-sulfa: An antibacterial compound. Appears to be a version of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim. More at:


TRUS: Short for TransRectal UltraSound. A device which uses ultrasound to check the prostate for tumors and cysts. Also gives an idea of the size and shape of the prostate. Most have the capability to do a biopsy.

TULIP: Transurethral Ultrasound-guided Laser Incision of the Prostate. A high tech version of the TUIP.

TUNA: A relatively new method for treating BPH. There was a good article in the Dec. '96 Newsweek (the one with the red Dilbert on the cover).

TURP: Short for TransUrethral Resection of the Prostate. Surgical removal of the prostate's innermost core by an approach through the urethra, with no external skin incision; the most common treatment for symptomatic BPH.

Urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder and semen from the prostate and other sex glands out through the tip of the penis See http://www.prostatitis.org/tarf/p3.htm for drawing.

Urinalysis: examination of the urine for


Uro: Short for urologist.

Urologist: A doctor who specializes in diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system.

UTI: Short for Urinary Tract Infection.

Utricle: The remnant of the tissue which would in a woman have developed into the uterus. Located in the uretha between the two ejaculatory duct openings. In some men this can form a cyst which can mimic prostatitis. See http://www.prostatitis.org/tarf/p3.htm for drawing.

Vas Deferens: This is one of the tubes which they cut when you have a vasectomy. There is one for each testicle. Plural is vasa deferens. The lower end actually attaches to the epididymis. The upper end is slightly swollen and serves as a storage area for mature sperm. This end is sometimes called the ampullary vas. See http://www.prostatitis.org/tarf/p3.htm for drawing. Note that it is labeled Deferent Duct in the drawing.

Verumontanum: Sometimes shortened to veru. A small protuberance (3-4 mm)on the urethra where the ejaculatory ducts enter. See http://www.prostatitis.org/tarf/p3.htm for drawing.

VLAT: Visually directed Laser Ablation of the Prostate. A high tech version of the TURP.

Void: To urinate.

Watchful Waiting: A strategy of management in which the patient is monitored but receives no active treatment.

WBC: Short for White Blood Cells. Examination of the EPS or urine sometimes reveals the presence of white blood cells. This is usually considered a sign of infection.

Website: Usually refers to the website of the Prostatitis Foundation; http://www.prostatitis.org. Note that http://www.prostate.com is the website for Prostate Cancer.

WT: Net shorthand for: Without Thinking.

WTR: Net shorthand for: With Respect To.

WTTM : Net shorthand for: Without Thinking Too Much.

Xatral: A French alpha-1 blocker used to treat BPH symptoms.

YMMV: Net shorthand for: Your Mileage May Vary. Used to indicate that something may work differently for someone else.

Yohimbine: A bark extract used as a treatment for impotence. Warning: Some over-the-counter versions may contain added methyltestosterone which can increase the growth of prostate tumors.

Yohimbine HCL: The purified prescription form of yohimbine.

Zap: To kill or to heat up something in the microwave.

This information is forwarded to you by the Prostatitis Foundation. We do not provide medical advice. We distribute literature and information relevant to prostatitis. While we encourage all research we do not endorse any doctor, medicine or treatment protocol. Consult with your own physician.
© 2002 The Prostatitis Foundation
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