The Prostatitis Foundation

It works for me
Stories of what does and does not work for viewers of our site.
Back to It works for me page


Mark's Story
Hi, I'm Mark and I've had prostatitis for about four years now, I'm forty-eight--I've always been in what could be described as athletic condition. About three months ago my symptoms were as bad as they had ever been or worse--I had already quit smoking, quit drinking, quit spicy food (which I love), quit drinking caffeinated coffee, and still I had more pain than I wanted to live with--more than heavy doses of ibuprofen could deal with. Now I feel better than I have in four years and it only took a couple weeks for my symptoms to turn around. I am superstitious about writing this, but feel I owe it to others in pain. I'm not cured, but things are a lot better.
My symptoms (in the worst outbreaks) were these: dull but intense perineal pain (vaguely located between scrotum and the anus), frequency (about four times a night and about every hour and a half during the day), and a constant sense of urgency (a component of the feeling of pain) that returned within ten or twenty minutes after urination. I've also had some difficulty urinating at times, but the difficulty never seemed constant from urination to urination--one time would be rough and the next would be okay. With others on this site, I feel like there are several problems all grouped under the heading of "prostatitis" so if my symptoms aren't like yours, my advice may not help you.
I should say that my recognition that I had a problem occurred about four years ago, but two or three times during my thirties I had brief occurrences of what might be described as "acute prostatitis", lasting a few weeks and then disappearing completely, after treatment with antibiotics, at least once with "Cipro". About four years ago I was going through the usual mid-life issues, stress, and my sexual frequency was at least once, and sometimes twice a day. I'm not sure what part that played, but sexual frequency certainly is a component of my regime now. Anyway, I had another outbreak four years ago that didn't go away, and didn't respond to massive, months-long-lasting doses of "Cipro". It may have been associated with Clamydia, however those tests came back negative. I had an exam, the doctor said my prostate was extremely sensitive (because I almost screamed when he stuck his finger up there, duh).
I checked online, found this site, and started taking Saw Palmetto. Though things changed with Saw Palmetto, I was never convinced that they changed for the better. I seemed to have an easier time urinating, but that had never been a huge problem--it did little or nothing for the pain and frequency. I have to say though, that at this point I hadn't quit all the things that I ended up quitting. And brutal as it seems, I think that is where you have to start. I would suggest you try quitting spicy food and coffee first. Because if I break my own rules about either of those now, I feel more pain immediately. I still have one double-sized cup of French Roast decaf in the morning and I'm convinced that I'd feel even better if I quit that, but I'm not going to, not yet. I always was a huge coffee drinker, and I think the amount of coffee you drink is as important as whether it is decaf or not. Maybe start out with a couple of cups of half-decaf to begin with if you still need that shot in the morning. As for spicy food, I'll just say that now, within a day of eating it, I feel more pain, and I used to make my salsa with habaneras and ate Mexican food constantly. Oh well. Now I sheepishly ask for "mild sauce" at Taco Bell. Things change.
I'm not really sure what effect smoking and drinking had on my prostatitis. I read right away on this site that I had to give them up, but the truth is, they were such big changes in my life, I didn't notice what effect they had on my prostatitis. I think, initially, they helped, but unfortunately quitting certainly didn't solve the problem for me. You could try the things I suggest without, I suppose, but I doubt they would work as well. I had to give up drinking and smoking for other reasons as well--mainly, I wanted to live.
The woman I am with now gets very horny about every four days. And though that wasn't the frequency I preferred, I got used to it, and feel that sex is better when she is hotter, and now, I think it has probably been helpful for my prostatits. Men on this site seemed to be fairly split on whether sex help or hurts. I think it does both. I definitely have felt some prostatistis relief immediately after sex. However if I am feeling relatively good, and have sex, I have also noticed an small increase in pain and symptoms the next day. One of the irritating symptoms of prostatitis is that the pain of it contributes to the buildup of sexual sensation in the penis and can make you feel like coming sooner than you are used to. I haven't heard anyone else mention this, however. More frequent sex dissipated some of that buildup, but it also seemed to increase irritation to the prostate. I am one of those odd guys who prefers a hand-job to a blow job, but I have also noticed that handjobs on the days between the days when my girl and I had sex (much as she did a good "job" and they felt great) seemed to irritate my prostate more than regular sex. I'm not sure why. I also, for some reason, during regular sex prefer to "come" when I'm on top of her, rather than when she's on top (which as a sexual position I prefer). For some reason, I feel like I "come" more completely, and I notice less prostate symptoms when I do. My solution is to pretty much wait till she's completely ripe (every four days) to have sex. Religiously, I take four ibuprofen afterward and that seems to reduce and even eliminate the symptoms sex provokes. When I practice this cycle, things seem balanced.
When things were so bad three or four months ago, I came to this website, read a bunch, and then went out to the drugstore and bought a box of Prosta Q and a bottle of Naturemade Zinc 60mg. I didn't expect them to work or even help, but I knew I had to do something just to help me live with the pain. I had read somewhere that your body couldn't absorb the Zinc and, reading the box of Prosta Q, the ingredients didn't seem particularly unusual--if you have been around this website much. Anyway I tried it. One of each, morning and night, after meals. I tried taking them without eating first a few times and got sick to my stomach. I tried three times a day for a few days in the beginning, but it didn't seem to help, and almost seemed to make things worse. Within days, though, my worst symptoms had moderated, and within a couple of weeks, I felt like things were in balance again. I couldn't believe it. I have nothing to do with either company. I still use Ibuprofen pretty often as an anti-inflammatory, but I walk around not thinking or worrying about my prostate, which is the most important thing. I have no idea why it works. I still have periods of increased pain, but they are more tolerable, can be treated with Ibuprofen, and leave in a few days. Most of them I can attributed to moments when I broke my own regime like when I used my son's bottle of spicy taco sauce, or when I had sex three times in a day.
The two skills that have helped me most I didn't have in the beginning: First I had to learn to pay attention to my body. I'm a carpenter for a living and little everyday pains were a part of life, you just didn't pay attention to them. I just assumed my body had to work perfectly. I ate, drank, and smoked like I was indestructible. That strategy works about as long as your thirties...Secondly I had to stop thinking about a cure, and start thinking about how I could "manage" the problem, how I could live with it. If the solution I have now keeps working, maybe I have done that. If not, I'll come back to this website, and try again. Good luck!


The mission of the Prostatitis Foundation is to educate the public about the prevalence of prostatitis
and encourage and support research to find the cause and a cure for prostatitis.

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