It has been 3 years since my last post on this blog, where I gave an update on my condition at the end of the third and final round of my phage therapy treatment. In this time, more than 500 people suffering from prostatitis around the world have come in contact with me, many through this blog. For most people, their prostatitis condition is chronic and recurrent, and they take multiple antibiotic courses following standard treatment guidelines. The ineffectiveness of oral antibiotics, however, leads many prostatitis sufferers to try a variety of alternative treatments. In this post, I focus on the different prostatitis treatment options that I have learned about in-depth, based on the collective experience of all the prostatitis sufferers I have spoken to in these years.
Oral Antibiotics for Prostatitis
Oral antibiotics are the mainstay of standard prostatitis treatment across the world. The oral antibiotics prescribed for prostatitis are so standard that a majority of urologists don’t bother with diagnostic testing to identify the bacterial pathogen causing the condition. Instead they choose to start treatment empirically with fluoroquinolones such as Ciprofloxacin or Levofloxacin, or tetracyclines such as Doxycycline. Almost every prostatitis sufferer I have spoken to has taken these antibiotics.
So, do they work?
In cases of acute prostatitis, where the onset of symptoms is quick and sudden and the antibiotic treatment is started immediately, I have come across some cases of successful treatment experiences. In these cases, one starts oral antibiotics within 48-72 hours of developing the infection, and the pathogenic bacteria do not get a chance to create biofilms and become chronic.
But there is a catch here. Though antibiotics give relief initially, but if any of the infection remains in the prostate or surrounding areas, it can spell trouble. This remaining infection can quietly thrive in the urogenital tract. It becomes sub-acute, creates biofilms, and ends up becoming chronic prostatitis. And in typical cases of chronic prostatitis, oral antibiotics just don’t work. For many prostatitis sufferers (including me), oral antibiotics hardly make a dent on the infection. To make matters worse, you can end up with adverse side effects from prolonged courses of antibiotics. And often, these are as intense as the symptoms of chronic prostatitis itself!
Overall, for something that is considered the mainstay of treatment for prostatitis, oral antibiotics do a poor job of providing a significant and long lasting treatment for this condition. Every prostatitis sufferer starts his treatment with oral antibiotics since they are the first line of treatment. But most don’t find anything beyond temporary symptomatic relief with this treatment option.
Direct Prostatic Antibiotic Injections
Many urologists, while prescribing oral antibiotics, know and even admit to their prostatitis patients that oral antibiotics have a fairly poor track record in dealing with chronic prostatitis. Trying to overcome this problem, some urologists have tried direct prostate injections. In theory, a direct antibiotic injection overcomes the challenges of poor vascularity in the prostate. It also bypasses the prostatic capsule that stops most oral antibiotics from penetrating the prostate gland. There are urology clinics, both in the West and the East, that offer treatment for prostatitis by injecting antibiotics directly in the prostate. I have come across a few people who have tried this treatment method.
Direct prostate injections delivered trans-rectally – in which the injection needle punctures the rectal wall – seem to give poor results. Hardly anyone who has tried this has experienced any significant improvements in their prostatitis symptoms. On the downside, people have ended up with additional bacterial pathogens after this treatment. This can happen because puncturing the rectal wall creates a new path for bacteria to invade and infect the prostate.
The other path through which antibiotic injections are delivered into the prostate is via the perineum. The upside of this path is that it avoids the puncturing of the rectal wall and its associated risks. The downside is the possibility of damaging the dense network of nerves that run through the perineum and pelvic floor. These nerves play a significant role in controlling urinary and sexual functions. Many cases of weak urine stream and erectile dysfunction (ED) can be traced to pelvic floor dysfunction and nerve damage in the perineum. I have come across a handful of experiences with perineal prostatic injections. Some of these ended up with ED after this treatment. None of them had a long-term resolution of the condition.
Given the significant downsides of direct prostate injections, and without any major treatment advantages, this is one treatment method that is best avoided.
Homeopathy for Prostatitis
In many countries, when allopathic treatments don’t work, homeopathy is the first port of call. I gave homeopathy a shot for 2 months after my failed treatment with antibiotics. I saw minor, temporary symptomatic improvements while taking different homeopathic tinctures. This seems to be the experience of a fair number of prostatitis sufferers who try homeopathy. The right combination of homeopathic medicines seems to alleviate symptoms for some time. However, it doesn’t provide a solution to the root cause of the problem, which is bacterial infection for many prostatitis sufferers.
The advantage with homeopathy is that it does not seem to have any adverse side effects, unlike antibiotics. So if you have an open mind towards homeopathy (it’s a form of medicine that people either believe in strongly, or reject outright) and are not seeing any improvements with antibiotic treatments, then you can consider this treatment to reduce the intensity of symptoms. However, if you are looking for a long lasting cure, this may not be the treatment option for you.
Natural Herbs and Supplements for Prostatitis
I have written about the natural foods and some of the supplements that helped me during my treatment. A lot of people suffering from chronic prostatitis do give natural herbs and foods and their supplements a try. These foods are known to have a positive impact on overall health by strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation. Many prostatitis sufferers I have come across have tried natural foods and supplements and have found significant symptomatic relief. I think this is something to definitely add to your daily routine if you are suffering from prostatitis. There are really no downsides to adding moderate amounts of foods like neem extract, ginger, garlic and turmeric and herbs like oregano, thyme, echinacea to your daily diet. They may not be able to provide a complete cure by clearing up the prostate infection, but will definitely help with symptomatic improvements and immunity boosting.
Phage Therapy for Prostatitis
This is the treatment that worked for me. Phage therapy cleared up the antibiotic-resistant multi-bacterial infection of my prostate and epididymis. It’s been 3 years since I finished my third and last round of phage therapy, and I have been symptom-free in this time. I have undergone comprehensive prostate fluid and semen testing during this time. The samples show no growth of pathogenic bacteria, and the WBC counts are in the normal range.
Along with my own experience, I have closely seen phage treatments of over 75 people suffering from prostatitis. In most cases, phage therapy has provided successful and lasting treatment of prostatitis. The chronic nature of prostatitis necessitates a targeted and long-term treatment, which can break down bacterial biofilms. Phage therapy fits that bill perfectly. And unlike antibiotics, taking phage therapy for a prolonged time does not lead to adverse side effects.
From my own experience and that of many other sufferers, this is the most effective form of treatment I have come across for dealing with chronic prostatitis.
Pelvic Floor Therapy for Prostatitis
Chronic prostatitis often causes the muscles in the pelvic floor, lower back and flanks to spasm and become tight. The long-term inflammation of the prostate gland impacts the surrounding muscles and causes pain in these regions. This is known as referred pain. The body responds to this trigger of pain by tightening the pelvic floor and lower back muscles.
Pelvic floor therapy helps to alleviate these pains by releasing the trigger points of these tightened, spasmed muscles. Prostatitis sufferers see significant improvements in their pain levels in the pelvis, lower back, and flanks with this treatment. Based on the experiences I have come across, I do feel that pelvic floor therapy plays a role in achieving a thorough resolution of prostatitis.
The key point to keep in mind though is that unless the problem that is causing prostatitis is also addressed, any treatment that provides symptomatic relief will tend to be temporary. This would hold true for pelvic floor therapy too. Bacterial infection is often the cause of the prostate inflammation, which in turn causes the tightening and spasming of the pelvic floor muscles. Treating these muscular spasms without treating the underlying infection will likely provide only temporary relief, and symptoms might recur over time. However, combining pelvic floor therapy with an effective antibacterial treatment is more likely to provide holistic, long lasting relief.
These are the prostatitis treatment options I have come across through my experience and conversations with prostatitis sufferers over the last 3 years. Do you agree with my assessment of these treatments? Have you had an experience with any of these treatments that varies from what I have written? Do share your experiences in the comments section below. I would love to hear about what worked for you and what didn’t.
If you would like to reach me, you can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.