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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine your prostate by gently inserting a finger into your rectum. When the prostate is infected, it usually feels swollen. When slight pressure is put on the gland, you may experience pain or a severe need to urinate. Your doctor also will do a general exam to make sure that infection has not spread to other organs, such as the kidneys.

A next step will be to examine a urine specimen for evidence of infection, such as white blood cells and bacteria. In a typical case of acute prostatitis, the urine will contain white blood cells. You may also have blood tests to check your kidney function and blood cell count. Your doctor may order an ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan if there is concern that your swollen prostate is causing urinary obstruction.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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