Can Herpes Cause Prostatitis?

Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it is thought to affect at least 45 million Americans, many of which do not know they are infected. Herpes can cause many health complications, including other infections such as prostatitis.

Genital Herpes

Genital herpes (often shortened to herpes) is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus and characterized by genital or rectal blisters. These blisters heal after a few weeks and do not occur at all in some people. Many people never realize they have herpes at all. Like most sexually transmitted diseases, it can be spread through sexual contact with those already infected. There is no cure for herpes.


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Prostatitis is the inflammation and swelling of the prostate gland, a walnut-sized gland that sits at the beginning of the urethra in men. While not all of the functions of the prostate are completely understood, it seems that its main purpose is to release nutrients during the ejaculation process. Prostatitis causes the prostate to swell, which can prevent urine excretion and ejaculation. It can also pain during urination and ejaculation.

When Herpes Leads to Prostatitis

Prostatitis can be caused by many things, including the herpes simplex virus. Herpes causes inflamed blisters on the genitals and the rectum. When these blisters are opened, the herpes simplex virus often can be found in the fluid that leaks out. The current theory is that the virus spreads from open blisters in the rectum and infects the prostate gland, which can be reached through the anus.


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Symptoms of prostatitis include problems urinating or maintaining a constant stream of urine when you do urinate. You may also notice pain during urination or ejaculation. If this is coupled with genital and rectal blisters, it is possible that you have a prostate infection caused by a herpes infection. You should see your health-care provider right away. He will do an exam of your genitals. He may also do a rectal exam to examine your prostate. In most cases, he will also take a urine sample to analyze it for the herpes virus.


Although there is no cure for herpes, there are treatments to manage it. Herpes occurs in outbreaks of blisters and may remain dormant for years. Prostatitis caused by herpes usually only shows up during an outbreak. Your health-care provider will probably prescribe antiviral medications to control your herpes outbreaks and pain medication for the prostatitis symptoms. While antiviral medications can limit your transmission of the disease, your health-care provider will also advise you to inform your past, current and future sexual partners of your disease. He will also advise you to practice safe sex with all sexual partners to avoid transmission of herpes.