The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the penis. In females, the reproductive organ is separate from the system that takes evacuates urine. In men however, the reproductive organs are linked to the urinary system via the prostate gland. The prostate is therefore vulnerable to both urinary and sexually transmitted Infections.Urine is made in the kidneys, it enters the bladder, where it is stored until urination, by way of the ureters. It travels from the bladder to the penis via the urethra. The urethra passes through the prostate which surrounds the exit opening of the bladder.Sperm is produced in the testes and travels to the urethra via the ejaculatory duct. The joining of the ejaculatory duct and the urethra occurs in the prostate. Consequently the prostate gland is prone to urinary and sexually transmitted illnesses. These infections may lead to bladder disorders and these disorders in turn may give rise to Kidney problems.There are three main illnesses associated with the prostate gland: Prostatitis, Nodular Hyperplasia or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) and Cancer.Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland. Because of the close proximity of the bladder, urethra and prostate it is difficult to distinguish prostatitis from inflammation of the urethra or bladder and the situation is exacerbated as inflammation in one area can result in inflammation in another.In an examination for prostatitis the prostate is massaged by inserting a finger into the rectum. This massaging causes a fluid to be secreted by the prostate. This secretion which is passed from the penis is then examined to ascertain if there is inflammation of the prostate.Urine from the bladder and the prostate secretion both pass through the urethra. If the test for prostatitis proves positive it must then be determined which area it is that is inflamed; the urethra, the bladder or the prostate. This is done by examining two samples of the subjects urine. If the first sample test negative for inflammation this indicates the urethra is normal and if the second sample is also negative this indicates the bladder is also normal . When these two areas are ruled out any inflammation in the prostate secretion is indicative of prostatitis.Symptoms of prostatitis include lower back pain, pain on passing urine, an increased urge to urinate, and difficulty withholding urine. In acute cases there may be fever, chills and nausea while with chronic cases there may be irregular repeated occurrences of symptoms.One cause of prostatitis is bacteria. The bacteria is transmitted sexually during unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse. Chronic prostatitis is often associated with recurrent infection of the urinary tract. Ironically the reverse is also true and prostatitis can lead to recurrent infection of the urinary tract. However not all cases of prostatitis are the result of bacteria. In the majority of cases of chronic prostatitis no bacteria are found. This is called abacterial prostatitis and its cause is unclear.As most affected patients fall into the sexually active age range 30 to 45 years old several sexually transmitted germs have been implicated. This often frustrates patient and doctor alike as treatment then becomes difficult. In an effort , therefore, to render an effective cure of chronic abacterial prostatitis , doctors often prescribe extended courses of antibiotics to eradicate any uncommon bacteria that may have found a safe haven in the prostate gland.