UTI in Men

Urinary Tract Infections in Men

Urinary Tract Infections occur when bacteria invade and overgrow the bladder, the kidneys or the ureters, which are the tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder. UTI in men are not very common and they can easily be cured with antibiotics in five to seven days.

Since a UTI can start in a light way, special attention must be paid to the symptoms because otherwise it may turn into a prostate infection.

Cystitis: In general, the symptoms of a bladder infection tend to appear suddenly and include:

  • painful urination and a burning sensation

  • the need to urinate frequently

  • sudden urges to empty your bladder (also called „urinary urgency“)

  • pain in your central lower abdomen, just above the pubic bone

  • blood in the urine

Pyelonephritis: In addition to the preceeding symptoms, special attention must be paid to a possible UTI that involves the kidneys. These symptoms are as follows:

  • pain in your sides or back that doesn’t change when you change position

  • fever and chills

  • nausea and vomiting

Prostatitis: Certain symptoms in addition to those of a UTI could mean you have a prostate infection. These include:

  • fever

  • chills

  • fatigue

  • difficulty urinating or “dribbling”

  • pain in your pelvis or the area between your rectum and scrotum (perineum)

Risk factors for UTIs

E. coli bacteria: Generally UTIs are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is naturally present in the human body. The bacterium gets into the urinary tract through the urethra, which is the tube that drains urine from the bladder through the penis. UTIs are more common in women than in men because their urethra is shorter and the bacteria need to travel a shorter distance to reach their bladder. By the way, it’s unlikely for a man to catch a UTI from having intercourse with a woman, because the infection is typically from bacteria already present in the man’s urinary tract.

Seniors: UTIs in men are more common with older age. One reason is that older men are more likely to develop noncancerous enlargement of their prostate gland, called benign prostatic hyperplasia. The prostate wraps around the neck of the bladder, where the urethra connects to the bladder. Enlargement of the prostate gland can choke off the bladder neck, making it harder for urine to flow freely. If the bladder doesn’t empty completely, bacteria that are normally flushed out with the urine might gain a foothold.

Other factors that can put you at greater risk for UTIs include the following:

  • being immobile for long periods

  • not drinking enough fluids

  • recent urinary tract surgery

  • diabetes

  • being uncircumcised

  • fecal incontinence

  • engaging in anal intercourse, which exposes the urethra to more bacteria

Final recommendations:

In order to find out if a UTI has developed, a urine test can be done to find out if there is pus and bacteria in the urine, which are the signs of a UTI. For diagnosing an enlarged prostate gland, a digital rectal exam is conducted to check the prostate gland through the rectum's wall.

If you have a UTI it is recommended to take the antibiotics given by the doctor in a disciplined way (once or twice a day during 5-7 or more days days) in order to avoid that bacteria becomes resistant to the antibiotic and in order to avoid that the bacteria comes back in the future. Besides, it is important to drink plenty of water because it can help flush the bacteria through the urine. You will start feeling better after 2-3 days specially while urinating you will notice that it does not hurt. If this is not the case, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.

In order to prevent UTIs it is recommended to:

  • Take cranberry supplements or drink daily 100% natural cranberry juice without added sugar, glucose etc.

  • Immediately go to the toilet when you feel the need. Don’t “hold it in”

  • Drink 2 liters of water a day. Drink more when it’s hot, when it's hot and you’re exercising and when you are thirsty.

  • During toileting, wipe from front to back.

  • Keep your genital area clean and dry.