Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are stationed in urethra or bladder. The infection can be painful and frustrating, and sometimes it may spread to other organs and cause even bigger complications.
UTIs are common among women, with around half of women developing this disease throughout their lives. But can men get a UTI, too? Yes, they can, albeit the odds are much lower.
In this article, we will talk about how can men get a UTI and what can they do to prevent it or treat it.
What Is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria infiltrate the bladder (urinary tract) and then multiply. As a result, the bladder gets red and swollen. If you get infected, you’ll feel burning pain in your pelvic area and while urinating.
Coli bacteria are the main cause of these infections. According to research, 90% of all UTI comes from E. coli. In some rare cases, the culprits could be viruses or fungi.
Women are much more prone to UTIs due to their body structure. It doesn’t take long for bacteria to travel from the pelvic region (where they are stationed) to the bladder (which they infect).
For the same anatomical reason, men are much less likely to catch a UTI. Since the urethra is longer in men, the bacteria will have problems traveling through and will most likely be washed out or destroyed by the immune system.
If not treated properly, the UTI can continue traveling through the body and reach the kidneys. This causes pyelonephritis, which is a serious kidney infection. When infected, the pain spreads from the pelvic region to the back and you are likely to catch a fever.
Can Men Get a UTI?
Only 3% of men around the world get this condition, and even less frequently young men.
But the small percentage of men who do get a UTI will probably endure more complications than women do, as the infection is more likely to spread along to the kidneys, and in some instances, it may even require surgery.
It’s a common misconception that men can only catch a UTI from sexual intercourse with a woman. While a possibility always exists, the main reason for this infection in men is the presence of.
Why Do Men Get a UTI?
Men of older age are much more likely to get UTI than young, healthy men, especially since older men can develop an enlarged (non-cancerous) prostate gland. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia.
When the prostate gets bigger, it wraps around the part of the bladder that links with the urethra. This can prevent the free flow of urine and the bladder may not empty out, therefore some bacteria will remain.
Other than benign prostatic hyperplasia, a wide range of other factors can cause this condition:
- Kidney stones
- Any condition that prevents you from emptying the bladder completely
- Any condition that makes you urinate involuntarily
- Being immobile for a long time
- Not drinking enough water and other liquids
- Having had a UTI in the past
- A weak immune system
- Having anal intercourse, which exposes the urethra to bacteria
- Having a medical procedure that involves instrumentation of the urinary tract (cystoscopy, tube insertion, etc.)
How to Know If You Have a UTI
In some situations, men won’t feel any symptoms of their UTI in the beginning. But when the symptoms appear for the first time, here’s what you should look out for:
- A need to urinate as often as possible
- Burning pain while urinating
- Can’t start urinating
- Bloody urine
- Throbbing pain in the lower abdomen area
- Urine with a heavy odor
- A slow stream or leakage
If the UTI gets more complicated, the symptoms are:
- Back pain
How to Treat a UTI
Most of the time, UTIs will require a longer treatment and you’ll need to be extremely patient. The purpose of the treatment is to prevent the infection from spreading to the kidneys. Then, the treatment destroys the remaining bacteria in the bladder.
The treatment usually includes antibiotics and medications that will reduce symptoms such as pain in the abdomen and a burning feeling while urinating. Some treatments can last up to six weeks, though sometimes it only takes a few days. If the UTI spreads, the situation gets far more complicated, and surgery might be required.
The following natural methods should benefit you while treating a UTI (in addition to your doctor’s prescription):
- Cranberry juice: Cranberry contains substances that prevent bacteria from remaining in the urinary tract, washing them out of your body.
- Drinking liquids: Water is essential while treating this disease. The more water you drink, the more time you’ll have to urinate and wash the bacteria out of the body. Other recommended liquids include herbal teas and juices.
How to Prevent It?
Now that you know that men can get a UTI, here’s the best way to prevent this from happening. Doing these things will significantly reduce the possibility of catching a UTI:
- Empty the bladder as often as you can and don’t hold it in unless there’s no other option
- Drink as much liquid as you can
- Wear condoms during sexual intercourse
- Clean the genitals before and after intercourse
- Urinate after sex to remove any bacteria
Small Chance – Big Problems
Men are less likely to develop UTIs but the infection is often more dangerous in men than in women. The bacteria can spread around easily, and the symptoms don’t reveal themselves until it’s in the later stages, so there’s always a risk of the infection taking a more serious form.
However, you can easily prevent this by taking care of your urinary tract, drinking a lot of water, and of course – staying clean. If you take these preventive measures, there is almost no chance that you’ll be in that annual 3% that develop this infection around the world.