Q:

How can men get a UTI?

A:

Quick Answer

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is common among women, but men can get it, too. This condition is extremely rare in young men, but the risk increases as they age.

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Full Answer

A urinary tract infection (UTI) develops when bacteria accumulate in the urinary tract. The urinary tract is composed of the urethra, bladder, ureters and kidneys. UTIs commonly occur in the lower urinary tract, which include the urethra and bladder. Most often, an infection arises because the bacteria that accumulates in the bowel spreads to the bladder or kidneys and multiply in the urine. UTIs are more common in women than in men because their urethra is shorter, making it easy for bacteria to spread to the bladder.

Common Causes of UTI in Men

  • Weak immune system due to long-term illnesses such as diabetes
  • Blockages in the urinary tract such as bladder stones and kidney stones
  • Being uncircumcised
  • Recent urinary tract surgery
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Bladder catheter insertion
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Engaging in anal intercourse
  • Unprotected sex with a woman who has a vaginal infection.
  • HIV infection
    • Symptoms
      Common symptoms of UTI in men may include:

      • Painful or difficult urination
      • A burning sensation
      • Blood in the urine
      • Frequent urination
      • Urinary urgency or sudden urges to release the urine in the bladder
      • Pain in the central lower abdomen
        • If the kidney is involved, additional symptoms can occur which include:

          • Vomiting and nausea
          • Chills and high fever
          • Pain at the sides or back
            • There are also other symptoms that may arise depending on the location of the infection, such as pain near the anus or groin region due to prostate infection, pain and swelling of the testicles due to testicular infection, and pain and swelling of the scrotum due to epididymis infection.

              Treatment
              The treatment of a UTI in men varies depending on several factors including the:

              • Location of the infection
              • Species of bacteria that causes the infection
                • Physicians may prescribe antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria that cause the infection. Patients may need to take the antibiotics for three to five days or longer, depending on the severity of the infection. It's very important to take all of the prescribed medications, even if they start feeling better, as this helps prevent the infection from returning. Physicians may also recommend to drink plenty of water and urinate frequently, as this helps the bladder clean itself and causes the patient to pee more often.

                  If the patient suffers from bladder spasms (occurs when the bladder muscles contract, or tighten, causing the urge to urinate), the physician may prescribe medicine to help ease the pain. Some medications that help alleviate bladder spasms may turn the urine an orange color, but this is a totally normal side effect and only lasts as long as the patient is taking the medicine.

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