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UTI in Men: Symptoms and Treatment

UTI in Men: Symptoms and Treatment

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by the growth of bacteria in the urinary system, which comprises kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTI is more common in the bladder and the urethra, the tract that drains urine out of the body from the bladder. And as common as it is in women, UTI in men is also possible.

Bacteria entering the urinary system is normal as long as it gets drained from the body along with urine. This medical condition occurs when this bacteria does not get eliminated and remains in the urinary tract. UTI is usually less seen in men as compared to women. Only 3% of men are affected by it throughout the world. However, when it occurs, it usually takes the shape of a serious medical condition that often rapidly spreads to the kidneys and upper urinary tract. In severe cases, a surgery may also become necessary.

Types of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

UTI can be classified into two categories depending on the location of the infection in the urinary system. These are as below:

Lower tract infections

Caused by intestinal bacteria, this type of UTI can affect the bladder, urethra, or prostate. Infection in the bladder and urethra are called cystitis and urethritis respectively.

In this type of urinary tract infection, the bacteria enters the urinary tract from below and spreads from the skin to the urethra and then gradually to the bladder. Urethritis may also occur as a result of microorganisms that are transmitted through sexual contact if one has chlamydia or gonorrhea. The urinary tract infection in the prostate of males, known as prostatitis, is caused due to the inflammation of this organ.

Upper tract infections

Bacteria may spread and stay in the upper organs of the urinary tract like ureter. On the other hand, bacteria in kidneys may be left behind along with the blood flow that has been supplied to the kidneys.

Symptoms of UTI in men

The symptoms of this medical condition do not always manifest. When they do, here are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Sudden and uncontrollable urges to urinate
  • Difficulty to start urinating
  • Discomfort, pain, or burning sensation while urinating
  • Leaking urine
  • Frequently waking up at night to urinate
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Pain in central lower abdomen
  • Restricted flow of urine despite the uncontrollable urge
  • Blood in urine
  • Urine with odor

Symptoms of complications in urinary tract infection indicate that the bacteria has spread to the upper urinary tract like the kidneys. These symptoms are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Back pain

Risks of UTI in men

Below are the risks of developing the medical condition:

  • Increasing age
  • A past history of UTI
  • Inability to control urinating, a condition known as incontinence
  • Usage of urinary catheter or self-catheterization
  • Not being circumcised
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Other urinary tract conditions like constriction, inability to empty the bladder completely, stones in the kidney, etc.

How to diagnose UTI in men?

The following is the usual diagnostic procedure that is followed:

Physical examination

Your doctor may examine you physically by pressing your sides, on the location of the kidneys and back, based on your symptoms. This will enable them to analyze whether you are feeling pain in any part of your urinary tract and, if there is pain, evaluate its location.

Medical tests

Based on their evaluation during the physical examination, they may recommend medical tests to diagnose the cause of your health condition.

Treatment for UTI in men

The following are the treatment options that are generally advised for the medical condition:

Treatment for bacterial infection in the lower urinary tract

Antibiotics may be prescribed based on the results of your urine test. Infections in the lower urinary tract that is uncomplicated is usually treated with antibiotics within 5 to 7 days.

After you complete this course of medication, your doctor is likely to advise you to get your urine sampled again to evaluate the extent of bacterial infection in the urinary tract. In case that this medical test still detects the presence of bacteria, your physician will most probably advise you to continue with the same medications for at least 3 weeks more. These medications might give your urine an orange or a red color.

Treatment for bacterial infection in the upper urinary tract

For severe cases of urinary tract infection of the kidneys, you may have to be hospitalized. The usual course of treatment is antibiotics administered in the veins through intravenous catheter. This treatment is especially applicable when symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and fever (with or without chills). These symptoms raise the risk of dehydration and discourage prescription of oral antibiotic drugs.

Prevention of UTI in men

Some of the most recommended precautionary measures for this medical condition are:

  • There is no substitute for drinking water at regular intervals to control the risk of urinary tract infection. Consumption of water and other fluids even when you have bacterial infection in the urinary tract is highly recommended to flush out the bacteria. However, fluids do not refer to diuretics like tea and coffee, juices of citrus fruits, and alcohol.
  • Make sure to urinate after sexual intercourse to flush out the bacteria that may have entered your urinary tract after being transmitted by your partner during sex.
  • Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge. Not urinating when you need raises the risk of bacterial infections in the urinary tract. These can cause further irritation in the bladder and aggravate the medical condition. Constrict your bladder muscles and keep them squeezed for 5 seconds as you are making an effort to hold back from urinating. Next, relax the muscles for 5 seconds and repeat the same step for 10 seconds. Repeat this 15 times to complete one step. Do 3 sets of this or as many recommended by your doctor.
  • Exercise your pelvic muscles to aid in the process of urination without pain or any other complications.
  • Cranberry juice is believed to be effective in preventing this medical condition.

Learn more about Men’s Health Issues here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Everything You Should Know About Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Men https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/uti-in-men Accessed on 27/04/2020

All you need to know about UTIs in men https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320872 Accessed on 27/04/2020

Men and urinary tract infections https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/men-and-urinary-tract-infections Accessed on 27/04/2020

Urinary Tract Infection in Men https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/urinary-tract-infection-in-men-a-to-z Accessed on 27/04/2020

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Males https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/231574-overview Accessed on 27/04/2020

Urinary Tract Infection in Men https://www.drugs.com/cg/urinary-tract-infection-in-men.html Accessed on 27/04/2020

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Males Treatment & Management https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/231574-treatment Accessed on 27/04/2020

Recent advances in recurrent urinary tract infection from pathogenesis and biomarkers to prevention / https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5615991/ Accessed on 06/08/2020

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Jun 30
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
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