Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is defined as a condition in which the bacteria overgrows in the bladder, ureters, urethra or the kidneys. UTI in men is less common than that compared to women due to the fact that the length of the urethra is shorter in women than in men and the bacteria finds way quickly to the bladder to grow. UTI is usually treated with antibiotics. UTI in men is classified broadly in to two types: UTI in upper tract indicates the infection in kidneys or in any of the ureters. UTI in lower tract indicates infection in bladder, prostate or urethra.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection in men
Symptoms of UTI in men differ depending on the location. A man suffering from UTI can have any or some of the following symptoms:
- Pain, burning sensation while urinating/peeing.
- Frequent (and sometimes urgent) need to urinate
- Blood in urine
- Cloudy and smelly urine.
If the urinary tract infection is present in the kidneys, following symptoms may show up:
- Pain in the back or on the sides
- Fever and chills
- Nausea and/or vomiting
When the prostate is infected with bacteria, following symptoms may show up:
- Fever and chills
- Tiredness / fatigue
- Problem urinating
Pain in pelvis or in the perineum
Causes of UTI in men
Most UTI in men are caused by E.Coli bacteria. Though this bacteria is present in our body, sometimes it manages to enter the urinary tract through the urethra (the pipe that runs from the bottom of the bladder to the tip of the penis) and starts growing in bladder or ureters etc resulting in UTI. Following are the factors that put a person at risk of getting a UTI:
- Old age where the chances of enlarged prostate (BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) are higher.
- Not drinking enough fluids. Drinking good amount of water and other fluids can help flush out the bacteria that is growing in the urinary tract.
- Recent history of UTI
- Being immobile for longer periods
- Not being circumcised.
- Faecal incontinence
- Having anal intercourse that can expose the penis to large amounts of bacteria.
How is UTI diagnosed in men?
Starting with a set of questions regarding the symptoms, urine sample may be collected and sent for testing to make sure about the presence of bacteria. If the urine is cloudy and stinky due to the presence of pus, that can be an affirmative indicator of UTI.
A digital rectal exam may be performed to see if the prostate is enlarged. This is typically done by inserting a gloved finger through the man’s anus and testing the wall of the rectum.
UTI treatment for men
Treatment of UTI is a little simpler thing as the infection is bacterial. If the urine sample is tested, the type of bacteria will be known and appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed by the gynecologist. The prescription given by the doctor should be taken till the completion of course in order to avoid making the bacteria antibiotic resistant or from recurrence of infection.
The person will be advised to drink good amount of water and other fluids such as juices so that the bacteria can be flushed out during urination. As a natural remedy for UTI, drinking lemon juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice might be advised. The vitamin C present in these juices can help fight infection in the body or in the urinary tract.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
- Not to hold urine and pee as and when the signal is given by the body to empty bladder.
- Drinking good amount of water and other fluids.
- Cleaning the skin on the penis, if not uncircumcised after peeing.
- Avoiding risky sexual interactions
- Always keeping the foreskin and the penis clean.