Urinary tract infections (UTIs) aren’t exclusively a problem for women. About 3% of men also experience UTI conditions. While this is about one-quarter of the rate at which women experience UTIs, it’s still statistically significant.
This relatively rare level of occurrence means that men might not be as aware of the symptoms of UTIs, which can leave them vulnerable to complications stemming from lack of treatment. Mike Hsieh, MD and his team know that awareness is key to treatment, so we’ve prepared this men’s UTI primer so you know when it’s time to act on your UTI.
Bacteria are the infecting agents when a UTI forms. They can settle anywhere in your urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys.
Bacterial transfer between the anus and urethra is the most common route as well as the reason why women see more UTIs. That distance is much closer than for men.
You’re more prone to UTIs as you get older. Urinary tract obstructions like kidney stones or prostate enlargement make you more vulnerable to UTIs.
The symptoms of UTI are the same in men as women. Both sexes experience:
- Pain or burning during urination
- Frequent or urgent needs to urinate
- Incomplete drainage of the bladder
- Blood present in the urine
- Pain originating in the lower abdomen or back
Men with UTIs often have no symptoms or less severe reactions, so it’s easier to miss the signs. When something feels off and you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit Dr. Hsieh. Without treatment, you can develop more significant complications, including kidney damage and sepsis.
Causes of male UTIs
While male UTIs are rare, several factors can increase your risk, including:
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones and other urinary tract obstructions
- Catheter use
- Being uncircumcised
- Poor hydration
- A narrow urethra
Bacteria can spread during sexual activity. Some sexual practices, such as anal intercourse, carry increased risk.
There’s plenty you can do to prevent UTIs. Drinking lots of water helps to dilute and flush bacteria. Urinating after sexual activity helps to minimize the effects of bacterial transfer.
Good hygiene can reduce your risk, though you should avoid irritants like harsh soaps. Don’t use the same toilet paper for both urination and bowel movements.
Using barrier protection like condoms during sexual activity blocks bacteria from entering the urethra. It’s possible for a woman with an active UTI to transfer it to a man.
Antibiotics usually act well on bacterial infections. Take the full course of medication that Dr. Hsieh prescribes. You may feel better after a few days, but your infection could reemerge if you stop antibiotics before the end of the prescription.
Dr. Hsieh may also recommend other treatments or further testing if there’s a chance an underlying condition contributes to your UTI.
Call Dr. Hsieh’s office in La Jolla, California, at the first sign of a UTI. Treatment is quick, easy, and it assures little risk of complications. Book your appointment now.