When we talk about UTIs, they usually revolve around women’s health because they are much more common in women than men. However, it’s still possible to get a UTI if you’re a man. Men are just as affected by urinary tract infections, especially in relation to an enlarged prostate, or BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). As men age, it’s natural for the prostate to become bigger, but at some point it can lead to a condition called BPH. By age 60, 50% of men show some signs of BPH. By age 85, 90% of men will show signs for BPH. This common condition can lead to UTIs in older men, which is why we’re informing you on the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
What is the function of the prostate?
The prostate is a gland surrounding the neck of the bladder in males. It is responsible for releasing prostatic fluid that helps make up semen. A normal prostate is the size of a walnut, however, it can increase in size due to BPH, inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis), or bacterial infection & inflammation (bacterial prostatitis).
What is the difference between BPH,prostatitisandbacterial prostatitis?
How do I know if I have BPH (enlarged prostate)?
The main BPH symptoms are:
How are UTIs and enlarged prostates related?
One symptom of BPH is the inability to empty the bladder completely. That’s because an enlarged prostate constricts the urethra— making it difficult for urine to pass from the bladder through the urethra.
Side view of prostate and bladder:
Urinary tract infections in men with BPH can lead to further complications. Below we’ll discuss why this happens.
Recurrent UTIs and bacterial prostatitis in men with BPH:
Once you get a UTI, you are more likely to get another. The bacteria in your bladder from UTIs form biofilm, a mucus-like shield bacteria use to attach to your bladder walls and protect themselves from your immune responses and antibiotics. They remain in your bladder untouched and cause recurrent UTIs.
Biofilm from UTIs leads to higher levels of antibiotic resistance, making it difficult to eliminate bacteria. This bacteria can travel to the prostate gland via the ejaculatory ducts and causebacterial prostatitis. In order to prevent bacterial prostatitis andUTIs in men with BPH, the role of biofilm needs to be considered.
In 2014, researchers from the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research examined the role of bacterial biofilms in recurrent UTIs and acuteprostatitis. They state thatbacterial prostatitis is a common infection in men and presents itself as a UTI with a fever.
Treatment and solutions for biofilm-related infections requires further study, due to the high levels of antibiotic resistance demonstrated by biofilm structures.
UTI and catheters in men
Besides biofilm, inserting a catheter is another source of incoming bacteria. Menwith BPH may need to use catheters to fully clear their bladder, which dramatically increases UTI risk as this can introduce bacteria to the bladder. 70-80% of UTIs acquired in health facilities are due to indwelling urethral catheters. That’s because germs such as E.coli are introduced to the urethra when the catheter is inserted or while it remains in the bladder. Bacteria can travel up the catheter and adhere to the urethra or bladder walls and multiply.
Click here for further steps on preventingUTIs from catheters in men.
Antibiotic resistance, catheters, and biofilm make UTIs from an enlarged prostate seem like a never-ending uphill battle. In addition to following the steps necessary for preventingUTIs in men, you might need additional help to break the UTI cycle.
BPH is a natural and common part of the aging process, but that doesn’t mean you have to endure painful urinary tract infections as a result. Our daily UTI-prevention capsule Control, breaks up biofilm and fights bacteria already living in the urinary tract from past UTIs. The ingredients in our drink mix Target adhere to bacteria and increases urinary flow, so you can flush out potential UTI-causing pathogens.