Recognizing and treating UTIs in men
When you start most conversations about UTIs, you might realize that most of them are focused on women’s health. While women are more likely to get a UTI, it’s still possible to get a UTI if you are male. Men are just as affected by UTIs and there are ways to recognize infections and treat them safely.
How likely are men to get a UTI?
UTIs are less common in men than in women because women have a shorter urethra that leads to the bladder, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder and start an infection. UTIs affect an estimated 3% of men around the world, compared to 20% of women who are estimated to have at least one UTI in her lifetime. It’s very likely that you may never experience a urinary infection as a man.
However, there are some risk factors that make it more likely for men to get an infection, such as:
- Age—men over the age of 50 are more likely to get UTIs
- Kidney stones
- An enlarged prostate or prostate infection
- Not being circumcised
- Having a history of UTIs
For men, it is possible to get a UTI through sex, it’s very unlikely. Most infections begin from bacteria already in the body.
What are the symptoms of UTIs in men?
Symptoms of a UTI in men are very similar to women, and they include:
- Experiencing pain during urination
- Frequent or the sudden urge to urinate
- Inability to urinate or only being able to pee small amounts at a time
- Pain in the central lower part of the abdomen
- Cloudy urine with a strong odor
Although the general symptoms for UTIs are similar for both genders, men have another symptom that can be used to recognize an infection. Experiencing fluid or discharge seeping from the penis could strongly indicate a UTI. If you experience any of these symptoms or multiple together, check in with your doctor to make sure that you treat your infection properly before it can become complicated.
What are the treatment options for UTIs in men?
Although it is less common for men to get a UTI, it’s more likely to spread to the other organs in the upper tract, like the kidneys. It’s important not to ignore any of the symptoms and see a healthcare professional to deal with the infection.
The standard treatment for UTIs are antibiotics that will be prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor can also take a urine sample to learn what kind of antibiotics will get rid of your particular infection. There are a variety of strains that can cause a urinary infection, so this culture is needed to determine if the infection is more complicated and requires adjusted treatment.
If an infection spreads to other organs like the kidney, an infection can become more severe, even fatal. Don’t risk putting off treatment and see a doctor.
Even if they’re uncommon, you can still prevent UTIs from occurring.
Prevention is important to avoid future infections which require more antibiotics to treat. Men have to worry less about contracting an infection, but there are still things you can do to prevent UTIs from occurring.
Reduce the risk of getting an infection by:
- Clean your genital area well when you shower.
- Stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day.
- Don’t hold your urine and empty your bladder when you do go.
- Wear condoms when you have sex. This also helps reduce the risk of your partner getting an infection
There are supplements you can add to your diet to help your body fight off infections, such as cranberry extract pills or d-mannose. There are a number of vitamins you can take safely to stop future UTIs from recurring.
Sex is a common trigger for UTIs, even for men. If you have a UTI or are at risk of getting a UTI, make sure to have a prevention plan like Uqora that can prevent your next UTI!