Common Causes of Male UTIs
A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when there are “bad” bacteria in the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. In most cases, it’s the bladder and the urethra that fall victim to a UTI. If you don’t know what the urethra is, it’s the tube that helps your bladder expel urine from the body. It is a common misconception that only women are prone to UTIs. Although rare, men can get urinary tract infections, in fact, about three percent of men suffer from a UTI every year! When a man develops a UTI, it is highly likely that the infection will spread to their upper urinary tracts and kidneys. In this case, surgery remains the only option. Your best line of defence against a UTI is to know its symptoms so you can seek medical attention right away. Before we jump into the causes of male UTIs, let’s take a quick look at the common signs:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Pain during urination
- Pain in the central, bottom part of the abdomen
- Inability to start urinating
- A sudden need to urinate (seemingly out of nowhere)
- Slow urine leakage or a slow urine stream
- Cloudy or bloody urine with a strong smell
If you experience frequent urination and back pain, it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Many men also suffer from nausea, fever, vomiting, and chills after developing a UTI. All these signs indicate that the infection has reached the kidneys, so please go to your doctor immediately.
Causes of Male UTIs
It is true that women are more at risk for developing a UTI, but don’t forget that a UTI is also a sexually transmitted infection. If you are engaging in sexual intercourse with an infected female partner, you may get a UTI.
In men over the age of 50, the risk of a UTI comes from the presence of Escherichia coli that’s already in their bodies. When this bacteria gets into the urinary tract and starts multiplying, it results in a UTI.
The only reason why men are not as prone to UTIs as women is because they have longer urethras. The E. Coli bacteria need to travel a longer distance to reach a man’s bladder, and most often than not, this long journey proves to be unfavorable for the bacteria to grow.
In addition, the following conditions can also increase your risk of developing a UTI:
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Urinary incontinence
- Inability to empty the bladder completely
- Lack of hydration
- A UTI in the past
- Uncircumcised penis
- Having anal intercourse (risk of exposure to bacteria becomes significantly higher)
The most common causes of a UTI inside the urethra are sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea and Chlamydia.
Prostate-related problems can also lead to a UTI. If you have an enlarged prostate and it goes untreated, there is a high risk of UTI. Any issue in the prostate gland can block the flow of urine, causing the bacteria to grow. And as you know by now, bacteria build-up can give you a UTI.
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