What You Need to Know About Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Men

A urinary tract infection, or a UTI, occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. While females are 30 times more likely to get UTIs than males, UTIs are more common for men as they age.

This is mainly due to the fact that men have the possibility of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as they get older. The enlargement of the prostate gland puts pressure on the bladder, preventing urine from flowing normally. If the bladder does not empty completely, the remaining bacteria that is normally flushed out can grow into an infection.

UTI Causes

UTIs develop from the bacteria that gets into the urinary tract through the urethra. There are several common causes, including the following:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Chlamydia and gonorrhea, specifically, are the two STDs that are likely to cause a UTI.
  • A previous UTI increases the likelihood of getting another one.
  • Long-term use of a urinary catheter.
  • Being immobile for long periods of time.
  • Diabetes and other medical issues that affect your immune system.
  • Not drinking enough fluids.

BPH: A Possible Cause For UTIs

Another common cause for UTIs are prostate problems, or more specifically, BPH. This occurs when the prostate enlarges and blocks the urethra. The flow of urine is then much weaker and prevents the bladder from fully emptying, which then allows bacteria to develop from the remaining urine and create an infection.

However, it is not to say that all men who have BPH will develop a UTI, but the risk of developing a urinary tract infection does increase for men struggling with BPH.

Common Symptoms for Men

The most common symptoms for a urinary tract infection include:

  • Painful urination and a burning sensation
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Pain in your central lower abdomen, slightly above the pubic bone
  • Blood in your urine

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help. Some of these symptoms could be caused by conditions such as BPH, diabetes, inflammation, prostate infection, or kidney stones.

The causes of the UTI will determine what treatment will be right for you. Most UTI treatments include taking antibiotics for 10-14 days.

Is It Possible to Prevent Getting a UTI?

While it is not possible to fully prevent yourself from getting a UTI, changing your lifestyle can significantly lower the risks of getting a UTI.

  • Wearing a condom during sex to protect from STDs, which can lower your risk for UTIs
  • Urinating before and after sex
  • Drinking lots of fluids
  • Keeping your genital area clean and dry
  • Treating your prostate problems, such as BPH

If you would like to manage your BPH symptoms to lower the chance of developing a urinary tract infection, take the one-minute BPH quiz.