Why Are Women And Older Adults More At Risk
E. coli or other bacteria cause UTIs, which are infections in your kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra. Unfortunately, women are more likely to get them mainly because of their anatomy.
A womans urethra is shorter than a mans and closer to the anus. The urethra is also close to the vagina, which can collect bacteria during sex. So bacteria from both the anus and vagina have easy access to a womans urinary tract.
Post-menopausal women are also at higher risk because pH changes in the vagina make it more susceptible to infection.
Both men and women are more likely to get UTIs as they age. Certain medical conditions, such as bladder prolapse in women and enlarged prostate in men, cause incomplete bladder emptying in older adults. Urine that stays in your bladder too long can encourage bacteria to grow.
Some newer diabetic drugs can also promote sugar in the urine and create conditions ideal for a UTI, Dr. Vasavada adds.
Can Men Get Utis From Women
Men can get UTIs from women during sex, by getting the bacteria from a woman with the infection. However, this is unlikely.
Typically, the infection arises from bacteria that are already present in the mans body.
A doctor can diagnose a UTI by carrying out a physical examination, taking a medical history, and through laboratory tests.
The doctor may perform a physical examination that includes:
- checking the vital signs
- checking the abdomen, bladder area, sides, and back for pain or swelling
- examining the genitals
The doctor may ask if the person has had other UTIs in the past, or a family history of UTIs.
They may also question the person about their symptoms.
Laboratory tests are required to diagnose the infection as the symptoms of a UTI can be common to other diseases.
A urine sample is usually needed to look for the presence of pus and the bacteria causing the infection.
Men may be asked to give a urine sample. A man will need to start the urine stream to clean the urethra, and then collect a midstream sample in a cup. As bacteria multiply quickly at room temperature, this urine sample is either sent to the laboratory immediately or kept refrigerated until later.
The doctor may also ask for a urine test strip, also known as a urine dipstick test. This is a quick test in which a plastic or paper ribbon is dipped into the urine sample and then removed. If the person has a UTI, the ribbon will turn a particular color.
How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
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How Can Urinary Tract Infection In Men Be Prevented
The following factors may help prevent Urinary Tract Infections in Men or reduce the risk for an infection:
- Drinking large amounts of water to increase urination, which can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract
- Emptying the bladder after intercourse
- Maintain cleanliness and hygiene, especially before and after sexual activities
- Having safe sex, such as by using condoms and avoiding multiple partners
- Avoiding holding-in of the urine regularly: Postponing urination when there is an urge to urinate can cause pooling of urine within the bladder. Such pooling over a prolonged period of time can create an environment for favorable bacterial growth
- Keeping diabetes under control
- Sexual partners may also have to be treated for infections
- Individuals with poor immune system have to be additionally careful as they are higher prone to infections
How Do Men Get Utis
In men the urethral opening is at the end of the penis a longer distance from the bladder than in women. Secretions from the prostate gland can also kill bacteria, so the frequency of a urinary tract infection is not as high.
But in men, kidney stones and enlarged prostates are common. Both of these can cause a urinary tract infection.
When men have an enlarged prostate, residual urine can stay in the bladder and collect bacteria, Dr. Bajic says. The enlarged prostate presses on the urethra and blocks urine flow so the bladder doesnt completely empty. This increases the chances of bacterial growth that can lead to a UTI.
Dr. Bajic says kidney stones can act as a sponge for bacteria. Even if the urinary tract infection clears up, the stones can act as a reservoir for bacteria to come back and create another infection, he adds. Sometimes the stones need to be removed to prevent infections from returning.
Acute bacterial prostatitis a prostate infection is another less common cause. This can be life threatening if not treated right away.
Men at higher risk include those who:
- Struggle with kidney stones.
- Participate in anal intercourse without condoms.
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Simple Tips On How To Avoid A Uti
- Keep your genital area clean and dry
- Stay hydrated to help to flush out bacteria
- Remove soiled incontinence products from front to back
- If you have problems emptying your bladder, wait a few moments and change position after you have finished voiding and then try again. This may encourage urine to be voided that was left behind the first time, and reduces the risk of infection.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI. A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service and can prescribe antibiotics if they’re needed.
Over The Counter Medications For Urinary Tract Infections
- Brand names listed as examples do not imply better quality over other brands. Generic equivalents may also exist.
- Use only as directed on the package, unless your healthcare provider instructs you to do otherwise.
- OTCs may interact with other medications or be potentially harmful if you have certain medical conditions. Talk to your pharmacist about options that are right for you.
What Are The Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infection In Men
The risk factors for developing Urinary Tract Infections in Men include:
- Age: Men over the age of 50 years are at an increased risk of developing UTI, generally due to enlargement of the prostate gland
- Blockages in the urinary tract, such as caused by kidney stones, which impair the flow of urine
- Uncircumcised males have a higher risk for UTI than circumcised males
- Sexual intercourse with infected individuals can result in the spread of pathogen from one individual to another anal sex
- Urinary bladder catheter placement can disrupt the normal flow of urine, which help wash away the microbes. A urinary bladder catheter is usually used for various medical conditions to facilitate urine outflow
- Weakened immune system due to the use of certain medications or the presence of HIV
- Having poorly-controlled diabetes
- Congenital and acquired structural abnormalities of the kidney and urinary bladder
It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.
Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.
What Is The Treatment Of A Urine Infection
- A course of an antibiotic medicine will usually clear the infection quickly. This is usually for seven days. You should see a doctor if your symptoms are not gone, or nearly gone, after a few days.
- Paracetamol or ibuprofen will usually ease any pain, discomfort, or high temperature .
- Have plenty to drink to help prevent a lack of fluid in the body if you have a fever and feel unwell.
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Preventing Male Urinary Tract Infections
As rare as urinary tract infections are in men, make sure you take the right steps to ensure you never have to worry about one:
- Pee when you need to. Dont hold your pee, and always try to empty your bladder fully.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose fitting clothing. Tight pants and non-cotton underwear tend to trap moisture, making for a great environment where bacteria can grow.
- Wash your genital area after sex.
- If youre uncircumcised, wash your foreskin regularly.
- Urinate soon after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
- Practice safe sex in general.
- Take showers instead of baths.
Most importantly, make sure you go to your doctor regularly, especially if you suspect something is wrong. Urinary tract infections may point to more serious underlying issues. The best thing you can do is act early. Remember to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases if you are sexually active. And if kidney stones become a common issue, consult your doctor for help with changes in your lifestyle or diet.
If you experience any symptoms of UTI or STD, to set up a phone appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.
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Symptoms Of Uti Vs Std In Males
Having sex vaginal, oral, or anal increases your risk of a sexually transmitted disease or infection, notes the Mayo Clinic. While many sexually transmitted infections have no signs or symptoms, others can mimic signs and symptoms of a UTI.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea, for instance, are caused by bacteria that can infect the genital tract. Like UTIs, these STDs can cause pain or a burning sensation during urination.
Though theres little data in men, STDs are commonly misdiagnosed as UTIs in women, according to a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. Talk to your doctor if you think theres a possibility you could have an STD. Bacterial STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be treated with antibiotics.
Urine Infection In Men
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Most urine infections are caused by germs which come from your own bowel. They cause no harm in your bowel but can cause infection if they get into other parts of your body. Some bacteria lie around your back passage after you pass a stool . These bacteria sometimes travel to the tube which passes urine from your bladder and into your bladder. Some bacteria thrive in urine and multiply quickly to cause infection.
A urine infection is often called a urinary tract infection by doctors. When the infection is just in the bladder and urethra, this is called a lower UTI. If it travels up to affect one or both kidneys as well then it is called an upper UTI. This can be more serious than lower UTIs, as the kidneys can become damaged by the infection.
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In other cases the infection occurs for no apparent reason. There is no problem with the bladder, kidney, prostate gland, or defence system that can be identified.
In the average adult patient there should be a urine output of: 0.5-1 ml/kg/hr. This means that an average 70 kg man should produce 35-70 mls an hour.
Urine output decreases in older patients and the target urine output should be 0.25-0.5 ml/kg/hr. This means that a 70 kg man who is aged over 65 years should produce 17.5-35mls per hour.
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How Men Can Prevent Utis
There are things men can do to reduce the chance of getting a UTI. These include:
- Dont hold urine for too long. Bacteria grow in it.
- Drink water to flush your kidneys.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Urinate after sex to flush bacteria from the urethra.
- If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar. High blood sugar can spill into the urine and bacteria thrive on it.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections In Men
Younger men cant do too much in terms of preventing a UTI, according to Trost. But older men can take a few steps to lower their risk. One of the best defense mechanisms against UTIs is to completely empty the bladder every time you urinate, says urologist Howard B. Goldman MD, professor and institute vice chairman for quality at the Glickman Urologic and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Its also important to drink lots of fluids, especially water, every day. If you already have a UTI, drinking plenty of fluids can help push the bacteria out of the urinary tract and in some very mild UTI cases, that could be enough to treat it. But if you notice any of the signs of a UTI, itâs still very important to head to your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
Without proper UTI treatment, the infection can quickly spread and become a serious and sometimes even fatal threat. So donât brush off symptoms like frequent urination or a burning sensation when you urinate, and donât assume that you canât get a UTI just because youâre a man. Its important that you get these symptoms checked out promptly, too.
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Simple Tips For Men To Stay Safe From Urinary Tract Infections
- Have lots of water and healthy fresh juices to flush out the bacteria from the body, especially urinary tract.
- You should never hold the urge to pass the urine for long. It can cause the urinary tract to retain bacteria.
- Try to completely pass the urine, so that the bladder is completely empty.
- Maintain proper hygiene of the penis, especially when you are not circumcised. Clean and wash the intimate area properly so that no harmful bacteria can grow under the foreskin.
- Have foods rich in Vitamin C such as kiwi, orange, cantaloupe, melon, lemon, broccoli, papaya, etc. Vitamin C kills the harmful bacteria causing urinary infections and improves the overall functioning of the urinary system.
- Cranberry juice is a wonderful home remedy for urinary infections. Just make sure that you consume it without any added sugar for the best results.
- Probiotics majorly promote good health of the gut. The good bacteria called lactobacillus, found in probiotic yogurt, kefir, kimchi boost the health of your gut. It also prevents the unusual growth of the bacteria. So, keep the urinary tract free of any kind of infection.
- Use garlic or its extract in your diet. It has amazing anti-microbial properties that prevent UTIs.
Should I Drink Cranberry Juice For A Uti
For those who are wondering, does drinking cranberry juice really help UTIs go away? few studies show any proof.
Cranberry juice may stop bacteria from clinging to your bladder wall, Dr. Bajic says. But because its acidic it will aggravate your urge to urinate. You can drink it if you want but cranberry juice doesnt work on UTIs as well as antibiotics and proper UTI prevention.
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What Are The Treatment Procedures For Male Uti
As a first-line treatment for UTI, your doctor will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria and ward off other symptoms. If there are no signs of complications, the treatment process may take from three to seven days.
However, you may require more intensive treatment if your doctor suspects serious complications. This treatment aims to reduce the risk of spreading the infection from your kidneys or your upper urinary tract. Each treatment depends on the result of the diagnosis regarding the cause of your condition. The treatment duration can also vary from a minimum of seven days and can last for up to six months.
If there are positive signs of kidney or bladder infection, surgical procedures will take place. It involves either draining or complete removal of the inflamed tissues on the affected areas.
Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
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Can I Prevent Recurrent Utis
There are steps you can take to help reduce UTIs. The most basic is to drink plenty of fluids. This encourages frequent urination and helps flush out bacteria.
For women, following good hygiene practices is especially important:
- After a bowel movement, wipe from front to back to reduce the chance of moving E. coli bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
- Pee immediately before and after sex.
- Dont douche or use feminine deodorants on your genitals.
- Wear cotton underwear.
For older adults, take care to deal with retention problems, which are especially an issue as you age.
I tell them to double-void urinate and then go back and urinate again, Dr. Vasavada says.
What about drinking cranberry juice to fight UTIs?
Thats one of the most commonly asked questions, Dr. Vasavada says. Theres conflicting data. Its not going to cure an infection, but it could help prevent one, so we dont discourage it.
Urinary Tract Infections In Men That Just Dont Go Away
Although painful and distressing most are short-lived. But if you keep on getting a UTI or feel like its never really gone away you could have chronic infection.
Chronic UTI often starts when a simple infection is left untreated or fails to get better with standard treatments. Read about how and why chronic UTI develops.
Needing to pee all the time, pain when you pee, passing tiny amounts of urine, bladder and urethral pain, pain in your belly, back and legs, difficulty passing urine, problems with incontinence. The symptoms of chronic UTI are similar to acute infections but they vary from person to person.
Currently theres just not enough research to understand why some people never experience a UTI, why some people have one or two infections and why some people develop chronic infections.
The symptoms of chronic UTI are, frustratingly, not exclusive to the condition they are common to a number of other lower urinary tract health conditions as well. This can often result in other avenues being explored for diagnosis first by your GP, leading to chronic UTIs being diagnosed by exclusion of other conditions, all the while allowing the UTI to develop further.
Other LUTS conditions that are investigated in men include:
- detrusor muscle weakness or overactivity
- prostate inflammation
- neurological disease
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