What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girl’s bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina that’s sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
How Long Will The Effects Last
For most UTIs, the symptoms go away within 24 hours after you begin treatment. Take all of the medicine your healthcare provider prescribes, even after the symptoms go away. If you stop taking your medicine before the scheduled end of treatment, the infection may come back.
Without treatment, the infection can last a long time. If it is not treated, the infection can permanently damage the bladder and kidneys, or it may spread to the blood. If the infection spreads to the blood, it can be fatal.
How Do You Diagnose And Treat A Uti
To diagnose a UTI, your doctor may ask for a sample of your urine. Theyll use this for a urine culture to determine the levels of germs and bacteria in your urine. In rare cases, your doctor may also do an X-ray or ultrasound to get a more comprehensive look at your urinary tract.
If a UTI is confirmed, depending on the location and severity of the infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
For an uncomplicated lower tract infection, your doctor will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to be taken over five to seven days.
If you have an upper tract infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for three weeks or longer.
In the rare case of a severe infection, your doctor may recommend hospital treatment and a course of intravenous antibiotics.
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Uti And Bladder Infection
Bladder infections are a type of UTI that involves the lower urinary tract, including the bladder. A bladder infection can spread to other parts of your urinary tract or kidneys if left untreated. The symptoms of bladder infections and UTIs can be similar. See a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, such as painful or frequent urination, pain in your central lower abdomen, or blood in your urine.
Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
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Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.
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Are Any Tests Needed
A urine sample can confirm the diagnosis and identify the germ causing the infection. Further tests are not usually necessary if you are otherwise well and have a one-off infection. However, your doctor may advise tests of your kidney, prostate gland, or bladder if an underlying problem is suspected.
An underlying problem is more likely if the infection does not clear with an antibiotic medicine, or if you have:
- Symptoms that suggest a kidney is infected .
- Recurring urine infections. For example, two or more in a three-month period.
- Had problems with your kidney in the past, such as kidney stones or a damaged kidney.
- Symptoms that suggest an obstruction to the flow of urine.
- Blood-stained urine which persists after treatment with antibiotics.
Tests may include:
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
One of the most common symptoms of a UTI is a frequent and urgent need to pee. You might feel like you need to pee all the time, even if you just went. Other UTI symptoms include:
pain or burning when you pee
bad-smelling or cloudy urine
blood or pus in your urine
soreness, pressure, or cramps in your lower belly, back, or sides
If the infection goes to your kidneys, your UTI symptoms may also include:
pain in your mid-back
Whos More Likely To Develop Cystitis
Men generally dont have a very high risk of developing cystitis. This is largely due to the anatomy of the male reproductive system. Remember, the anus and female urethra sit close together, providing more opportunities for bacteria to enter the urethra. The male urethra is also longer, meaning bacteria entering the urethra must travel farther to reach the bladder.
But several things can make you more prone to developing cystitis as a man, including:
- sexual activity involving your penis
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Why Do Women Get Urinary Tract Infections More Often Than Men
Women tend to get urinary tract infections more often than men because bacteria can reach the bladder more easily in women. The urethra is shorter in women than in men, so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.
The urethra is located near the rectum in women. Bacteria from the rectum can easily travel up the urethra and cause infections. Bacteria from the rectum is more likely to get into the urethra if you wipe from back to front after a bowel movement. Be sure to teach children how to wipe correctly.
Having sex may also cause urinary tract infections in women because bacteria can be pushed into the urethra. Using a diaphragm can lead to infections because diaphragms push against the urethra and make it harder to completely empty your bladder. The urine that stays in the bladder is more likely to grow bacteria and cause infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections may be caused by changes in the bacteria in the vagina. Antibacterial vaginal douches, spermicides, and certain oral antibiotics may cause changes in vaginal bacteria. Avoid using these items, if possible. Menopause can also cause changes in vaginal bacteria that increase your risk for urinary tract infection. Taking estrogen usually corrects this problem but may not be for everyone.
How Are Utis Treated
UTIs are treated with antibiotics. After several days of antibiotics, your doctor may repeat the urine tests to be sure that the infection is gone. It’s important to make sure of this because an incompletely treated UTI can come back or spread.
If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medicine to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn pee a bright orange color, but it’s harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medicine.
If you’ve finished all the medicine or if your symptoms aren’t much better after 2 to 3 days of treatment, contact your doctor.
Drink lots of water during and after treatment because each time you pee, the bladder cleanses itself a little bit more. Cranberry juice may also be helpful. Skip drinks that containe caffeine , such as soda and iced tea.
People who get a doctor’s help for a UTI right away should be clear of symptoms within a week. Someone with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
A doctor may tell people with UTIs to avoid sex for a week or so, which lets the inflammation clear up completely.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection In Men
Urinary tract infections involve the parts of the body the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra that produce urine and carry it out of the body. Urinary tract infections often are classified into two types based on their location in the urinary tract:
- Lower tract infections These include cystitis and urethritis . Lower urinary tract infections commonly are caused by intestinal bacteria, which enter and contaminate the urinary tract from below, usually by spreading from the skin to the urethra and then to the bladder. Urethritis also may be caused by microorganisms that are transmitted through sexual contact, including gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Another form of male urinary infection is prostatitis which is an inflammation of the prostate.
- Upper tract infections These involve the ureters and kidneys and include pyelonephritis . Upper tract infections often occur because bacteria have traveled upward in the urinary tract from the bladder to the kidney or because bacteria carried in the bloodstream have collected in the kidney.
How Do I Recognize Symptoms Of Male Uti
Men with urinary tract infection do not usually see visible indications, but when they do, some of these symptoms can occur:
- Painful urination
- Abdominal pain
- Burning sensation when urinating
Severe cases of urinary tract infection can also happen. If you experience fever, nausea, chills, vomiting, or back pain that accompanies the above symptoms, it could indicate a kidney infection. Immediate attention and prompt treatment should be necessary.
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Urinary Tract Infection In Men
Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH
Urinary Tract Infection is generally caused by a microbe, such as bacteria. Men are at a decreased risk of developing a UTI than women, because of the anatomical structure of the male urinary system. The infection can occur more frequently with increasing age, due to a blockage in the urinary tract, having a bladder catheter, or with a decreased immune system.
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, it’s 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 don’t brush off symptoms like frequent urination or a burning sensation when you urinate, and don’t assume that you can’t get a UTI just because you’re a man. Its important that you get these symptoms checked out promptly, too.
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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.
What Are The Treatments Available For Bladder Infections In Men
Bladder infections are extremely common and usually not a cause for concern. However, if you get frequent bladder infections or have other chronic bladder diseases you’ll probably want to avoid them. You can prevent most bladder infections by taking certain steps in your daily hygiene routine. Also, you should know that bladder infections can affect your sex life by causing painful urination and a burning sensation while peeing.
People with acute bladder infections are usually recommended a short course of antibiotics but people with more complicated bladder infections will have to take antibiotics for more than 10 days.
Unsweetened Cranberry juice or cranberry supplements can help prevent frequent bladder infections because Cranberry has compounds known as proanthocyanidins that can prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urethra and bladder.
Bladder Infections and UTIs
Urinary tract infections or UTIs are one of the most common infections amongst men. It can be painful and is typically caused by bacteria and/or germs getting into the urinary tract through the urethra, a tube that runs from the bladder to the outside of the body. Bladder infections are one of the most common types of UTI experienced by men around the world.
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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.
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How Women Can Prevent Utis
Follow the same tips as men, plus do the following:
- After using the toilet, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria away from your urethra.
- Talk to your doctor about birth control options. Using lubricated condoms may lead to fewer UTIs.
- Keep your vagina healthy. Dont douche. After menopause, consider taking vaginal estrogen.
Complexity, frequency, risk factors and prevention tips may differ by gender, but urinary tract infections are equally uncomfortable for everyone. The better news is that for both men and women most UTIs arent serious and dont cause other problems if you seek medical care right away.
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Acute And Chronic Prostatitis
In the 1800s, prostatitis was thought to be secondary to excessive alcohol consumption or physical or sexual activity. It was often associated with gonorrhea and could be fatal or lead to abscess formation. By the 1920s, most cases were attributed to microorganisms, and antibiotics combined with prostate massage were standard therapy after World War II. Although the role of bacteria was questioned in the 1950s, it was reemphasized in 1968 when Meares and Stamey described their 4-glass test.
Acute prostatitis is caused by an acute infection of the entire prostate gland, resulting in fever and localized pain. Microscopically, neutrophilic infiltrates, diffuse edema, and microabscesses may be seen, which may coalesce into larger collections.
Chronic prostatitis may be caused by inflammatory or noninflammatory diseases. This condition may arise via dysfunctional voiding, intraprostatic reflux, chronic exposure to microorganisms, autoimmune mechanisms, irritative urinary metabolites, and as a variant of neuropathic pain. Chronic bacterial prostatitis often produces few or no symptoms related to the prostate, but it is probably the most common cause of relapsing UTI in men.
Chronic prostatitis has been subdivided by the National Institutes of Health into the following categories:
Diagnosing And Treating Utis
UTIs can be diagnosed by your primary care doctoryou dont have to see a specialist initially. To diagnose a UTI, your doctor will send a sample of your urine to a lab for a urine culture where the urine is processed and evaluated for bacteria. The culture also can tell us what bug you have and what antibiotics can be used to help treat the infection. A urine analysis, which can be done quickly in our office, can suggest an infection, however, the best test is an actual culture.
Most UTIs are treated with oral antibiotics. However, there are superbugs that may be resistant to what we can give you by mouth, and those would require using stronger antibiotics through an IV. Most treatments last 5 to 7 days, but can be longer.
A quick internet search will give you home remedies for treating a UTI, but I dont recommend this. Untreated infections can spread to the rest of your body and put your life at risk.
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