Don’t Let UTIs Slow You Down – Get the Facts Now
UTI in men occurs when bacteria enter the urinary system. Bacteria normally live in our intestines and do not cause any problems. But if they get into the bladder or kidneys, they may cause symptoms. Bacteria normally reside in our digestive systems, however, they can enter the urinary system if there is an opening. These openings may occur due to injury, surgery, or sexual activity, among others. A UTI occurs when these bacteria multiply and cause inflammation of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and/or tubes that carry urine out of the body.
It’s not unusual to experience UTI in men if you have sex often with multiple partners. You might get a UTI even while using protection. However, some men have an increased risk of developing UTIs due to certain conditions. These include diabetes and prostate problems. This happens when urine comes into contact with germs that enter through sexual intercourse, poor hygiene, or dirty catheters. Most people who suffer from UTIs do not know they are infected until after symptoms appear. Symptoms vary depending on where the infection occurs.
Causes of UTI in men
The most common cause of UTIs is the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is naturally present in your body. Bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Urine drains from your bladder through your penis through the urethra.
Symptoms of UTI in men
- Painful urination: The first symptom of urinary tract infection (UTI) in men is pain while passing urine. You may feel burning sensations or discomfort while urinating. If you experience these symptoms regularly, then you should consult your doctor immediately.
- Blood in urine: It is a sign of kidney problems when there is blood in the urine. In case blood appears in your urine, you should visit your doctor right away. Your doctor will check whether you have any kidney disease or not.
- Fever: If you notice a fever along with blood in your urine, then you need to go to the hospital immediately. Your doctor will examine you thoroughly and prescribe antibiotics if necessary.
- Weakness: Weakness is another symptom of UTI in men. You might feel weak even after drinking water. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Nausea: Nausea is another symptom of UTIs in men. You may feel nauseous even after eating small amounts of food.
- Headache: Headaches are quite common among people suffering from UTIs. A headache could happen due to various reasons including low blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and brain infections.
- Back pain: Back pains are often associated with UTIs in men. If you suffer from back pains, then you should visit your doctor immediately. He will give you some medication to relieve your pain.
Treatment options for UTI in men
- Home Remedies: Home remedies are considered the best way to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) at home. If you have any symptoms of UTI, start treating them immediately. Avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water. Try drinking cranberry juice daily to help prevent future UTIs. Also try eating foods rich in probiotics, including yogurt and kefir. Eating lots of garlic may also help reduce the chances of getting a UTI.
- Antibiotic Drugs: Antibiotic drugs are prescribed when home remedies do not work. These antibiotics should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor. Take antibiotic drugs exactly as directed. Do not take extra doses unless instructed to do so by your physician. Make sure to finish the entire course of antibiotics even if you feel fine. Stopping early could make the infection worse. Talk to your doctor about how long you need to take antibiotics.
- Surgery: Surgery may be recommended if your condition does not improve after using home remedies and taking antibiotics. A procedure called cystoscopy involves inserting a thin tube with a camera attached to the urethra (the tube leading out of the bladder). Your doctor examines the inside of your bladder and removes any abnormal cells or bacteria. Sometimes surgery is necessary to remove a stone or tumor in the bladder.
- Catheters: A catheter is a small flexible tube inserted into the body to drain urine or deliver fluids. There are two types of catheters: temporary ones that stay in place until they are removed and permanent ones that remain in place permanently. Catheters are placed in the bladder, ureter (a tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder), or both.
Here’s how men can prevent UTIs in men.
- Avoiding sex before urination-Sex before urinating can increase the risk of UTIs. When you have sex, sperm travels down the urethra where it mixes with the urine. That mixture then goes into the bladder. Sperm cells are not sterile and some of those cells can travel into the urethra. These cells can infect the urethra if you’re having sexual intercourse without using protection.
- Urinating after sex-After sex, make sure to wait at least 30 minutes before going to the bathroom. Waiting gives the penis time to clear out any bacteria that one might release during sexual activity.
- Wearing underwear-Wear clean cotton underwear, especially if you use condoms. Cotton absorbs moisture and helps keep things clean. You might want to try wearing loose-fitting pants instead of boxers. Boxer briefs trap sweat inside the body and can create an environment for bacteria to thrive.
- Drinking lots of water-Drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day keeps the urinary tract moist and prevents bacteria from forming. Try drinking 8 glasses of water each day. If you do drink alcohol, limit yourself to only 1 glass per day. Alcohol dehydrates the body and makes it harder to stay properly hydrated.
- Using good personal hygiene-Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching anything around the genitals. Use soap and warm water and scrub the area well. Make sure to rinse off your fingers completely before putting them anywhere else.
- Taking antibiotics-If you think you might have come in contact with bacteria, take a course of antibiotics right away. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria, preventing them from causing an infection.
- Risks and Complications of UTI in men-Risk factors for UTI in men include diabetes, prostate cancer, bladder stones, urethral strictures, enlarged prostate gland, and certain medications. Men who have had recent surgery or trauma to their genitals are at increased risk for developing UTIs. Other risk factors include having sex with prostitutes, having many partners, being uncircumcised, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol excessively.
Complications of UTI in men may include septic shock, acute renal failure, chronic renal disease, and permanent kidney damage. Septic shock occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Acute renal failure happens when the kidneys stop working properly. Chronic renal disease means that the kidneys fail over time. Permanent kidney damage means that the kidneys never fully recover.
The Final Takeaway,
How Do You Get An UTI?
The bacterial infection enters the urinary system via the penis, vagina, rectum, throat, nose, ear, eyes, mouth, lungs, wounds, cuts, burns, insect bites, sexually transmitted disease, cystitis, or any trauma to the genitalia. Once inside the body, the bacteria travel to the bladder where they begin to reproduce. As the number of bacteria increases, the bladder becomes inflamed causing the symptoms described above.
Can UTIs Be Prevented?
Prevention is always better than cure, therefore prevention should be the first line of defense. There are many ways to prevent a UTI including practicing safe sex, washing hands after using bathroom facilities, avoiding swimming pools, drinking plenty of water, eating foods high in fiber, and taking antibiotics regularly.
How Are UTIs Treated?
Antibiotics usually treat UTIs. Antibiotic treatments work well at killing off the bacterial infection, however, some of the good bacteria necessary for digestion and immune function remain killed off along with the bad bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics do not eliminate the root cause of the problem, only the symptoms.
Additionally, antibiotic overuse has led to drug-resistant strains of bacteria. To avoid this occurrence, one should avoid the use of antibiotics unless necessary. Other treatment options include home remedies, herbs, and natural supplements.
Home remedies include drinking cranberry juice, consuming cranberries, and drinking lots of fluids. A variety of herbs helps fight UTIs, including goldenseal, horsetail, garlic, and echinacea. Lastly, natural supplements such as vitamin C, zinc, probiotics, and Lactobacillus acidophilus can boost immunity and reduce the risk of re-infection.
When Should You Seek Medical Attention?
If you experience persistent symptoms for longer than three days, seek medical attention immediately. Also, if you notice sudden changes in your urine color, smell, or taste, contact your doctor right away.