Urinary tract infections, bacterial in nature are quite common in men and cause a lot of discomforts. The infection can be anywhere in the urinary tract system which consists of urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidney. UTIs are more common in females as compared to males. But that does not mean males don’t need to take precautionary measures or be aware of the causes of urinary tract infections.
Let’s now understand, how does a man get urinary tract infections
Although the tendency of catching UTI is more in women as their urethra is shorter and harmful bacteria can easily reach the urinary tract. But, men are not entirely safe from urinary tract infections that bacteria cause. There are various reasons that lead to urinary tract infections in males too.
Common causes of UTI’s in men
Inactive lifestyle and unhygienic conditions – An inactive and unhygienic lifestyle is a major cause of urinary tract infection in m. If a man does not clean the penis properly, dirt and dead cells tend to develop under the foreskin. It may ultimately cause harmful bacterial growth to reach the male urinary tract and result in urinary tract infection. Therefore, uncircumcised males are at higher risk of getting a UTI. Especially, uncircumcised males with a tight foreskin that cannot be retracted (phimosis) easily come in contact with a urinary tract infection.
Bowel incontinence and urinary tract infections- There are high chances for a male to catch a UTI if he is already dealing with fecal or bowel incontinence. The frequent leakage of the fecal matter can cause harmful bacteria to reach the urinary tract fast. Also, it’s a fact that males with bowel incontinence are 3 times more at the risk of developing urinary tract infections. (Also read: How does a woman get urinary tract infection?)
Drinking less water– If a man does not drink enough water every day, he becomes more prone to a urinary tract infection. Drinking 7-8 glasses of water everyday flush out harmful bacteria out of the body. Hence, drinking less water can be a major cause of UTI in men.
Prostate enlargement- Too often, the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate restricts the flow of blood through the urethra. As a result, the bladder does not empty completely and bacteria tend to remain longer in the body. So, prostate enlargement is one of the common causes that increases the chances of urinary infections in males.
The other two reasons that are not so common for urinary infections men are as follows:
- Diabetes- Men who are diabetic have poor blood circulation that increases the risk of developing urinary infections. Also, of course, high blood sugar levels contribute majorly to developing UTIs in men. It is because while passing urine, some remnants of urine remain on the penis, the high sugar content allows the bacteria to thrive and result in a urinary tract infection. (Also read: How diabetes affects erectile dysfunction?)
- Indulging in anal sex, (urethra comes in contact with undesired bacteria)- Especially, the E. coli bacteria found in the anus, when enters the urinary system makes a person prone to developing a urinary infection.
Usually, a man with UTI faces the following common symptoms:
- Pain and burning sensation while passing urine
- Sudden and frequent urges to pass the urine
- Dark brown urine due to the presence of blood
If the urinary infection becomes severe and reaches the kidneys or to the prostate gland, the person can face the below-mentioned symptoms as well.
- Constant fatigue
- Recurring fever
- The foul odor of the urine
- Continuous pain in the pelvis
These are the severe symptoms of urinary tract infections.
If you ever face these symptoms of urinary infection, do not just ignore them. You must consult a specialist doctor to keep away from any further complications to arise.
Diagnosis for a UTI is necessary
A proper diagnosis of the urinary tract infection is necessary to get the right effective treatment. Your urologist will prescribe you some antibiotics depending upon the results of the diagnostics. Also, never choose self-medication; go and consult a doctor. Self-medication might provide you only symptomatic temporary relief.
The risk of side-effects or allergies is also quite high in self-medication. So, only use the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor and follow healthy practices that will keep you safe and away from catching a urinary tract infection.
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.
Timely treatment for a UTI is very necessary. If you feel a hint of the symptoms of urinary tract infections, you must reach out to a specialist doctor. Leaving a UTI untreated will only make it grow severe with time and create more complications for you. So, do not let your health take a back seat and make it a priority always.