A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of the urinary system but occurs most often in the bladder and urethra. While UTIs are relatively rare in younger men, prevalence increases as men age. UTIs cause painful burning during urination, urinary urge and pelvic discomfort.
While most men will never experience a UTI, factors that put some men at risk for developing these infections include:
- Age - UTIs are more common in men over the age of 50
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Insertion of a bladder catheter
Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection in Men
- Urinary urgency - The feeling that you constantly have to urinate even when little or no urine flows out
- Pain for burning sensation during urination
- Urine that has a small amount of blood or looks cloudy
- Foul-smelling urine
- Discharge of fluid from the penis
- Abdominal or flank/lower back pain - Pelvic pain accompanied by a fever or chills may indicate a kidney infection and should be immediately brought to the attention of a physician
Treating and Preventing UTIs
Most urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract. The most common treatment for a UTI in men is a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection.
There are things men can do to help prevent UTIs from occurring, including:
- Practice safe sex by wearing a condom
- Drink plenty of fluids
- For uncircumcised men, make sure to clean the area around and underneath the foreskin daily
- Natural remedies - Vitamin C can be taken to acidify urine and help kill bacteria that cause UTIs and cranberry extract may prevent bacteria from attaching to inner lining of the bladder.