Discover the causes and risk factors of urinary tract infections in men with this informative article.

Discover the causes and risk factors of urinary tract infections in men with this informative article.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are often associated with women, but it is important to recognize that men can also develop this condition. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract, causing infection and inflammation. Although women are more likely to suffer from them due to their anatomy, men can also suffer from them under certain circumstances.

In men, UTIs are less common than in women, mainly because the male urinary tract is longer, making it difficult for bacteria to reach the bladder and cause an infection. However, there are several factors that can contribute to UTIs in men:

  1. Enlarged prostate: An enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine, causing stagnation of urine in the bladder. This creates an environment conducive to bacterial growth and increases the risk of UTIs.
  2. Catheter use: Men who require the use of a urinary catheter, whether for medical procedures or due to certain conditions, have a higher susceptibility to UTIs. The catheter can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract.

Important: Although urinary tract infections in men are relatively uncommon, they should not be ignored or left untreated. If you experience symptoms such as frequent urination, burning sensation when urinating, cloudy or bloody urine, or lower abdominal pain, it is essential that you see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Additionally, it should be noted that sexual intercourse is not usually associated with UTIs in men, although it can contribute to them in women. However, good hygiene, hydration, and prompt medical attention for any potential urinary tract problems are crucial to reducing the risk of UTIs in both men and women.

How do men get urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

1. Anatomy of the urinary tract: The urinary tract in men is made up of the bladder, which stores urine, and the urethra, a thin tube that allows urine to pass out of the body. Men have a longer urethra than women, which can make it difficult for bacteria to access the bladder. However, certain factors can increase the risk of bacteria entering and causing an infection.

2. Sexual activity: Sexual activity can increase the risk of IU in men. During intercourse, the bacteria of the genital area can enter the urethra and move to the bladder, causing an infection. It is important to practice good hygiene before and after sexual activity, such as urinating and washing the genital area, to reduce the risk of entering bacteria in the urinary tract.

IMPORTANT: Sexual activity can increase the risk of ITU in men. Practicing good hygiene before and after sexual activity can reduce the risk of bacteria entry into the urinary tract.

3. Obstructions of the urinary tract: certain conditions, such as the enlargement of the prostate or the renal calculations, can cause obstructions of the urinary tract in men. These obstructions can interrupt the normal urine flow, creating an environment conducive to bacterial growth. When bacteria accumulate in the urinary tract due to blockages, it can lead to the development of an ITU.

4. Use of probes: men who require the use of an urinary catheter, which is a thin tube that is inserted into the bladder to drain urine, are more susceptible to ITU. The probes can introduce bacteria in the urinary system, and the prolonged presence of the probe provides a continuous path of entry of bacteria into the bladder.

  • Anatomy of the urinary tract: The length of the male urethra can make it difficult for bacteria to reach the bladder, but certain factors can increase the risk.
  • Sexual activity: Sexual activity can introduce bacteria of the genital area into the urinary tract, which increases the risk of ITU.
  • Obstructions of the urinary tract: conditions such as the enlargement of the prostate or the renal calculations can cause obstructions in the urinary tract, favoring the proliferation of bacteria.
  • Use of catheters: men who require the use of urinary catheters are more prone to ITIs due to the introduction of bacteria through the catheter.

Risk Factors for UTIs in Men:

1. Age: Age plays an important role in determining IU’s probability in men. Older men, especially those of 50 years or more, have a higher risk due to ag e-related changes in the urinary system. The enhancement of the prostate, which usually occurs with age, can lead to urinary and incomplete emptying of the bladder, which favors the proliferation of bacteria and the infection of the urinary tract.

2. Urinary tract abnormalities: structural anomalies or obstructions of urinary tract can contribute to the appearance of IU in men. These anomalies can include conditions such as urethral stenosis, kidney stones or prostate enlargement. When the normal urine flow is obstructed or restricted, bacteria can more easily colonize urinary tract and cause infections.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is essential that men with urinary tract anomalies undergo periodic medical reviews and follow the recommended treatment plans to minimize the risk of developing ITU.

Symptoms of UTIs in men:

1. Frequent urination: One of the most common symptoms of an ITU in men is the frequent need to urinate. This can happen both throughout the day and night, which often causes sleep disorders. Men can also experience an emergency feeling, feeling a strong need to urinate immediately.

2. Pain or burning when urinating: Another classic symptom of an IU in men is the pain or the sensation of burning when urinating. This discomfort usually feels in the urethra, the conduit that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The severity of pain can vary, from a mild discomfort to a more intense and acute sensation.

Note: It is important to differentiate the symptoms of one IU from those of other urinary conditions, such as a sexually transmitted infection or kidney stones. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential that you consult a health professional who can provide an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

3. Turbia or blood urine: men with an iT can notice changes in the appearance of their urine. It may appear murky, indicating the presence of bacteria or pus, or it can have a reddish or pink tone, which suggests the presence of blood. It is important to pay attention to any change in the color or consistency of urine, since it can provide valuable information for diagnosis.

4. Pain or discomfort at the bottom of the abdomen: Some men may experience pain or discomfort at the bottom of the abdomen or in the pelvic region. This can vary from a deaf pain to a more intense pain. It is important not to ignore persistent discomfort in this area, since they could be an indication of an iT.

5. Fever and chills: In some cases, an ITU in men can cause systemic symptoms such as fever and chills. These symptoms suggest that the infection has spread to the kidneys, so immediate medical attention is necessary to avoid complications.

  • Unusual urgency of urinating
  • Itching or irritation in the genital zone
  • Fétida urine
Symptoms Possible indications
Pain or burning when urinating Inflammation or urinary tract infection
Murky or blood urine Presence of bacteria or possible renal affectation
Pain or discomfort at the bottom of the abdomen Inflammation or infection in the bladder or urethra
Fever and chills Renal infection or systemic propagation of infection

Causes of iTu in men:

1. Urinary tract anomalies: Certain anatomical anomalies of urinary tract can increase the risk of IU in men. These anomalies can include the narrowing of the urethra (called urethral stenosis), urinary tract calculations or prostate enlargement. These conditions can cause urinary flow obstruction or create a stagnation of the urine, which provides a conducive environment for bacteria to multiply and cause infections.

Research studies have shown that men with urinary tract abnormalities are more likely to suffer than those who do not present any anomaly.

2. Use of probes: men who require the use of urinary probes for prolonged periods, such as those suffering from urinary retention or undergoing surgical intervention, have an increased risk of developing ITU. The probes offer a direct route of entry of bacteria in the urinary tract, which increases the possibilities of infection. Adequate hygiene and regular change of probes can help reduce the risk, but the possibility of IU continues to exist.

3. 3. Sexual activity: Maintaining unprotected sex can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract and cause urinary infections in men. The urethra, which transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, is susceptible to the entrance of bacteria during sexual activity. In addition, certain sexual practices, such as anal intercourse, can further increase the risk of ITU due to the proximity of the anus to the urinary hole.

Causes of iTu in men:
Urinary tract abnormies
Use of probes
Sexual activity

Although ITU in men can occur less frequently, it is important to recognize these potential causes to take adequate preventive measures. Understanding risk factors can help men maintain a good health of the urinary tract and reduce the probability of developing ITU.

Diagnosis and Testing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Men:

Clinical history and physical examination: When a man has symptoms such as pain or burning sensation when urinating, frequent desire to urinate, murky or blood urine, or low abdominal pain, the doctor will begin by making a detailed medical history. Among other things, he will ask about the duration and intensity of the symptoms, if he has recently had sex, if he has suffered urinary tract infections and if there is any underlying disorder that can increase the risk of infection. A complete physical examination can also be performed to check if there are signs of infection or other contributing factors.

Important: STIS symptoms in men may resemble other urological conditions, such as prostatitis or sexually transmitted infections. Therefore, a precise diagnosis is essential for proper treatment.

Laboratory Tests:

1. Urine cultivation: Uroculture is one of the main diagnostic tests of ITU. This test aims to identify the specific bacterium that causes infection and determine its susceptibility to different antibiotics. The patient is asked to provide a urine sample, which is sent to a laboratory for analysis. Uroculture results help guide the choice of adequate antibiotic treatment.

2. Urine analysis: Urine analysis is to examine a sample of urine to detect the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria and other substances such as nitrites and leukocyte esterase. The high levels of these components indicate the possibility of an ITU. Although urine analysis is not definitive to diagnose an ITU, it helps in the general evaluation of the condition.

3. Image tests: In some cases, to determine the underlying cause of recurring ITU, image tests such as ultrasound, CT or cystoscopy can be recommended. These tests allow the healthcare professional to visualize the urinary tract and identify any anomaly that can contribute to infections.

Diagnostic methods of ITU in men: Purpose:
Clinical history and physical examination Collect information about symptoms, sexual activity and medical history to help diagnosis.
Urine cultivation To identify the specific bacteria that cause infection and determine the most effective antibiotic treatment.
Urine analysis To evaluate the chemical and physical properties of urine, in search of signs of infection or other anomalies.
Image tests (ultrasound, computerized tomography, cystoscopy) To visualize the urinary tract and identify any structural anomaly or obstruction.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ITU IN MEN:

1. Antibiotic therapy: The main treatment of ITU in men consists in the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics act killing or inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause infection. The choice of antibiotic depends on the seriousness of the infection and specific bacteria involved. Among antibiotics that are usually prescribed for male ITUs are included:

  • Trimetoprima-sulfamethoxazole: This combination of antibiotics is usually the first-line treatment for uncomplicated ITUs. It acts inhibiting the formation of bacterial DNA, which causes the death of bacteria.
  • Fluoroquinolones: These antibiotics, such as cyprophloxacin or levophloxacin, are frequently prescribed for ITIs caused by more resistant bacteria. They interfere with the replication of bacterial DNA and protein synthesis.
  • Cephalosporins: Ceftriaxone or cephalexin are examples of cephalosporin antibiotics that can be used in the treatment of ITU. They act by interrupting the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall.

Note: It is essential to complete the prescribed antibiotic treatment, even if the symptoms improve before finishing it. This guarantees the complete eradication of the infection and reduces the risk of recurring ITU.

2. Increased fluid intake: in addition to antibiotic therapy, increased fluid intake can help eliminate urinary tract bacteria. Drinking a lot of water can dilute urine and favor frequent urination, which can help eliminate bacteria. The juice or blueberry supplements can also have a beneficial effect, since they prevent bacteria from adhere to the urinary tract lining.

  1. Symptom relief: free sales analgesics, such as no n-steroidal ant i-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or urinary analgesics, can help relieve the inconvenience associated with ITU, such as pain or ardor when urinating.
  2. PREVENTIVE MEASURES: Taking preventive measures can help reduce the risk of ITI. For example, maintain good personal hygiene, avoid irritating (such as soaps or strong fragrances) in the genital area, completely empty the bladder and urinate shortly after having sex.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ITU IN MEN:
1. Antibiotic therapy
2. Increased fluid intake
  1. 3. Relief of symptoms
  2. Precautionary measures

Preventing UTIs in men:

1. Keep hydrated: drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day is essential to maintain urinary health in general. Water helps eliminate urinary tract bacteria, preventing its growth and reducing the possibilities of infection. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to keep the urinary system well hydrated.

2. Maintaining good personal hygiene: practicing good personal hygiene is crucial to prevent urinary infections. It is important to thoroughly clean the genital area, especially before and after sexual activities, to eliminate any possible bacteria that may cause an infection. In addition, it is advisable to avoid the use of strong soaps and, instead, opt for soft cleaners with balanced pH to avoid irritations.

  1. 3. Empt the bladder completely: Be sure to completely empty the bladder every time you urinate. Retaining urine or not completely empty the bladder may increase the risk of bacterial proliferation and cause urinary tract infections. Take your time when urinating and try to relax pelvic muscles to facilitate the complete emptying of the bladder.
Precautionary measures Description
Urinate before and after sexual activity Emptying the bladder before and after sexual activity helps eliminate bacteria that may have entered the urethra during intercourse.
Avoid irritating substances Avoid using products that can irritate urinary tract, such as strong detergents, scented soaps and bubble baths.
Use breathable underwear Choose underwear manufactured with breathable materials, such as cotton, to allow a correct circulation of air and avoid moisture accumulation, which can create a conducive environment for bacteria to proliferate.
Practice safe sexual habits Using condoms during sexual activity can help reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can cause ITU.

“It is always best to prevent than to cure”.- Desiderio Erasmo

If you incorporate these preventive measures into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing ITU. However, it is important that you consult a healthcare professional if you suffer from persistent or recurring, since they may require more medical attention and treatment.

Complications of UTIs in men:

One of the possible complications of UTIs in men is the spread of the infection to the kidneys, known as pyelonephritis. This can occur when bacteria from the urinary tract travel to the kidneys through the ureters. Pyelonephritis can cause serious symptoms such as high fever, back pain, and vomiting. If left untreated, it can lead to kidney damage and other serious complications. Prompt medical intervention is crucial to prevent the spread of infection and protect kidney function.

Pyelonephritis, if left untreated, can lead to kidney damage and other serious complications.

Another complication of UTIs in men is kidney stone formation. These are hard deposits that can develop in the kidneys or urinary tract. UTIs can increase the risk of kidney stone formation by altering the pH of urine, allowing minerals to crystallize and form stones. Kidney stones can cause severe pain, difficulty urinating, and blood in the urine. Treatment may include medication, drinking plenty of fluids, or, in severe cases, surgery.

UTIs can increase the risk of kidney stone formation, causing severe pain, difficulty urinating, and blood in the urine.

Additionally, untreated or recurrent UTIs in men can lead to chronic prostatitis. Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland, usually caused by an infection. Chronic prostatitis can cause persistent pain in the pelvic region, difficulty urinating, and sexual dysfunction. Treatment of chronic prostatitis may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and lifestyle modifications.

  • kidney damage
  • Kidney stone formation
  • chronic prostatitis

In summary, UTIs in men can cause various complications. Among them, the spread of the infection to the kidneys, the formation of kidney stones and the development of chronic prostatitis. Timely medical treatment is essential to prevent other health problems and protect overall well-being.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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