A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system. That is, an infection in your kidneys, ureters (urine tubes), bladder or urethra (the tube from your bladder to the outside of your body). While UTIs are more commonly associated with women, men can get them too.
Most bacterial UTIs begin in the bladder, but they can also originate in the urethra, prostate or kidney, and they tend to become more common with age.
The symptoms of UTIs in men are not very different from those experienced by women. Painful urination is one of the most commonly recognised symptoms, but there are many others:
If the UTI involves the kidneys, there may be additional symptoms:
Most UTIs are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) getting into your urinary tract through the urethra.
UTIs are more common in older men. One reason for this is that older men are more likely to experience benign prostatic hyperplasia, which is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. This enlargement can choke off the neck of the bladder, making it harder to urinate, and therefore reducing your ability to flush the bacteria out of your system.
While it’s unlikely that a man will catch a UTI while having sex with a woman, there are other factors that can put males at higher risk of getting a UTI:
UTIs are typically treated with antibiotics. The exact course of antibiotics may vary depending on where your UTI originated and how severe it is.
You may need to take your antibiotics once or twice a day for anywhere between a couple of days and a few weeks. This depends on your prescription, and whether you were diagnosed with an upper or lower urinary tract infection.
The pain of urinating may make it tempting to reduce your fluid intake. However, you need to drink adequate fluids and urinate regularly to help flush the bacteria out of your system.
Your doctor may also prescribe a pain medication to relieve the burning sensation while urinating. These symptoms typically clear up quickly once you begin taking your antibiotics.
While getting a UTI can sometimes come down to bad luck, there are many things that men can do to reduce their chances of getting one: