Urinary Tract Infection in men—does this really happen? Before we explore the answer to this question, let us first understand how the infection occurs.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) may affect any regions of the urinary system, which is composed of the urethra, ureters, bladder, and a pair of kidneys. Most infection cases usually occur in the lower areas of the urinary system, which includes the urethra and bladder. A person with a bladder infection may experience pain during urination, urge to pee even though having an empty bladder, and frequent urination.
Urinary Tract Infection
Infection in the lower urinary tract is called cystitis (bladder infection). UTI becomes serious when it reaches the upper urinary tracts (pyelonephritis or kidney infection). In addition to lower UTI symptoms, an individual may experience flu and abdominal pain. In a rare instance, blood may appear in the urine and may be mistaken as kidney stones.
Before the establishment of urology and invention of antibiotics, early civilization isn’t aware that the cause of UTI is a bacteria infecting the urinary tracts and only focused on relieving pain. The first recorded description of urinary tract infection was found in ancient Egypt, where they enlisted several herbal treatments to cure the infection. The Greek physician Hippocrates of Kos even described it as the disharmony of the four types of humor.
Cause of the Infection
Urinary tract infection is commonly caused by a bacterium known as Escherichia coli or simply E. coli. It’s usually formed in the digestive system. When the body wasn’t able to effectively excrete them, it remains in the urinary tract that leads to infection. Other kinds of bacteria’s and substance (like spermicide) can also cause infections in the urinary tracts.
In mild cases, UTI can be treated within two to three days just by drinking lots of water alone. Antibiotics like sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin can also be used. However, if test results show the presence of Escherichia coli and white blood cells in their urine but no symptoms, antibiotics may not be needed. On the other hand, serious cases require an extended intake of antibiotics. Consult your doctor if the condition hasn’t improved after three days. For individuals with recurring symptoms of UTI, antibiotics should be taken at its first sign. Still, the best way to prevent UTI is water. By drinking enough water a day, it ensures that bacteria’s and toxins are flushed out from the body.
Urinary Tract Infection in Men
According to research, more than 100 million of UTI cases are reported each year worldwide. Women are more commonly at risks compare to men. Most women may experience this infection at least once in their lifetime. Research also found that likely occurrence is within the ages of fifteen and thirty-five. One study suggests that women are more prone to UTI because of their anatomy. The positioning of the urethra from the vagina and anus makes it easier for the bacteria to enter. Also, women have a shorter urethra and as they reach menopausal estrogen levels drops, thus, increasing the risks of urinary infections.
Although urinary tract infection usually occurs in women, in rare instances men may also be infected. Globally, only three percent of men develop UTI. This is because men have longer urethras’. When a bacterium enters through the penis, it’ll take time for the bacteria to travel to the bladder. It may not even reach the bladder.
According to research, it’s unlikely to occur on young adult males but risks increases in ages fifty and above especially if the individual has prostate problems, kidney stones, immune system disorder, and diabetes. When the prostate enlarges it hinders the normal flow of urine that increases the chance of infection development. One example is a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia. This condition could partially block the bladder, disabling it to excrete urine completely.
Cystitis appears to be the most common type of urinary tract infection in men especially to those that are uncircumcised and practicing anal intercourse. When urinary tract infection does occur to men, the risks of the infection reaching the upper urinary tracts are likely. When it spread throughout the upper tracts, it’s usually considered serious by medical experts and may even require surgery.
Signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection in men are also the same with women, it includes:
- Pain or burning sensation during urination (also known as dysuria)
- Urge to pee even though having an empty bladder
- Urinating frequently
- Difficulty urinating
- Strong urine odor
- A cloudy texture in urine
- Abdominal pains
- Flu-like symptoms
- Liquid-form discharge from the penis
- In rare instances, hematuria or tiny droplets of blood in urine
Most male UTI cases reported dysuria, frequent urination, and urinary urges. When these three are present, medical practitioners would likely to conclude urinary tract infection.
The doctor will ask patients about their symptoms. Then the doctor may ask them laboratory tests to conclusively identify that it’s a urinary tract infection.
In case of recurring infections, doctor’s may likely to recommend the following:
- Cystoscopy: this is conducted by a tiny instrument to examine the condition of the bladder and urethra.
- Intravenous pyelogram: a type of imaging tests to see any signs of infections in the bladder, kidneys, and urethra.
- Ultrasound: this is to examine the overall condition of the urinary system.
According to research, mild cases of urinary tract infection symptoms may lessen or even cured within two to three days just by water alone. There are also other home remedies you can use to reduce its symptoms, it includes:
Drink lots of water
As mentioned, water alone could lessen or treat UTI symptoms completely. A study made in 2013 by the Southwestern Medical Center of the University of Texas at Dallas observed that insufficient water in the body promotes infections to develop. They suggest that just by staying hydrated, UTI can be prevented and flush out bacteria causing infections.
Eat foods with probiotics
Usually, UTI is treated with antibiotics. However, it may have a negative impact on our health if mismanaged. According to an article published by an Indian urology journal found that antibiotics could be harmful to beneficial bacteria’s living in the body.
Probiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria’s that enhances the body’s defense against infections. It could also act as an antibiotic and eliminate harmful bacteria’s in the urinary tracts.
Few examples of foods with probiotic contents:
- Fermented foods
Probably the most promising home remedy to replicate antibiotics is foods with probiotics. It has antimicrobial properties that may reduce symptoms of the infection.
Urinate as soon as the urge to pee arises. It ensures that infection won’t develop. Studies say that if an individual holds his urine for a long time, it may enable the bacteria to progress and eventually infect the bladder.
The above mentioned home remedies may also help individuals with serious cases of urinary tracts. However, it’s still much more important to follow doctors’ prescription. Treatment usually lasts from three days to one month. Though, you may need to alert your doctor if improvement hasn’t improved in seven days.