UTIs in men

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is an infection in any part of your urinary tract. A UTI can infect your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. However, most UTIs affect the bladder and the urethra. It’s important to know the facts about UTIs because if left untreated, you can suffer from serious complications if the UTI spreads to your kidneys. While anyone can get a UTI, women are more likely to develop them than men. This is likely due to the fact that women have shorter urethras then men.

What causes a UTI?

A UTI is caused by germs or bacteria that infect the urinary tract, as well as any part of the urinary system that is connected to it, such as the kidneys and the bladder. A UTI can often spread to the bladder, however they are usually not that serious if they are treated immediately. If the UTI spreads to the kidneys, the infection can become much more complication and make a person very ill.

What increases a man’s risk for a UTI?

  • Problems with your prostateBladder_(PSF)
    • an enlarged prostate or a prostate infection (prostatitis)
  • Blockages
    • bladder or kidney stones. These will prevent your urine from flowing normally which can lead to infection.
  • Weakened immune system
  • Urinary tract problems
    • incontinence or post-surgical complications with your urinary tract
  • Being uncircumcised
    • Having the foreskin of the penis there makes it easier for bacteria to develop and make its way into the urinary tract.
  • Sexual intercourse
    • You have a higher risk of infection if your partner has an infection. Anal sex can also increase your risk for a UTI.

Signs and symptoms

UTIs are often bladder infections. While the signs and symptoms of a UTI are often very noticeable, painful, and very uncomfortable, it is possible for some people to have no symptoms at all. The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Urinary urgency and frequency
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Cloudy urine or a foul-smelling odor in your urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fever or chills (may indicate it’s spread to your kidneys)

If left untreated, a UTI or bladder infection can spread to the kidneys. Once the infection has spread to the kidneys, signs and symptoms include:

  • Lower back pain on either side of your back
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting


Treatment for UTIs depend in your UTI. They are most often treated with antibiotics, but depending on the frequency of UTIs, the type of bacteria of the UTI, and the severity, your doctor will prescribe a certain type of antibiotic and possibly other medications for a specified period of time.

For less severe UTIs, your doctor may give you one of the following antibiotics: Bactrim or Septra, Amoxicillin, Nitrofurantoin, Ampicillin, Cipro or Levaquin. With less severe UTIs, your symptoms usually clear up within a few days of treatment. You may also be given pain medication to deal with the pain and discomfort associated with UTIs.

If you experience UTIs on a frequent or chronic basis, your doctor may recommend a longer course of antibiotics, intermittent short courses of antibiotics, take-home urine tests to monitor for another infection, a single dose of antibiotics if your infection may be related to having sexual intercourse. About 25 percent people who suffer from UTIs will experience a recurrent infection within six months. This means the antibiotics aren’t completely clearing up the infection.

For UTIs that become severe and complicated, you may be admitted to the hospital to be treated with intravenous antibiotics.

How to prevent UTIs

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water – helps get rid of any bacteria in your urinary tract
  • Urinate when you feel the urge
  • Practice good bathroom hygiene aka always wipe front to back
  • Empty your bladder after having sex

Source: WebMD, Fox, Healthline, Mayo Clinic, Drugs

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

1 Comment

  1. Yismel RosarioApril 20, 2015

    Great post, provides with about enough information for such a common infection. I like how easy to follow this information is. Not too complicated for someone that it is not an expert on the field. Although the post is intended mostly for men, I find it gender neutral for most of the part.

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