Are UTIs Only for Women?

UTIs can be caused by bacteria that enter the urethra, the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. The urethra is much shorter in a woman’s body than in a man’s. Bacteria don’t have far to travel to the bladder, where they can cause an infection. Alternatively, the urethra itself can become infected. Not drinking enough water or not urinating when you feel the urge can contribute to this. Regular urination flushes away any bacteria that may be present in the bladder or urethra.

Men have the advantage of a longer urethra, which makes it harder for bacteria to reach the bladder and a greater distance between the anus and urethra relative to women. The bacteria e-coli, usually present in human feces, frequently causes UTIs in women due to proximity. These anatomical advantages make UTIs very rare among younger men. However, they become more common from about age 50 and up.  Why is this?

An enlarged prostate can compress a man’s urethra, partially blocking the urine flow. It becomes more difficult to empty the bladder. Therefore, bacteria are not flushed away, and infection can grow. UTIs are not just an annoyance; without treatment, they can progress into a kidney infections that can seriously impact your health. Enlarged prostate is a common condition many older men have to deal with. A range of treatment options is available, depending on your health history and the severity of the case.

An experienced urologist can help diagnose and treat UTIs due to enlarged prostate or other causes. Resolving the underlying cause of the UTI will avert future infections and health complications that can result.

Dr. Richard Natale of Carolina Urology practices in Concord and Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Natale is a board-certified urologist with experience in the latest leading-edge treatments for men’s health conditions—call (704) 786-5131 with questions or for an appointment today.

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