LIVING WITH INCONTINENCE
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A UTI refers to an infection in the urinary tract. It usually begins in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder, through the penis to be expelled from the body. Left untreated, the infection can travel up the urethra and cause an infection in the bladder (also known as cystitis). From there, it can move further up to infect the kidneys, a potentially serious condition called pyelonephritis.
Men can also experience an infection of the prostate gland, medically called prostatitis, which can have similar symptoms to a UTI. The prostate is part of the reproductive system, not the urinary tract, but as the urethra passes through it, infection is easily transmitted between the two systems.
Older men are more prone to UTIs. Typically, that’s due to an enlarged prostate gland The urethra runs through the prostate and enlargement can squeeze the tube, restricting urine flow. This can lead to urine remaining in the bladder, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply and cause a urinary tract infection in men.
The onset of symptoms of a UTI in men can be very sudden and include:
As mentioned, while not a UTI, an infection of the prostate can have similar symptoms, such as:
It’s essential to be aware that these obvious UTI symptoms may not be present in older men. While it’s not understood exactly why, medical experts suspect it’s due to a slower or suppressed immune system. Conditions like dementia can also impede a sufferer’s ability to describe what’s going on. In older men, the following can be indicators of a UTI:
In all cases, if you or someone your care for has an of these signs, book an appointment with your doctor immediately.
There are a few types of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections in men. The most common is Escherichia coli, also known as E Coli. This bacterium resides in the digestive system and bowel and can find its way into the urethra. It’s usually flushed out with regular urination, but if it takes hold, it can rapidly multiply and become an infection.
Anal sex with a partner of any gender might increase the penetrator’s chance of acquiring a UTI. While one American paper found no evidence that homosexual men had more UTIs than heterosexual men, the mechanics of unprotected anal sex will probably introduce E Coli into the urethra. However, if your natural immunity and general health are good and sexual hygiene is practised, it’s unlikely to cause a UTI in men.
Other microorganisms can also cause UTIs, including the bacteria Staphylococci and Enterococci. These are more likely to be introduced to the urethra via a device such as a catheter.
Treating UTIs in men is very straightforward. Your doctor will request a urine sample that’s tested to determine which bacterium is causing the infection, and a course of antibiotics will be prescribed. You’ll also be encouraged to drink lots of water to assist flushing the infection out.
You might also be prescribed medication to ease the severe pain when urinating, just while the antibiotics take effect.
If the urge to urinate is catching you out and causing incontinence, use the TENA Product Finder to pick a product you can use to manage it while your treatment of UTI kicks in.
Following some prevention methods, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of contracting a UTI in men.
UTIs in men are easy to treat but left alone, they can lead to serious issues, including permanent kidney damage. If you suspect you may have one or have any other urinary problems, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your doctor and have it checked out as soon as possible.
Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.