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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections in Men: Know the 7 Common Causes

In this article, we will discuss urinary tract infections and what causes urinary tract infections in men. 

So, let’s get started. 

#1 Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary Tract Infection is also known as a bladder infection. UTI means bacterial infection of the urinary tract, affecting the bladder and ureters.

It can be anywhere in the urine tract, like the kidneys, bladder, and prostate, or in males, it can be in the testes and cords. Some organisms may colonize the urinary tract but cause no symptoms.

#2 How to Identify if You Have UTI?

UTI can be identified by having some symptoms like:

  • heavy headache or backache
  • If you are feeling uncomfortable in the lower area of the stomach or near the bladder or having pain in the bladder,
  • If you are having a little sensation of urine in short periods, a sensation of itching in urine, or a problem in urine control,
  • The flow of blood in the urine or
  • Having fever 

If you know of these symptoms, you should immediately increase your water or liquid consumption. You should try to have 1 or 2 glasses of water within an hour. Because if you take more water, the microbes like bacteria start to flush out from your body along with water, and you will feel better.

Another thing you should do is to visit your doctor immediately and try to know whether it is a urinary tract infection or not. Suppose it is a urinary tract infection in actuality; in that case, you will need to do some tests like urine culture or urine examinations, and along with this, you will also need some medicines and antibiotics.

Always take medicines prescribed by your doctor. Do not start to take antibiotics by yourself. 

If you have these symptoms, you should increase liquid consumption in your diet at home and try to take Citrus A, which makes urine alkaline and helps in decreasing these symptoms.

The most important thing is to visit your doctor and take proper treatments.

What causes urinary tract infections
Image from Pexels by Thirdman copyright year 2021

#3 What Causes Urinary Tract Infections in Men

As we already know that a urinary tract infection is an infection involving any part of the urinary system. The urinary system helps in removing wastes and extra water from our body. It includes:

  • 2 kidneys,
  • 2 ureters,
  • the bladder,
  • and the urethra.

The urinary system is divided into the upper urinary tract which includes the kidneys and the ureters and the lower urinary tract which includes the urethra and the bladder.

Upper urinary tract infections mostly affect the kidneys. This type is known as pyelonephritis. Most of the lower urinary tract infections that affect the urethra are called urethritis and the one that affects the bladder is termed cystitis.

People of all ages and sex can develop an infection. People with diabetes and spinal cord injury are at higher risk of getting the infection.

Main Causes of UTI

Urinary tract infections are commonly caused by bacteria. The bacteria can enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder where they grow and causes an infection. A large percentage of infection is caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli. The following factors can increase your chance of getting an infection-

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Sexual intercourse with multiple or new partners

  • Kidney stones

  • Urinary tract abnormalities

  • People who urinate with the aid of a urinary catheter are at higher risk

  • A recent urinary procedure

  • Suppressed immune system

 #4 Kidney Diseases

45585244 medically accurate illustration of the kidneys
By: Creativepic on Unlimphotos

The main causes of kidney diseases are genetic diseases like reflux (a very common disease), which generally happens at a young age. Some are autoimmune disorders or lupus (mainly in females). But the main cause of kidney disorders is diabetes which is very common due to lifestyle and obesity.

The 50 cases of kidney failure out of 100 will be due to diabetes. We can prevent or manage kidney failure due to diabetes very easily. The other reasons for kidney failures are high blood pressure, kidney stones, repeated urinary tract infections, and polycystic kidney due to genetic disorders. These are the diseases that are responsible for kidney failure.

Initially, there is no sign or symptoms when the kidney fails. So, in most cases, we find kidney failure in preventive health checkups.

When kidney failure is at its last stage, the patient feels symptoms like swelling, loss of appetite, weakness, nausea, itching, muscle weakness, anaemia, and problem breathing. These are the symptoms by which we can detect kidney disease.

Prevention of Kidney Failure

Here are a few tips on how one can prevent kidney failures: 

  • We should have regular preventive health checkups to detect kidney failure’s initial stages so we can manage or control further kidney failure.
  • We should maintain a healthy lifestyle; kidney failure also happens due to diabetes and obesity. If an individual has diabetes, he should have frequent checkups.
  • If an individual has stones in his kidney, there is a higher risk of kidney failure; often, a stone can stop or interrupt the urinary tract or the flow of urine, but it can be treated properly. If an individual has recurrent infections in urine, it should be treated properly.
  • Smoking and tobacco do not harm the kidney directly but causes kidney diseases indirectly.
  • If a man (mostly older) has a problem in the flow of urine or has a urine infection due to the prostate gland, this is also a cause of kidney failure, so it should be treated timely and properly.

Most of the time, people started taking medicines without being prescribed by a doctor. Some medicines are kidney harmful, like painkillers and antibiotics. So, always take medicines prescribed by a doctor.

Kidney Infection

A kidney infection is also known as pyelonephritis or renal infection. Kidney infection occurs when bacteria or viruses cause problems in one or both of your kidneys. It is a common type of urinary tract infection.

Bacteria often infect the bladder or the urethra and spread to one of the kidneys. The bacteria that cause kidney infections usually come from other parts of your urinary tract, such as your bladder, ureters, or urethra.

Symptoms of Kidney Infection

The symptoms of a kidney infection can be noticed quite quickly. Common symptoms include:

  • pain around your genital area,
  • a high fever,
  • shivering or chills,
  • weakness or tiredness,
  • loss of appetite,
  • feeling sick,
  • or diarrhea.

You may have other possible symptoms if you also have cystitis. These symptoms may include a painful sensation while peeing, peeing more than usual, or being unable to control, blood in your urine, cloudy urine, pain in your lower abdomen, and pain in your genitals.

Kidney infections usually start from bladder infections in older people. So, it may confuse older adults, whether it is a bladder infection or a kidney infection.

Bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) often causes kidney infections. Other bacteria or viruses can also cause kidney infections.

It is rare, but an infection can also get through your skin, get into your blood, and travel to your kidney. You can also get an infection after kidney surgery, but that is even more unlikely.

Other common causes include male physiology, toilet hygiene, urinary catheters, kidney stones, enlarged prostate gland, and weakened immune system.

Diagnosis

After asking about your symptoms, your healthcare professional will probably do tests, including a Urine sample analysis to check for blood, pus, and bacteria in your urine sample, Urine culture to see what kind of bacteria you have.

Some other tests used might be:

  • Ultrasound or CT,
  • Digital rectal exam (for men),
  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG),
  • and Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) scintigraphy.

Treatment

Most people with a kidney infection can be treated at home with a course of antibiotics and paracetamol if needed.

Painkillers

A painkiller such as paracetamol can help bring down the temperature and pain. However, anti-inflammatory painkillers are not usually recommended for kidney infections as they can further increase the risk of kidney diseases. So painkillers should not be taken unspecified and only after being advised by a doctor. 

#5 Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (RUTIs)

Recurrent urinary tract infections are caused by reinfection by the same bacterium or virus. The most frequent risk factor for having RUTIs is frequent sexual intercourse.

RUTIs are complicated infections and can lead to upper tract infection, also known as Urosepsis.

#6 Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and so on. These infections are very common, especially in young people having sex. STIs are spread by sex without condoms (unprotected sex), oral sex, vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, or intimate skin-to-skin contact.

Symptoms of STI

Symptoms of STIs include discharge or pus, rash, itching, sores and lumps, and pain when peeing or during intercourse, pain in the lower belly or balls.

STIs are complicated infections because they can stop a female from being able to have a baby if they are not treated. If a female is pregnant, they can harm her baby. So, she must go to the clinic for a checkup as soon as she knows she is pregnant or if she is trying for a baby.

Without treatment, some STIs can affect other parts of the body.

Lower Urinary Tract Infections

A lower urinary tract infection is known as cystitis. In cystitis, cyst refers to the bladder, and itis refers to inflammation.

Therefore, cystitis describes an inflamed bladder which is usually the result of bacterial infection (most common), fungal infection, chemical irritants, foreign bodies (for example kidney stones), and trauma.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

If you have benign prostatic hyperplasia, your prostate gland increases in size. The prostate is a tiny gland in men, more like the size of a walnut. It lies beneath your bladder and surrounds your urethra. 

To ignore more urination, urine flows from your bladder through the part of your urethra inside your prostate and then through the rest of your urethra to leave your body. For unknown reasons, your prostate gland may increase in size as you get older.

If you have BPH, your prostate may increase in size to the extent that it begins to narrow the part of your urethra that comes through it. Which in turn may slow down your flow of urine. 

#7 Conclusion

Urinary tract infections are quite common in women, however, they can also be seen in men and children. Anyone can be affected by this condition, but women are more prone to it due to their shorter urethra. 

And as mentioned earlier, UTIs are caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, namely E.Coli. In most cases UTIs affect one’s urethra and bladder, however, in severe cases, they can also infect the kidneys. 

So, it’s very important to identify any signs and symptoms of UTIs and get treated as soon as possible. If the infection is not treated timely and properly it can return with severe effects. 

Well, this is pretty much all you need to know about UTIs. If you have any other insights, please feel free to share. 

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I am Kanika Chaudhary, a student of Biotechnology Engineering. Writing is just my hobby.