5 Best Treatment Options for UTIs in Men
For women, urinary tract infections are almost a given – a painful, annoying, frustrating part of life. But for men, UTIs are rare.
The problem with stats like this is we often focus on getting women the information and the help they need to deal with the common problem (because they are definitely going to need it), and so we forget that men can still deal with it too – and could benefit from their own information and help geared toward them.
I’m here to provide just that. I want to explain why UTIs are rarely a problem for men, what causes them when they do arrive and how a man can tell if he has a UTI. But I really want to focus on what the treatment options are, so every man can know how to deal with this infection.
Why Men Get Fewer UTIs
By and large, women have a much higher chance of developing a UTI than a man does. Only 1 in 5 UTIs are in men. And the rate of UTIs in men over 50 is much higher. This means they are extremely uncommon in younger men.
The difference all comes down to anatomy.
You see, a urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria (normally E. coli) has entered the urinary tract (which includes the urethra, the bladder, the ureter, and the kidneys). The bacteria multiply, and then infected the area. When we say UTI, we could talk about an infection in any part of the urinary tract, but mostly we are referring to bladder infections.
Which brings us back to the anatomy…
The female urethra (the tube which brings the urine from the bladder out of the body) is significantly shorter than a man’s urethra. This means if any bacteria enters a man’s urethra, it is going to have to go a lot further to make it to the bladder. Most likely urine will flush it out before there is a real issue.
Most Common Causes of UTIs In Men
Just because a man’s anatomy makes it harder for a urinary tract infection to develop does not mean it doesn’t happen. But most of the male UTIs are considered “complicated” by doctors – which means there are probably bigger issues than simply getting E. coli in the urethra (which can so easily happen for women).
Here are the most common reasons for a man to have a UTI:
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Bladder catheters
- Immune system problems
- Congenital formation issues with the urinary tract
- Epididymitis (when the tube near the testicles is inflamed)
- Orchitis (when one or both of the testicles becomes inflamed)
- Not being circumcised
These factors show why men over 50 have more UTIs than younger men. Older men have more experiences where catheters are inserted, they are more likely to have prostate issues, and even more like to have developed diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms Of UTIs In Men
So when a man does develop a urinary tract infection, what exactly will he feel? Here are the common symptoms of a male UTI:
- A frequent urgency to urinate, though very little often comes out each time
- A painful burning sensation during urination
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Foul-smelling urine
- Pain in the abdominals or lower back
- Fluid seeping from the penis
Other than the seeping fluid, these signs and symptoms are similar to what a woman will experience when she has a UTI as well.
If your symptoms worsen or do not go away – or if you start vomiting, having a high fever, or developing debilitating pain – make sure you call your doctor. This often means your UTI (bladder infection) has now moved its way up to the kidneys. A kidney infection often requires more medical attention and care than a bladder infection.
RELATED: How Do Men Get UTIs?
5 Best Treatment Options for UTIs in Men
Now that you have a better understanding of the unique nature of urinary tract infections in men, lets focus on the top treatment options men have for dealing with a UTI. These will often be given to a patient after a consultation with the doctor. Many times tests like a urine analysis will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Then you may have one or more of these treatment options to deal with the problem:
Most UTIs are treated with a round of antibiotics (Cipro is a common choice by doctors). For the occasional urinary tract infection, this is not a problem. Most of the time antibiotics quickly and effectively deal with the infection. For a typical bladder infection, this treatment will knock out the negative symptoms in a few days.
If the man is dealing with recurrent UTIs, other methods should be considered since too many antibiotics can build up antibiotic resistance. Then taking a round of antibiotics will not help UTIs, or any other infection for that matter.
Plus, too many antibiotics can really mess up your gut health by killing off too many good bacteria in the process of killing off the bad bacteria.
2. Natural Remedies
Natural remedies can be use instead of antibiotics or they can be used in addition to antibiotics. There are some fabulous natural supplements that have been shown through scientific research to help treat urinary tract infections (in both men and women). Two of the top options include:
- D-mannose: This is actually a type of sugar that has been shown to be both antibacterial and antiviral. Studies have shown D-mannose is powerful against E. coli (the typical culprit of UTIs)
- Hibiscus Extract: Hibiscus – yes that lovely flower and tasty tea – is actually quite powerful against E. coli, staphylococcus, and candida albicans (all of which can be the cause of UTIs)
3. Pain Medications
Though most of these treatment options can help a man actually get rid of his UTI, there are other treatment options to help a man deal with the symptoms until it finally goes away. Many doctors will write a prescription for pain medication when a man is suffering from a UTI. Taking over-the counter pain meds can be effective as well.
Sometimes when a urinary tract infection is complicated enough, and sometimes when it has reached the kidneys, hospitalization will be required to safely knock out the infection. This is especially true if the main cause of the UTI was some sort of immune system deficiency (like HIV). This is pretty rare, so don’t anticipate going to the hospital if you are experiencing the symptoms of a UTI.
Though this is a very rare occurrence among only the most extreme cases, surgery does still happen from time to time – especially considering most of the male UTIs are “complicated.” Sometimes surgery has to be considered when the problem causing the UTIs can be fixed.
This could be anything from kidney stone removal, prostate surgery, or a correction of an abnormality.
How Men Can Prevent UTIs
Since most male UTIs are caused from outside factors like kidney stones or diabetes, the #1 way you can prevent a urinary tract infection is to get your other health problems under control. Outside of taking those measures, men should make sure they are:
- Going to the bathroom as soon as they have to and emptying their bladders right away: Keeping any urine just sitting in your bladder increases the odds that any present bacteria could multiply and infect the area.
- Drinking plenty of water: This keeps your body prepared for the natural flush system that can prevent infection
- Using the bathroom right after sex: Though this step is more important for a woman, men should visit the bathroom after sex too. The movement during sex can often encourage any present bacteria on the partners to enter the urethra.
- Cleaning thoroughly: Keeping the genital area clean and free from bacteria is important for any person – it lowers the chances of bacteria entering the urethra – but this is especially true for men who are not circumcised.
Dealing With A UTI As A Man
Luckily, for most men this probably will not be an issue in their lives. But if you do end up dealing with painful, uncomfortable UTIs, rest assured that there are helpful treatment options for you.
If you find yourself getting more than one UTI and are frustrated by the reoccurrence, start taking the D-mannose natural supplement to help support your urinary tract. Then talk to your doctor about potential health problems or lifestyle choices that are leading to the pop up of these uncomfortable infections.