A urinary tract infection, or a UTI, occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. While females are 30 times more likely to get UTIs than males, UTIs are more common for men as they age.
This is mainly due to the fact that men have the possibility of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) as they get older. The enlargement of the prostate gland puts pressure on the bladder, preventing urine from flowing normally. If the bladder does not empty completely, the remaining bacteria that is normally flushed out can grow into an infection.
UTIs develop from the bacteria that gets into the urinary tract through the urethra. There are several common causes, including the following:
The most common symptoms for a urinary tract infection include:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help. Some of these symptoms could be caused by conditions such as BPH, diabetes, inflammation, prostate infection, or kidney stones.
The causes of the UTI will determine what treatment will be right for you. Most UTI treatments include taking antibiotics for 10-14 days.
While it is not possible to fully prevent yourself from getting a UTI, changing your lifestyle can significantly lower the risks of getting a UTI.
Wearing a condom during sex to protect from STDs, which can lower your risk for UTIs
Urinating before and after sex
Drinking lots of fluids
Keeping your genital area clean and dry
Treating your prostate problems, such as BPH
If you would like to manage your BPH symptoms to lower the chance of developing a urinary tract infection, take the one-minute BPH quiz.