Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are commonly associated with women, but it's important to recognize that men can also be diagnosed with UTIs. This painful and complex infection affects the urinary tract and can exhibit varying symptoms or none at all. Let's delve into this condition.
The urinary tract comprises the organs responsible for producing and expelling urine from the body. In men, these components include the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Urine expulsion is a vital bodily function that rids the body of waste. However, if harmful bacteria accumulate within the urinary tract, it can lead to a challenging infection known as an Urinary Tract Infection. Although more prevalent in women, men are not immune to this ailment.
Urinary tract infections come in various forms, affecting either the upper or lower tract. Upper tract infections occur in the kidneys or ureters, while lower tract infections manifest in the bladder, prostate, or urethra. It's estimated that UTIs affect approximately 3% of men worldwide each year. Let's explore UTIs further.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
For those grappling with a UTI, symptoms can be indicative of an upper or lower tract infection. Common signs and symptoms include:
Persistent feeling of needing to urinate.
Pain, burning, or discomfort during or after urination.
Abdominal pain or tenderness.
Cloudy or foul-smelling urine.
Presence of blood in the urine.
Pain in the sides or upper back.
While these are common UTI symptoms, some men may experience no symptoms at all.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
The primary method for preventing a UTI is reducing the risk of unhealthy bacteria buildup in the urinary tract. To achieve this, consider the following steps:
Empty your bladder regularly.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water.
If uncircumcised, carefully clean the area beneath the foreskin after showering.
Maintain proper genital hygiene before and after sexual activity to eliminate bacteria.
When urinating, wipe from front to back.
Use condoms during sexual intercourse.
Urinate after sex to expel any bacteria that might have been transmitted during sexual activity.
While UTIs are more common in women, men can also be susceptible to these infections. As discussed earlier, the buildup of unhealthy bacteria in the urinary tract is a key factor, underscoring the importance of personal hygiene for men. Additionally, staying adequately hydrated is vital. If you think that holding your urine for a few hours doesn't matter, think again; it could lead to a urinary tract infection. These are simple yet effective steps to help men stay clear of UTIs.
UTIs affect around 3% of men:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5615991/
Written by: Deepti Dogra
Edited by: Aniket Joshi