Urinary Problems

Urinary Problems

What is a urinary tract infection?

A urinary tract infection occurs when there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the kidneys, bladder (the organ which stores urine that the kidneys have made), or urethra (the small tube that drains urine from the bladder).

Most cases of urinary tract infection in young men are sexually transmitted. Non-sexually transmitted urinary tract infections rarely occur before the age of 50. Urinary tract infections in older men may result from incomplete emptying of the bladder due to enlargement of the prostate gland.

Is it true that urinary tract infections are less common in men than in women?

Yes. This is because the urethra is much longer in men than in women. This makes it more difficult for bacteria to get to the urinary tract.

What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?
Your symptoms may include:

  • A frequent urge to go to the toilet. This need can become quite urgent at times.
  • Pain and discomfort when urinating, for example, a burning feeling.
  • Discharge from the penis, for example, pus. This is more common with sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Abdominal or back pain.
  • Fever.

How is a urinary tract infection treated?

Urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics. In most cases, the symptoms will go away within a few days, however it is imperative that you finish the course of antibiotics prescribed to you. The infection is more likely to recur if you do not finish your medication.

If the antibiotics you have been prescribed don't seem to be working, go back to your doctor. Sometimes medication needs to be changed. Do not ignore the problem.

What can I do to prevent urinary tract infections?

What other urinary problems can occur?

Some men may experience urinary incontinence. This is the involuntary loss of urine. While it is usually associated with the prostate gland, other causes can include tumours, nerve damage and obesity.

What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?

The symptoms are involuntary or unpredictable urinating, or leaking urine when laughing, running or coughing.

What can I do if I have urinary incontinence?

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