- What is a urinary tract infection?
- Is it true that urinary tract infections are less common in men than in women?
- What are the symptoms of a urinary tract infection?
- How is a urinary tract infection treated?
- What can I do to prevent urinary tract infections?
- What other urinary problems can occur?
- What are the symptoms of urinary incontinence?
- What can I do if I have urinary incontinence?
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.
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.
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?
- Urinary tract infections in young men are usually caused by sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, practise safe sex - use condoms.
- Drink plenty of fluids every day. Try to drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day.
- Empty your bladder often and completely.
- If you do get a urinary tract infection, ensure you finish your course of antibiotics.
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?
- Go to your doctor immediately. The incontinence may be caused by a urinary tract infection, for which your doctor can prescribe antibiotics.
- Try to control your weight, as obesity can cause incontinence.
- Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day.
- Avoid alcohol, especially if you have an enlarged prostate.
- Avoid caffeine, as it is a diuretic and will cause you to urinate more.
Back to top of page