How do UTIs differ for men and women?

A UTI is an infection in your bladder, ureters, urethra, or kidneys, usually caused by E.coli bacteria. Generally speaking, UTI symptoms include pain when urinating, pain in the lower back, cloudy or smelly urine, fever and chills, and a strong urge to urinate frequently. While both sexes can suffer from UTIs, it’s important to remember that the presentation of UTIs will differ somewhat between men and women, particularly if you suspect you may be suffering from a UTI.

Are men or women more likely to get a UTI?

Women are usually far more likely to suffer from UTIs than men. In fact, some women may get UTIs a few times a year. This is a large part of the reason why it is a little more concerning when men get a UTI; women’s urethrae are much shorter than men’s, which means it’s very easy for bacteria to enter the urethra and cause an infection. These kinds of UTIs are usually easily treated by antibiotics. However, when men get a UTI – a much rarer occurrence – it is often due to something else, such as a blockage, which is a little more complicated to treat.

What causes UTIs in men?

Kidney stones and enlarged prostate are two common causes of UTIs in men. Another cause is acute bacterial prostatitis; this condition can be life-threatening if not treated quickly. Because the causes of UTIs in men are usually a little more complex, it is crucially important that men with urinary tract symptoms see a doctor or GP as soon as possible. Men who struggle with kidney stones, have an enlarged prostate, suffer from diabetes, or have low immunity are all more at risk of UTIs.

How can I prevent a UTI?

Both sexes should endeavour to drink lots of water, practise good hygiene, and avoid holding urine for too long to help prevent their risk of UTIs. Urinating after sex and taking probiotics can also help to offset your risk. In addition to this, women can also lower their risk of UTIs by always wiping from front to back, staying lubricated during sex, and considering taking vaginal estrogen after the menopause.

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