The normal urine of a human being is sterile. This liquid, in addition to containing fluids, is also comprised of waste products and salts. However, bacteria, fungi, and viruses should not be present in the urine. When these elements are found in the urine, it means that a bladder infection has already developed. Bladder infections, which are also commonly known as urinary tract infections or cystitis, take place when microorganisms, such as various types of bacteria found in the digestive tract, attach themselves to the urethra’s opening, begin to thrive, and irritate the urinary system’s lining.
Bladder infections, while are more common in the female gender, can also develop in men. The reason behind this particular type of infection being much less common in males is because men have longer urethras. The longer urethra of men makes it harder for the bacteria to make its way to the bladder in order to cause the infection. While these infections are not that common in men, they can still result in more serious health problems.
Why Men Suffer from These Infections
Bladder infections are caused by small amounts of urine being retained in the bladder. The remaining urine in the bladder provides the bacteria with a perfect environment to multiply, thrive, and cause these infections. In males, the most common culprit that causes the poor emptying of the bladder is an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. Since BPH often develops as men grow older, bladder or urine infections develop more frequently in men 50 or older.
Factors that Increases the Risk of Men for Developing Such Infections
There are also a number of other factors that can increase the risk of men for developing bladder infections. In some cases, these risks can be increased by underlying health problems. Aside from an enlarged prostate, other risk factors include the following:
• Bladder and/or Kidney Problems – Men who are suffering from such conditions have higher risks of developing bladder or urinary tract infections. For instance, kidney stones and other health conditions that result in the urine to not drain properly can make a man more susceptible to these infections.
• Catheters – Men who have had a catheter as a means to drain their urine from their body are also more prone to bladder or urine infections.
• Diabetes and Other Diseases Affecting the Immune System
• Other Conditions that Affect the Urinary Tract – Bladder stones, prostate cancer, neurogenic bladder, and urethral stricture are some of the other conditions that can increase the risk of men developing bladder infections.
Symptoms Associated with Bladder or Urine Infections
There are many different signs associated with bladder or urinary tract infections. These indications differ from person to person. The severity also ranges from mild to being severe. Here are some of the most common symptoms of bladder or urine infections in men:
• Frequent need to urinate
• Urgent need to relieve oneself
• Urinating only in small amounts
• Abdominal pain
• Pain affecting the pelvic area
• Pain affecting the lower back
• Urination that comes with a burning sensation
• Leaking urine
• Increased need to urinate especially at night
• Foul-smelling urine
• Cloudy urine
• Blood present in the urine
• Low-grade fever
• Tiredness and fatigue
There are some cases wherein the bladder infections are so severe that they result in the bladder wall becoming inflamed. This inflammation of the bladder wall can also result in blood mixing up with the urine and making it appear cloudy. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial for you to contact and consult your primary health care giver in order to determine if you really are suffering from a bladder infection and obtain the necessary treatment as soon as possible.
Undergoing the Right Tests to Determine the Presence of Infections
If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms of bladder infections, your doctor may require you to undergo some laboratory tests. A urine sample is one of these. A sample of your urine can confirm that you are suffering from a bladder infection and also identify the culprit. While this type of test is often enough for those who are in otherwise good health condition, your doctor may require you to undergo further testing if there is a suspicion of underlying problems such as kidney problems or an enlarged prostate.
Men with Infections – Best Course of Treatment
If you have been diagnosed with a bladder infection, your doctor may recommend you to follow a course of treatment involving the use of antibiotics. These medications often take effect immediately to clear the infection. In most cases, antibiotics should be taken for a period of seven days. You may also be recommended by your health care provider to undergo a few other tests if your infection is recurrent or if you have developed a fever. In the event that you still suffer from and experience the symptoms associated with this type of infection, you should go back to your doctor.
Taking ibuprofen or Paracatemol can also help those suffering from male bladder infections so that they can alleviate the pain they experience especially when urinating. These medications can ease discomfort and pain as well as lower the temperature brought about by a fever. It is also important to drink lots of water so that lack of fluid (dehydration) can be prevented.
Other Conditions to Be Aware Of
There are certain types of health conditions that present themselves similarly to bladder infections. If your bladder infection keeps on coming back or if you have not been diagnosed with it, your primary health care provider may look for symptoms associated with the following conditions:
• Urethritis – Infection or inflammation of the urethra
• Urinary Stones – Develops in the bladder and causes infection and irritation
• Bladder Tumors
• Prostatitis – Infection or inflammation of the prostate gland
• Urethral Stricture – Develops when the urethra becomes narrowed
Prognosis for Men Suffering from Bladder or Urine Infections
Vast majority of men suffering from bladder infections see improvement within just a few days after they start their treatment. If the problem does not improve or does not go away, do not hesitate to see your doctor.