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The male urethra is much longer than the female’s, not allowing bacteria quick access to the bladder. And this, together with the antibacterial actions of some secretions of the prostate gland, probably accounts for why men are less likely than women to develop urinary tract infections (1:30 male to female ratio).
More frequent in men than in women is urethritis that may cause burning in the penis. It often sets the stage for the development of cystitis.
Here’s the list factors that can increase the risk of developing urinary tract infection in men. Some men, however, are more prone to getting an infection than others.
Cystitis is more common in men who practice anal intercourse. If you decide to go for it without a condom, make sure to pee soon after sex to flush out any E. coli bacteria that are climbing your urethra to your bladder.
Genitals must be kept dry and clean! Less than careful hygiene, is one of the most frequent causes of repeated urinary tract infections.
This is a common problem especially among the elderly men who are at increased risk for developing urinary tract infections due to incomplete emptying of the bladder. This failure is associated with such conditions, mainly obstructions, as:
Older males are at higher risk for developing bladder infection with the incidence being as high as 33 out of 100 people. Here’s what may place the elderly at increased risk for developing bladder infection:
Urinary tract infection also can be one of the risk factors for a urinary bladder problem such as incontinence – leakage of urine that interferes with some of your normal activities, often causing embarrassment or discomfort in social situations.
Incontinence, however, is not a disease, but rather a symptom of another condition involving the urinary system, such as acute or frequent bladder infections.
A wide range of medical conditions, and even aging, can cause or contribute to incontinence. Some causes, such as urinary tract infections, may be temporary. Others can be long-lasting, such as prostate enlargement (BPH) blocking the urethra or – as an effect of prostate surgery (prostatectomy).
Urinary incontinence in many cases can be very distressing and embarrassing. The embarrassment prevents many men seeking help.
Obstruction in the urinary tract, tending to increase the likelihood of infection, can be due to:
Catheterization in males is more difficult and uncomfortable than in females because of the longer urethra.
Although 25 percent of all hospitalized patients will receive a catheter at some point in their stay, nearly 1 out of every 3 patients undergoing catheterization does not need it! That much of this overcatheterization may be due to the fact that it makes the jobs of hospital staff easier.
However, once inserted, the devices often remain too long because doctors either forget or do not know which of their patients still have a catheter inserted.
It should be noted that catheterization in males is more difficult and uncomfortable than in females because of the longer urethra.
Catheters are considered necessary for patients who are:
Unfortunately, every day a catheter is left in, a patient has a 5 percent chance of developing a urinary tract infection, as bacteria from the patient’s genital area – in most cases pathogenic E. coli bacteria – migrate up the outside of the catheter and infect the otherwise sterile bladder.
Usually treated with antibiotics, the urinary tract infections have the potential to lengthen hospital stays and cause more serious side effects that can be life threatening (when infection spreads to the bloodstream).
For this reason, researchers are calling for a mandatory “stop-order” on all hospital catheterizations after 48 hours, with a daily review thereafter. The incidence of UTIs is reduced, however, when silver alloy catheters are used.
Urinary tract infections occur when the immune system is suppressed or compromised due to chronic illness, such a diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chronic kidney disease, AIDS, or cancer. These diseases make it more difficult for your body to fight and flush out UTI-causing bacteria.
Diabetics are at a higher risk of a urinary tract infection due to the unfavorable metabolic changes, especially the elevated blood sugar levels, which suppress their immune system.
The incidence of the urologic complications of diabetes, such as autonomic neuropathy affecting the urinary bladder, ranges from 27 percent to 85 percent.
In addition to autonomic bladder dysfunction in diabetes, there is an increased incidence of asymptomatic and symptomatic bacteria, which can progress to kidney infection and kidney damage. It has been attributed to numerous etiologies, such as:
Neurological conditions like paraplegia, a spinal cord injury or impairment (SCI), usually result in neurogenic bladder – an unstable or atomic bladder, with no muscle tone.
Men with spinal cord injuries have lost, partial or complete, control over their bladder and sphincter due to the compromised nerve receptors that are responsible for contracting and relaxing the muscles of the bladder and the sphincter, and registering feelings of pressure or release.
Due to this condition, most paraplegics are exposed to the regular use of catheters and drugs. (The more traditional cap and bag, with continual drainage, is falling from favor even though it is a safer system).
However, catheters often increase the risk of urinary tract injuries and repeated bladder infections – a common problem in people with spinal cord impairment.
Exposed to repeated or long-term courses of antibiotics, in time, they also develop resistance to drugs what makes maintaining healthy urinary tract for them even more difficult.
However, these symptoms do not necessarily mean there is a bladder infection. They just mean there might be a bladder infection.
A history of urinary tract infections or bladder infections in childhood also poses a risk for recurrences in adult life.
Abnormal structure of the bladder can be something that you are born with or that develops later in life. Vesico-ureteric reflux (VUR) is a congenital abnormality of the urinary tract that some children are born with, in which urine flows back into the ureters or kidney during urination.
Men with certain blood types attract bacteria which attach to cells that line the urinary tract, causing recurrent urinary tract infections. It has been suggested that the A phenotype for the AB0 blood group constitutes risk for the emergence of urinary tract infections. The individuals with A phenotype are more likely to suffer from infection caused by E. coli bacterium – the most frequent pathogen.