Urinary tract infections are one of those diseases that seem to affect women more often than men, but guys are certainly not immune. Having a male UTI is a nasty business that can result in a burning penis and pain on urination. While there is no fool-proof prevention for this unpleasant occurrence, knowing how and why they happen can save men a lot of hurt that can last for days. Some simple suggestions for penis care can also help men to reduce their risk of contracting a UTI.
What is a urinary tract infection?
A urinary tract infection, or UTI, occurs when bacteria (usually E. choli) penetrate the urethra and burrow inward, stimulating the body’s immune response. Women are more prone to the disease simply because their urethra is shorter than a man’s, but men can easily be affected as well. A male UTI is frequently related to poor hygiene or unprotected anal sex.
What are the symptoms?
A UTI is characterized by:
- a burning sensation in the urethra;
- frequent need to urinate (often with little urine produced);
- and penis pain on urination;
- back and/or abdominal pain;
- fever (in some cases).
If any of these symptoms are present, a urinalysis may be necessary.
Treating a male UTI
A UTI is typically treated with antibiotics. Because a UTI can have similar symptoms to other medical issues, and because the type of antibiotic used depends in part on the type of bacteria present, most doctors will require a urine sample for positive diagnosis. This can generally be done in a few minutes in an outpatient setting, and test results are generally available within an hour or two.
Hints for prevention
1. Keep the penis and surrounding area clean. Washing the genital area carefully can help to eliminate any traces of fecal matter or other bacteria-laden substances that may trigger an infection.
2. Wash hands before handling the goods. Washing the hands before and after handling the package can also prevent the urethra (at the tip of the penis) from coming in contact with harmful bacteria.
3. Keep the short hairs short. Microorganisms love warm, moist, dark areas, and the pubic hairs provide a perfect environment, especially in the presence of stale urine, droplets of semen, and other bodily effusions that are often trapped in long, thick hair. Keeping these short, or shaving them off altogether, means less chance that a bacterial colony will be able to establish itself.
4. Choose partners wisely. In general, sexually transmitted infections are a matter of greater concern than a UTI, but it pays to be careful about whom one chooses to share a romantic evening in any event. Even though it may take some of the heat out of the moment, an honest conversation about past medical conditions, as well as hygiene habits, can help to prevent a range of unpleasant problems. A partner who is less-than-vigilant about keeping him- or herself clean can provide a source of contamination that may lead to a variety of different infections.
5. Use protection. With that said, even if a partner seems up to snuff, it is always the better part of caution to use protection for every encounter.
6. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is important for all aspects of health, and staying hydrated is especially important when it comes to flushing out the bladder and urinary tract. Natural juices that are high in acid, such as cranberry or pineapple, are also recommended for individuals who experience frequent infections; men should just be sure to watch out for beverages with added sugar, as the sweet factor can actually provide a favorable environment for bacteria.
7. Moisturize and nourish. Given the nature of the surrounding environment, even the most hygienic of men are likely to harbor some bacteria and other microbes in the groin area. One way to help make the under-drawers a bit less hospitable for these microorganisms is to make sure the penis skin itself is intact, without any cracks and fissures in the surface that can allow invaders to penetrate. A penis nutrient formula (most health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) that is fortified with high-quality moisturizers and essential vitamins can help to maintain the integrity of the skin’s outer layers. Applied daily, after a shower, a penis crème is an excellent resource for men who want healthy, supple skin.