Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) Symptoms in Men: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

If you feel a constant urge to urinate, or if it’s painful when you do, you may be experiencing a urinary tract infection (UTI). Generally, UTIs in men are quite uncommon, but certain conditions and age-related changes can increase the chances of occurrence. Recognise the signs and learn to prevent male UTIs.  

UTI Symptoms in Men

It is important to note that these symptoms are associated with several other conditions, so it is important to seek advice from your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.  

What are the different types of UTIs in men?

There are two types of UTIs that can affect men, known as lower UTIs and upper UTIs.  

While UTIs in men are rare, lower UTIs are the most common type found in men, primarily affecting the urethra and bladder. Upper UTIs are more severe and are caused by infections progressing from the lower urinary tract up into the kidneys. 

Upper UTI symptoms for men and women are severe and can include nausea, back pain and fever. In men, a fever can be an indication that the prostate has also become infected. If left untreated an upper UTI can also lead to sepsis, which is when the infection enters the bloodstream. This is a dangerous and potentially life-threating condition, which requires intensive care.

This is why its important to catch men’s urine infection symptoms early, and take steps to prevent UTIs from occurring.

Recurrent UTI in Men

One of the main causes of UTIs in men is aging. Aging also increases the chance of chronic or recurrent male UTIs.  

Another common cause is the noncancerous enlargement of the , which is something that can also occur due to aging. An enlarged prostate can affect a man’s ability to pass urine, which makes it harder for bacteria to be flushed out of the urethra. This leads to an increased likelihood of a UTI occuring. 

Symptoms of recurrent UTI in men can be: 

UTI Treatment for Men

UTIs in men are treated with antibiotics, and this is often highly effective. A urine culture test may be required to identify which bacteria has caused the infection and which antibiotic will be most effective. 

How to relieve symptoms of UTIs in men while waiting for treatment? 

  • Taking a painkiller, such as paracetamol, up to 4 times a day. This will help with some of the symptoms, like pain, fever and inflammation. Paracetamol is recommended over aspirin or ibuprofen. 
  • Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your lower back or stomach, to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. 

Prostate Enlargement

Many men aged over 40 experience a condition called ‘benign prostatic enlargement’, which is when the prostate grows in size. It may be difficult to empty the bladder fully if the is enlarged, because it partially restricts the flow of urine out of the body. It is important to identify prostate enlargement early, in order to receive the proper treatment to reduce future prostate problems. This is because prostate issues can potentially cause incontinence, which in turn can increase the likelihood of a male UTI occurring. 

How to Prevent a UTI in Men

A simple and effective way to reduce the chance of UTIs in men is to empty the bladder fully when urinating. This prevents bacteria from thriving in any urine left or trapped within the urethra.

Additional tips on how to avoid a UTI 

  • Keep your genital area clean and dry (Using quality protection such as TENA Men Active Fit or incontinence pants can help immensely) 
  • Stay hydrated 
  • Remove soiled incontinence products from front to back 
  • When urinating, try waiting a few moments and changing position to help empty the bladder and urethra completely. This will encourage the removal of leftover urine which can help reduce the risk of infection.  

If you want to continue learning, read our articles about frequent urinations in men and post-micturition dribble. If you're looking for support with incontinence, check out which TENA Men product is best for your needs. 

“Urinary tract infections are more common for men over 60.”

Josefine Grandin

District nurse/Urotherapist