Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do you get a bladder infection?"
I'm a 28 year old male and I got a bladder infection. I thought only women got bladder infections. How did I get one?
I am sorry that you have a bladder infection and are likely experiencing discomfort. Infection of the bladder is referred to as acute cystitis and is a fairly common diagnosis. This is a form of lower urinary tract infection (other lower tract diseases include prostatitis, epididymitis, and urethritis). You are correct that urinary tract infections are especially common in women, but they do occur in both males and females. They account for more than 6 million doctor visits a year just in the United States. You should see your primary care provider to discuss your specific symptoms and risk factors. In healthy men, this infection is often due to concomitant infection with another portion of the lower urinary tract, especially the prostate. Here, bacteria enter through the urethra and migrate to the bladder and prostate where they can cause infection. Risk factors for young men include intercourse with an infected or colonized female, homosexual tendencies with anal intercourse, lack of circumcision, and HIV. Other factors include urinary obstruction, urinary catheterization, and benign prostatic hypertrophy. You should see your primary care provider to ensure that you truly have acute cystitis without any other infections such as prostatitis or urethritis. If you are sexually active, you should also consider STD testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea which are common causes of urinary infections.
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