ZocdocAnswersDo men and women have different urinary tract infections?

Question

Do men and women have different urinary tract infections?

I'm a man in my 30s and I've been having some pain on urination. I'm wondering if this could be a urinary tract infection, but I've actually never heard of a man getting a UTI. Do men get the same kind of UTIs as women, or should I be looking to other things as the cause of my pain?

Answer

There are many causes of pain with urination, including urinary tract infections. The physicians who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care physician or your urologist. Urinary tract infections are caused by foreign bacteria living in the urine. These bacteria usually get into the urine by climbing up the urethra, which is the opening at the end of the penis. As you say, urinary tract infections are less common in men simply because the urethra is much longer than in women and the bacteria have a lot farther to climb! Although urinary tract infections are technically possible in men, there are several other causes of pain with urination. These include a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, which can be ruled out with a simple urine test. Occasionally, dehydration can produce pain with urination. This is because the urine concentrates in the bladder and, when it comes out, acts as a chemically irritating substance to the urethra. Drinking extra water can help with this problem. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your primary care doctor is recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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