Urinary Tract Infections in Men

The male urinary tract is an essential part of the body, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can negatively affect a person’s quality of life and sexual relationships, just like erectile dysfunction (ED) does.

Today, we’ll talk about the symptoms of UTIs in men and how a UTI can contribute to ED or increase your risks. But, most importantly, we’ll also explain how to prevent UTIs from happening!

What Is the Male Urinary Tract 

Our bodies produce urine through the kidneys and bladder and remove urine as waste through the ureters and urethra within the penis. These body parts make up the male urinary tract system.

If you’re unfamiliar with ureters, they are tubes in the body carrying the urine from your kidneys to your bladder. The urethra is a single tube. It takes urine from the bladder past your prostate and through the tip of your penis.

Different Types of Male UTIs 

Most UTIs are caused by bacteria from the rectum or a cut in the skin that enters the bladder, kidneys, ureters or urethra.  

UTIs Causes

A urinary tract infection can occur in the body’s upper or lower tract. When the kidneys or ureters are affected, that’s an upper-tract infection. A lower-tract urinary infection (LUTI) involves the bladder, prostate, or urethra.

Major Cause of Lower Tract UTIs in Older Males

Older men commonly experience lower tract UTIs if they develop a noncancerous prostate gland enlargement known as benign prostatic hyperplasia:

  • This condition causes the enlarged prostate to tighten around the bladder, affecting the flow from the bladder through the urethra.
  • Once the bladder gets too compressed, it becomes harder for urine to leave the body, and bacteria can accumulate in a bladder that doesn’t empty properly.

General Symptoms of UTIs in the Upper or Lower Tract

A male UTI can pose various symptoms, depending on where the infection is in the body. However, here are the general signs of a male urinary tract infection:

  • Urge to urinate frequently (a need to “pee” that doesn’t go away)
  • Feelings of discomfort, burning, or pain during urination or right after
  • Tenderness or pain below the stomach
  • The upper back or sides of the body are painful
  • Bed-wetting during sleep
  • A cloudy look to urine or a foul odour.
  • There is blood in the urine.
  • There is a fever present.
  • The person feels nauseous.
UTIs Symptoms

While there are many general symptoms, it’s interesting to note that some men don’t feel anything is wrong when they have a UTI.

What Causes Complicated UTI Symptoms 

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacteria and a primary culprit in most UTI cases. E. coli bacteria exist naturally in people’s bodies, but when these bacteria invade the urinary tract, they can become infectious. 

These factors may present a more significant threat with UTIs and result in more complicated UTI symptoms:

  • A previous history of UTIs
  • Being physically inactive for a prolonged time
  • Using a urinary catheter for a long time
  • Drinking too little healthy fluids, especially water
  • Recent surgery to the kidney or urinary tract
  • Blockage to the urinary tract (like an enlarged prostate or kidney stones)
  • Suffering from any type of diabetes
  • An uncircumcised penis
  • Experiencing fecal incontinence
  • Regular anal intercourse may expose the urinary tract to increased E. coli.

Knowing the increased risks of UTIs can help you stay healthy and avoid a UTI. Let’s talk about prevention!

How to Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Your best prevention against UTIs is to reduce the opportunity for bacteria like E. coli to invade the urinary tract. 

Here are the steps you can take to prevent UTIs:

  • First, when you need to urinate, go to the bathroom and don’t “hold it in!”
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, when you feel thirsty and during meals. Many people don’t get adequate fluids when it’s hot out or after exercise, so drink extra water then. 
  • Practicing excellent hygiene is essential, so check out our 7 Simple Hygiene Rules for a Healthy Penis That Every Man Must Know!
UTIs Prevention

Speaking of a healthy penis, is there any connection between ED and UTIs? We’ve reviewed the research, and we’re breaking it down for you here.

The Connection Between Erectile Dysfunction and UTIs

Significant evidence shows a link between UTIs in the lower urinary tract and sexual dysfunctions, including ED:

  • Severe lower tract UTIs may worsen ED, especially in older men (Rosen et al.).
  • 72.2% of men with ED experience lower tract UTIs (Braun et al.).
  • Sexual dysfunctions increase with age and more severe lower tract UTIs. 
  • For example, one study showed that 54% of men aged 50-59 experienced sexual dysfunctions with moderate to severe UTIs, increasing to 84% of men aged 60-69 and 91% of men aged 70-80 (ASAM survey)

Why It’s Important

If you’re concerned about the symptoms of ED, knowing the link between ED and lower tract UTIs is essential because: 

  • It’s easier to understand why this is happening to you.
  • You can better manage your condition and the risk factors.
  • You can receive the most effective treatment and the best results.

Doing Something About the Symptoms of UTIs in Men

At Oakwood Health Network, our specialty is men’s sexual health, and we understand how your physical and mental health affects your well-being and quality of life. 

Our sexual health treatments and therapies are tailored to every patient. We create a program for you in one of our confidential GTA clinics based on a full assessment of your health and any conditions you may be experiencing. 

We can effectively treat UTIs and ED. We’re also pleased to offer you practical information for a healthier you, including 6 Lifestyle Changes for Erectile Dysfunction that you can begin today.

Get your mojo back with Oakwood Health Network. Contact us today for a free consultation!


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Rosen R, Altwein J, Boyle P, Kirby RS, Lukacs B, Meuleman E, O’Leary MP, Puppo P, Robertson C, Giuliano F. Lower urinary tract symptoms and male sexual dysfunction: the multinational survey of the aging male (MSAM-7). Eur Urol. 2003 Dec;44(6):637-49. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2003.08.015. PMID: 14644114.

Braun M, Wassmer G, Klotz T, Reifenrath B, Mathers M, Engelmann U. Epidemiology of erectile dysfunction: results of the ‘Cologne Male Survey. Int J Impot Res. 2000 Dec;12(6):305-11. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijir.3900622. PMID: 11416833.

Hoffman, M., 2020. The Bladder (Human Anatomy): Function, Picture, Location, Definition. [online] WebMD. Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/urinary-incontinence-oab/picture-of-the-bladder> [Accessed 3 September 2022].