Causes of Bladder Infections in Men

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Bladder infections, aka cystitis, are usually thought of as a woman’s illness, but under the right conditions, men can develop them as well. Regardless of the cause (chronic illness, obstruction or other infection), if you get cystitis you need to see your doctor and start antibiotic treatment right away in order to prevent the infection from traveling to your kidneys.

Obstructions

Your bladder infection may be caused by a blockage that does not allow your bladder to fully expel all of its urine. When this happens, bacteria can begin to grow. This blockage could come from your prostate, which is right next to your bladder. If your prostate has gotten bigger, it could be pressing against your bladder. You may also have a urinary stone that has gotten lodged in your ureter.

Catheterization

If you have an indwelling catheter to assist the full drainage of urine from your bladder, bacteria can travel along the catheter and into your bladder. Men who are catheterized have lost the voluntary functions of their bladders. This happens most often when they have had a spinal cord injury and are partially paralyzed.

Acute Bacterial Prostatitis

If you have developed acute bacterial prostatitis, you are at higher risk of developing a bladder infection. Because antibiotics have a hard time penetrating prostate tissue, you will be treated for your infection for a longer period to avoid any more significant problems.

Diabetes

Diabetic men are at higher risk of developing bladder infections because their diabetes affects their immune system. If you are diabetic you should pay careful attention to your body, especially your urinary tract. If you notice any problems or symptoms out of the ordinary, call your doctor for immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment

If you get a bladder infection you will be treated for a “complicated” infection, meaning your doctor will decide on a specific antibiotic, with a specific strength, to treat your infection. You will have to take your medication for at least 10 days, probably longer. If you have symptoms such as fever, nausea or vomiting, or confusion, you may need to be hospitalized. If your infection progresses to your kidneys (pyelonephritis) and your symptoms are severe, you may also need hospitalization to prevent permanent damage.

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