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A urinary tract infection in males is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary tract which includes the ureters, kidneys, urethra, and bladder. Most infections involve the bladder or urethra, but more serious infections spread to the ureters or kidneys. Some symptoms are the same for both genders, but there are some male urinary tract infection symptoms that are exclusive to males. Some symptoms are exclusive to the part of the urinary tract that is infected.
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Men with this infection often experience a persistent and strong urge to urinate, bacteria in the urine, burning during urination, blood in the urine, passing small amounts of urine frequently, and cloudy urine with a strong smell.
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Symptoms Exclusive to Men
Male urinary tract infection symptoms are the symptoms that many men will experience with this infection. These symptoms include urethral discharge. This discharge will be excreted from the penis. It will be a small amount of pus or a clear fluid.
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Symptoms by Urinary Component
Depending on the part of the urinary tract that is infected, the patient may experience different symptoms.
Bladder: An infection involving the bladder can cause pelvic pressure, painful/frequent urination, discomfort in the lower abdomen, and a low-grade fever.
Kidneys: An infection involving the kidneys can cause upper side and back pain, vomiting, high fever, nausea, and chills and shaking.
Urethra: An infection involving the urethra can cause burning when urinating.
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This infection is diagnosed through urinalysis. However, this will not tell the doctor whether the infection involves the lower or upper urinary tract, no test can. Patients will provide a urine sample, then it will be sent to a lab for analysis to see if there is any red blood cells, pus, or bacteria present. If the urinalysis does show an infection, the doctor will discuss the patients symptoms with them to try and determine which part of the urinary tract is infected. For example, if the patient has an infection as well as flank pain and fever, they most likely have a kidney infection.
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Antibiotics are the most common mode of treatment. Most patients will take a course of oral antibiotics for three to ten days. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include nitrofurantoin, levofloxacin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, and sulfamethoxazole.
Treating recurrent infections will depend on the individual patient. Some recommendations include taking one dose after sexual activity when the patient often gets this infection after sexual intercourse, taking home tests to determine how often these infections occur and to help detect one, and a longer course of antibiotics.
A severe infection often requires the patient to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antibiotics.
Patients can also consult their physician about alternative and natural remedies for urinary tract infections as a complement to the treatment plan their doctor prescribes.
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eMedicine. (2009). Urinary Tract Infection, Male. Retrieved on January 27, 2010 from eMedicine: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/778578-overview
Mayo Clinic. (2008). Urinary Tract Infection. Retrieved on January 27, 2010 from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/urinary-tract-infection/DS00286
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