Medically reviewed on May 19, 2023 by Amy Harris, MS, RN, CNM. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB) do get urinary infections (UTIs); however, women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) are 30 times more likely to have UTIs. [1,2] Just to review, a UTI is an infection involving any part of the urinary system, including the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidney.  Men are more likely to have UTIs when they are older (age 50 and above) than younger, as a result of changes in the prostate gland. [4,5] The prostate gland is a rubbery, ping-pong ball-sized gland found at the base of the penis in men and those AMAB.
Men do experience many of the same UTI symptoms as women such as: 
So, can men get UTIs? Yes. And we’re exploring how below.
Bacteria normally living in the gut frequently cause UTIs in women or those people AFAB when it is transferred inadvertently from the rectal area to the entrance to the female urinary tract (called the urethra).  Because the male urethra extends the length of the penis, it is harder for this bacterial contamination to happen, so males do not get UTIs in the same way as women.
Instead, most male UTIs occur when the prostate gland becomes larger, as commonly happens in older men. [2,4,6] block the flow of urine from the bladder to the urethra. This causes the urine to sit in the bladder for longer periods of time, creating an ideal breeding ground for bacteria resulting in a bacterial infection or urinary tract infection. 
As men age, they may need assistance emptying their bladder for a variety of different health conditions, especially during hospitalization or day surgery. Inserting a small tube through the urethra to the bladder is called catheterization. A catheter-associated urinary tract infection is one of the most common infections a person can contract in the hospital and is another common cause of male UTIs. 
Other medical conditions in men related to urinary tract infections and symptoms include: 
Yes, but not as often as women do. Many sexually-active people wonder whether a UTI can be transmitted through sex? Sexual activity makes it very easy to pass harmful bacteria such as those that cause STIs between partners. It is also possible to inadvertently deliver bacteria normally living in the gut to the urethra. Because of the short distance between the rectum and the urethra in people with vaginas, it is much easier for women and those AFAB to develop a UTI after having sex, than it is for men or those AMAB.1 It is not very common for people with penises to get a UTI from sex. That said, UTIs are more common in men who practice anal intercourse and in those who are not circumcised. 
Some healthcare providers diagnose a UTI in a male who has the combination of common UTI symptoms (painful urination, urinary frequency, and urinary urgency). Many providers prefer to order a urine test and perform a physical examination of the patient’s kidneys, bladder, prostate, and genitalia. 
So, can a UTI go away on its own? It’s not advised to wait to see if a UTI will go away on its own. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a UTI, it’s important to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible to assess your condition.
One advantage of performing a urine test is that it can sometimes identify which type of bacteria or other organism is causing the UTI and which medication (usually an antibiotic) will work best to treat the UTI. Males and people AMAB diagnosed with UTIs are typically given the following antibiotics for treatment:
Most UTI symptoms should improve within 1-2 days of starting medication, but you should continue taking all of your antibiotics as prescribed to completely treat your infection. This will help protect against a repeat infection or antibiotic resistance. Once you finish taking the antibiotics, your healthcare provider may repeat your urine test to check that all of the bacteria are gone. If you have epididymitis, orchitis, prostatitis, or a kidney infection, you may need to take antibiotics for as long as three weeks. 
Men with severe infections may need to be hospitalized so that they can receive antibiotics and other medications through an intravenous catheter (in a vein). This is especially true if your nausea, vomiting and fever are severe enough to make it hard for you to take antibiotics by mouth or stay hydrated. 
In men, certain risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing UTIs. Understanding these risk factors and how they contribute to the development of UTIs is critical for prevention and management. Those with a clinical history of the following are often more susceptible to UTIs. 
Changes in normal anatomy are also a primary risk factor for recurrent UTI symptoms in men.  an enlarged prostate, other abnormalities can include kidney stones or a narrow urethra, which can both block or limit the flow of urine. [2,11]
While urinary tract infections (UTIs) can occur in both men and individuals assigned male at birth (AMAB), they’re more frequently seen in women and those AFAB typically present with similar symptoms such as pain or burning sensation when urinating, frequent urination, and a strong urge to urinate even when the bladder is empty.
If you suspect a UTI, seeking medical attention is important to prevent complications, such as a more serious kidney infection. But, can you be treated for your UTI treatment online? Fortunately, with Everlywell, you can schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our healthcare providers. In most cases, after a clinical interview over the telephone, they will be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan, all from the comfort of your home.
Book your appointment today to get started.