Male Bladder Infection

Cystitis in Men

Basic Information


Inflammation or infection of the urinary bladder.

Male Bladder Infection signs and symptoms

  • Burning and stinging on urination.
  • Frequent urination, although the urine amount may be small.
  • Increased urge to urinate even when bladder is empty.
  • Pain in the pubic area
  • Penile discharge.
  • Low back pain.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Low fever.
  • Bad-smelling urine.
  • Lack of urinary control (sometimes).


  • Bacteria that reach the bladder from another part of the body through the bloodstream.
  • Bacteria that enter the urinary tract from skin around the genitals and anal area.
  • Injury to the urethra.
  • Use of a urinary catheter to empty the bladder, such as following surgery.
  • Over-large prostate gland.
  • Structural defect in the urinary tract.

Risk increases with

  • Infection in other parts of the genitourinary system.
  • Illness that has lowered resistance.
  • Excess alcohol consumption.
  • Obstruction of urine in the urinary tract in men, usually by partial obstruction caused by an enlarged or inflamed prostate gland.
  • Trauma to the urethra.
  • Recent surgery with catheterization.

Preventive measures

  • Drink plenty of fluids, at least 8 glasses a day.
  • Use protection of a latex condom during anal sex to prevent spread of any infection.
  • Avoid the use of catheters, if possible.
  • Obtain prompt medical treatment for urinary-tract infections.

Expected outcomes

  • Usually curable with antibiotic therapy.
  • If due to underlying disease or obstruction, these will need to be resolved first.

Possible complications

Inadequate treatment can cause chronic urinary-tract infections, leading to kidney failure.

Treatment of Male Bladder Infection

General measures

  • Medical tests to aid diagnosis may include urinalysis and careful urine collection for bacterial culture, cystoscopy (examination of the bladder with a lighted optical instrument) and ultrasound.
  • Treatment is usually with antibiotics.
  • Warm baths may provide relief from symptoms.
  • Additional information available from the National Kidney Foundation


  • Antibiotics to fight infection.
  • Antispasmodics to relieve pain.


  • Bedrest may be necessary during acute phase.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse until you have been free of symptoms for 2 weeks to allow inflammation to subside.


  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol during treatment.
  • Drink cranberry juice to acidify urine. Some drugs are more effective with acid urine.

Notify your physician if

  • You or a family member has symptoms of cystitis.
  • Fever occurs.
  • Blood appears in the urine.
  • Discomfort and other symptoms don't improve in 1 week.
  • New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
  • Symptoms recur after treatment.

Last updated 6 August 2015


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