How did I get a urinary tract infection?

Published: June, 2013

Q. I am 68 years old, and recently I was diagnosed with my first urinary tract infection. Why did this happen, and could I have prevented it?

A. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are less common in men than in women. When UTIs occur in men over age 50, they often trace to an underlying problem with bladder emptying resulting from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In BPH, the prostate gland enlarges, and can eventually compress the tube that drains the bladder.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »