Urinary Tract Infection & Sexually Transmitted Disease

These are the infections affecting the urinary tract & male reproductive systems.

  1. Urinary Tract Infection

When an unhealthy amount of bacteria accumulates in the urinary system, it can results in an infection known as a urinary tract infection. Known to commonly affect women, men can also get it. A common cause of UTI in men is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) of which chlamydia and gonorrhea are the frequent culprits. Prostate issues can also lead to UTI when an enlarged prostate can sometimes limit the flow of urine causing bacteria build up in the bladder.

Symptoms of UTI in men include : Pain on urination (dysuria), blood in the urine (Hematuria), frequent urge to pass urine, cloudy urine, lower abdominal or back pain, fever, penile rash and discharge.

A meticulous approach to UTI in men is required. A detailed history is to be taken together with a physical examination. Investigations like blood tests, urine tests and STI screening might be needed.

Treating the UTI is important as the infection can potentially spread to the kidneys which can in turn lead to chronic kidney disease. Doctors typically treat UTIs with oral antibiotics. Do contact our doctors if you have any queries about UTI or suspect that you have a UTI.

  1. Orchitis

Orchitis refers to the inflammation of the testes and often results from a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Viral infections like mumps can also cause orchitis as well as other infections like tuberculosis. Individual with orchitis would experience pain and swelling in the testes together with fever and pain on urination. As orchitis is frequently associated with STIs, high risk behaviour like having multiple sexual partners is a significant risk factor.

Complications of untreated orchitis can include testicular abscess and even infertility. A systematic approach needs to be done to work up orchitis with a doctor taking a detailed history and physical examination. Blood, urine and swab tests would have to be done as well together with imaging like an ultrasound of the testes.

Treatment would largely depend on the findings on examination and results of tests. Sometimes painkillers and rest would be sufficient for viral infections but antibiotics would be required in bacterial infections causing orchitis.

  1. Epididymitis

Epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis which lies above the testes and is frequently caused by STIs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Similar to orchitis is can be caused by other infections like urinary tract infections or tuberculosis. Men with epididymitis would experience similar symptoms like those with orchitis. They would have pain and swelling near the testes associated with fever and pain on urination. Sometimes blood can also be seen in semen.

The workup for epididymitis would include consultation with a doctor and physical examination. Blood and urine tests would be performed as well. Treatment would include painkillers with a course of antibiotics and close follow-up and review.

  1. Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as the name suggests are infections that are spread as a result of unprotected intercourse. The infections can be either be due to viruses like HIV, HPV and herpes viruses or because of bacteria like chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Occasionally, parasites like trichomonas can also be responsible for STIs.

Certain behaviours can put people at risk of STIs like having multiple sexual partners, having unprotected intercourse with new partners and intercourse with partners who are known to have STIs.

The most common symptoms of men with STIs include noticing a rash over the penis or groin region, discharge from the penis, pain on urination, swelling in the testes and fever. All STIs should be investigated and treated promptly as untreated STIs can lead to complications like infertility.

Diagnosis would involve seeking a doctor consult if there are any new suspicious symptoms and signs together with blood tests and swab tests. Treatment with antibiotics, anti-parasite or antiviral medications would largely depend on the results of investigations. Do consult our doctors if you have any queries regarding STIs.

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