Can I Have Sex With a UTI?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are annoying and painful. They typically start with a burning sensation when you pee and can affect any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

It’s important to practice safe sex and wait until your UTI has cleared and you’ve finished your antibiotic treatment. This will help avoid transferring bacteria to your sexual partner, which can increase risk of getting a UTI in the future.

What is a UTI?

A UTI is an infection in the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and urethra. It happens when bacteria from the rectum, perineum, and vagina enters the urethra or bladder. This causes irritation and makes the lining of the bladder or urethra red and sore. It also leads to burning when you pee. Other symptoms of a UTI are frequent urination, urine that looks cloudy or smells bad, back pain, and nausea or vomiting.

UTIs can be caused by bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) or chlamydia or by sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, gonorrhea, or mycoplasma. They can also be caused by bacteria that live in the genital area and travel through the anal sphincter to the urethra. This is more common in women because the urethra tube is shorter and closer to the anus in females. Sexual activity, use of a diaphragm for birth control, and menopause can all increase the risk of getting a UTI.

Treatment for a UTI usually involves antibiotics and drinking lots of fluids. It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics to reduce the chance that the infection will return and become resistant to medication. The type of antibiotic and length of treatment depends on your symptoms and medical history. If you have a UTI, don’t ignore it because the condition can progress into a kidney infection.

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How do I get a UTI?

Getting a UTI is no fun. It’s a pain in the anus, with constant urges to pee and burning sensation when you actually do go. But if you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, your symptoms should have started to subside and you might be thinking about getting back in the bedroom with your partner. But is it okay to do so?

While sex might not have directly caused your UTI, it can certainly make things worse once you have one. That’s because bacterial infections like the ones that cause UTIs can be transmitted between partners through vaginal, oral and anal sex. In fact, up to 80% of UTIs in premenopausal women are caused by bacteria transferred from the back passage to the urethra, per The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Typically, these bacteria (usually E. coli) sneak into your urinary tract through the anus and travel up to your bladder, urethra or kidneys. Women are more prone to getting these infections because they have shorter urethras than men. Frequent intercourse can also increase your risk of a UTI, as can using certain birth control methods such as diaphragms or non-lubricated condoms. That’s why many doctors recommend abstaining from sexual activity until your UTI symptoms have resolved and you have completed your course of antibiotics. You can also help prevent future occurrences by practicing good hygiene. For example, you should always wipe from front to back and avoid anal contact with fingers or sex toys, and be sure to wear cotton underwear that doesn’t trap moisture.

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Can I have sex with a UTI?

A UTI is a bacterial infection that can cause painful, uncomfortable symptoms in the groin and lower abdomen. It can make sex unpleasant and uncomfortable for both partners, especially when there’s pain involved. The answer to the question of whether or not you can have sex with a UTI is complicated.

It’s possible that you can have sex while you have a UTI, but it’s probably not a good idea. Here’s why:

UTIs are caused by E coli bacteria that find their way into the bladder and urethra from feces, and sexual activity can pass this harmful bacteria back and forth between partners. This can increase your chances of getting a UTI and can worsen your symptoms if you already have one.

Moreover, the friction during sexual activity can irritate the urethra and increase your risk of infection. It can also aggravate the symptoms of your UTI, like pelvic pain and the urge to urinate.

Plus, if you’re having penetrative sex or vaginal sex while you have a UTI, it can spread the bacteria to your partner. This can increase the chances of them developing a UTI and can also make you feel uncomfortable, which will put a damper on the mood in the bedroom. This is why it’s generally recommended to wait until all of your symptoms are cleared before having sex.

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Can I have sex while I have a UTI?

Having sex while you have a UTI is generally not recommended because it can cause more pain and make the infection last longer. Especially during penetrative sex, your partner’s penis or fingers can rub against the opening of your urethra and introduce bacteria that increase your risk for a urinary tract infection. Additionally, having sex while you have a UTI can cause your symptoms to get worse or encourage the bacteria to move up the urinary tract towards your kidneys (called pyelonephritis).

The germs that cause most UTIs, like E. coli, normally live in your large intestine but can sometimes make their way out of your anus and into your urethra. This is why doctors recommend wiping from front to back after you use the bathroom. During sexual intercourse, these bacteria can travel up from your anus into your bladder, and they can also spread from one partner to the other during penetration.

The good news is that, for most women, antibiotics typically clear up a UTI within a few days, so you can feel ready to go again pretty quickly. However, board-certified OB/GYN Lakeisha Richardson says that you should still hold off until your symptoms completely disappear.

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