A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial illness that affects the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra in the urinary system.
Even though a UTI can affect any area of your urinary system, it typically results in a bladder infection.
Cystitis is the term for this. Although germs are absent from urine, your genital area’s bacteria can occasionally enter your urinary tract.
A UTI, also known as an infection and inflammation, can result from this.
Having intercourse is one of many variables that can raise your risk of developing a UTI.
UTIs are anticipated to impact at least 50 to 60 percent of women throughout the course of their lifetime, according to a 2013 assessment.
Men are less likely than women to develop a UTI, especially after intercourse, but it can still happen.
This article will discuss how to reduce your risk of developing a UTI from sex, additional risk factors, and the best treatments.
Read on to find out more.
✅ There are easy steps you can take to lower your chances of acquiring a UTI, but sexual activity can raise your risk of developing one.
✅ Keep your genital area clean by peeing immediately after sex.
✅ Think about switching your method of birth control.
✅ If you have any queries or worries regarding how to avoid a UTI, consult your doctor.
✅ Get medical help right away if you experience blood in your urine, a burning feeling when you urinate, or discomfort in your sides or abdomen.
Can having sex cause a UTI?
Yes, having sex can cause a UTI, especially if you’re a woman. Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, an OB-GYN, notes that thrusting during sex “may transfer bacteria up the urethra and into the bladder, raising the risk of a UTI.”
Women are more likely than males to get a UTI through sex because of the architecture of the female body. Because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, bacteria can enter the bladder more easily. In women, the urethra is also closer to the anus. This facilitates the entry of microorganisms like E. coli into the urethra. It’s crucial to remember that in addition to penetrative sex, oral sex can also result in a UTI. Bacteria can still enter the urethra through oral sex, which can result in an infection.
Anyone can develop a UTI from having sex, but according to Richardson, women who have a history of recurrent UTIs or urinary anomalies are more likely to have these infections.
How can you lower your chance of getting a UTI after having sex?
You can take measures to lessen your chance of developing a UTI after sex even if there may not be a perfectly effective approach to prevent one.
Here are a few tips:
Always urinating after intercourse is one piece of advice, according to Richardson. She continues, “Getting rid of any bacteria in the bladder after intercourse reduces the risk of a UTI.”
To reduce the chance of a UTI, some doctors also advise peeing before to sexual contact. In particular, for women, washing your genital area with warm water before sex may lessen the chance of infection entering the urethra. Your chance of getting a UTI may increase if you use certain contraceptives like spermicides or diaphragms. Consider using alternative methods of contraception if you believe one or both of these may be causing your UTI.
Richardson adds that taking an antibiotic after sex may be helpful for women who get repeated UTIs. Usually, one dose is administered right after following sexual activity. You might wish to ask your doctor for an antibiotic prescription if you frequently experience UTIs.
Are some people more susceptible to developing a UTI than others?
Everyone can develop a UTI, but evidence indicates that women are nearly eight times more likely than males to do so. Additionally, Richardson adds, “menopausal women with dry or atrophic tissue have an increased risk of acquiring a UTI.”
Additional elements that may increase your risk of developing a UTI include:
Frequent, passionate sex exchanges
Numerous pregnancies, a prior UTI, and new partner sex
Obesity diabetes reduced immune system abnormalities in the urine or genital systems
Family history is another consideration. A recurrent UTI in your mother or sister may raise your likelihood of developing one yourself, according to Harvard Health.
What signs indicate a UTI?
A UTI’s symptoms may make you feel uncomfortable. If it’s bad enough, this discomfort could really interfere with your daily activities. The following are some of the most widespread UTI symptoms:
A frequent need to urinate but less frequent urination
A burning feeling when peeing pain or pressure in the pelvis or abdomen, blood in the urine, or unusually cloudy or smelling urine (in men)
You might also feel pain in the sides of your abdomen and upper back, depending on where it is. This can indicate that your kidneys have been affected by the infection. In addition to pain, you might also experience:
Nausea – Vomiting – Chills – Fever
What other causes are there to consider?
A UTI can have several causes, not just sexual activity. A UTI can result from a variety of reasons, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Some of the most typical causes, aside from having sex, are as follows:
Blockages preventing you from urinating completely
Using antibiotics frequently might upset the balance of microorganisms in your urinary tract
Whenever to visit a doctor
Make an appointment to visit your doctor as soon as possible if you get UTI symptoms. The appropriate medication will be used to identify and treat your infection.
How do they treat a UTI?
Antibiotics are a good treatment for the majority of UTIs. The ACOG states that the majority of antibiotic treatments are highly effective and only last a few days. In addition, there are various treatments that do not use antibiotics.
Your doctor can also recommend painkillers to aid with the symptoms of stomach pain or discomfort while urinating.
Your doctor might recommend more drugs or suggest hospitalization if the UTI is more difficult or has turned into a more serious illness.
Your doctor could recommend extra treatments if you frequently get urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are classified as three or more UTIs per year. Examples are::
- a low-dose medication administered for six months
- a single dose of antibiotics to be consumed right after sexual activity
- treatment with vaginal estrogen in postmenopausal women
Try them at home while you wait to visit your doctor:
- Drink a lot of water and avoid beverages that could aggravate your bladder, such as:
- Orange juice
If you are experiencing pelvic or abdominal pain, place a warm pad on your back.
Consider the following advice in addition to any treatment programe your doctor may recommend to stop a UTI from recurring:
- At least six to eight glasses of water should be consumed daily.
- Regularly and whenever you feel the need, empty your bladder. This is particularly crucial right after having sex.
- To prevent introducing any bacteria into the urethra, ladies should wipe from front to back after peeing.
- Every day and just before intercourse, gently wash your genital area with warm water to keep it clean.
- Use spermicide-free methods of contraception.
- Avoid douching, using scented tampons or pads, or vaginal deodorants.
- Avoid wearing too-tight undergarments and pants.
Richardson advises using a vaginal probiotic as well. By promoting regular healthy vaginal flora, these probiotic tablets may help avoid recurrent UTIs.
You may have heard that consuming cranberry juice can help prevent UTIs. The benefit of cranberry juice in preventing a UTI hasn’t been proven in research, though.
So, for the time being, avoid using cranberry juice as a preventative measure.