Can You Have Sex with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Can you have sex with a UTI?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common. UTIs can develop anywhere in the urinary tract, from the urethra to the kidneys. Symptoms include:

  • a persistent urge to urinate
  • pain when urinating
  • pelvic pain or tenderness

Although these symptoms can be irritating, they won’t prevent you from having vaginal sex. That doesn’t mean you’ll feel up to it, though. A UTI can irritate the sensitive tissue in your urinary tract, and sexual activity can irritate those tissues even more.

READ:   Nephrotic syndrome

Sexual activity can also increase your risk of complications and potentially put your partner at risk. That’s why doctors usually recommend that you wait to have sex until you’re symptom-free and you’ve finished your entire treatment.

It may cause pain and exacerbate other symptoms

A UTI may irritate and inflame the sensitive tissues in your urinary tract. Any penetrative object — fingers, a toy, or a penis — can put pressure on the urinary organs during vaginal intercourse. The urethral opening of a penis can be irritated from a UTI, too. These symptoms can lead to additional pain and discomfort during sex.

While vaginal sex may not be comfortable if you have a UTI, anal sex could be. If the mood strikes, talk with your partner about how you feel and whether this is something you’re both comfortable with.

READ:   Common symptoms of Urinary system diseases and disorders

Unless you use a dental dam, you shouldn’t receive oral sex while you have a UTI. This can help prevent the spread of any bacteria from the penis or vagina to the mouth. These bacteria could cause a secondary infection.

If you’re eager to engage in sexual activity before your infection is cleared up, work with your partner to find a style or position that is comfortable and enjoyable. If you continue to have pain despite your UTI treatment, make an appointment and follow up with your doctor.

It can introduce new bacteria

Sexual activity is one of the most common ways bacteria get into the urinary tract. Ninety percent of UTIs are the result of Escherichia coli bacteria that have found their way into the urethra and beyond.

READ:   Hydronephrosis

E. coli bacteria are most often found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract or feces. These bacteria may move from the anus or GI tract onto you or your partner’s hands, mouth, genitals, or a sex toy.

Sex can also push bacteria further into your body through penetration, which sets up a higher likelihood of an infection. If you already have a UTI, penetration may reinfect you or introduce a new source of bacteria. This can lead to a longer recovery time.

You may pass the infection to your partner

A UTI isn’t a sexually transmitted infection (STI), and it isn’t considered a contagious condition. However, you can pass the bacteria that causes a UTI between partners.

READ:   Bladder cancer

For example, E. coli bacteria may travel from your anus to the vaginal opening or onto a penis. During vaginal sex, a penis can move the bacteria into the vaginal opening, increasing the risk of developing an infection.

In some cases, the UTI may actually be a side effect of an STI, such as chlamydia or trichomoniasis. These infections can be passed between partners.

If you do decide to have sex

If you decide you want to engage in sexual activity despite your UTI, there are a number of tips to keep in mind.

Heed your symptoms

If you have the sudden urge to pee, take a break. Holding urine in when you have to pee may increase your risk for another UTI or complicate your symptoms.

READ:   Urinary system anatomy and physiology review

Pee before and after sex

It may seem tedious and less than romantic, but you should head for the loo as soon as the deed is done. This way, you can flush out any bacteria that may have found their way into your urethra.

Wash after sex

It isn’t uncommon for bacteria from around the anus to travel closer to your urethral opening during penetrative sex. This is especially true if anal sex is involved. Washing after intercourse can help remove these bacteria.

Don’t swap orifices

Reduce your risk of spreading bacteria by not moving from vagina to anus, or vice versa. Also, avoid oral sex to prevent a secondary infection.

READ:   9 Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones

Talk with your doctor

If you have questions about what’s safe to do while you’re treating a UTI, talk with your doctor or a nurse. Your doctor should also let you know if the medication they’re prescribing will interfere with any other medications you take, such as oral contraceptives.

When to see your doctor

If you’re still unsure whether it’s safe to engage in sexual activity with a UTI, talk with your doctor.

You should also talk with your doctor if you experience any new symptoms, such as:

  • bleeding during urination
  • severe back or abdominal pain
  • unusual discharge from the penis or vagina

If your symptoms remain after you’ve finished taking your antibiotics, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. Your symptoms may be the result of another condition or a secondary infection.

READ:   End-stage renal disease
Bladder cancer ICD-9: 188.x* Description Tumors of the bladder arise from the epithelial cell membrane lining the bladder interior. These neoplasms are almost always malignant, and they metastasize readily. Bladder tumors are staged according to their depth of penetration. Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States. Etiology The cause of bladder tumors is unknown; however, cigarette smoking is thought to be the predominant cause. Predisposing factors may include exposure to certain types of industrial chemicals. Individuals with chronic cystitis also seem prone to develop bladder tumors. The disease affects men three times more frequently than women and generally occurs between ages 50 and 70. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men. Signs and Symptoms Many persons are asymptomatic until advanced stages of the disease. For those presenting with symptoms, however, painless, gross hematuria is the most common indicator. Le...
Neurogenic or overactive bladder ICD-9: 596.54 Description Neurogenic bladder refers to any loss or impairment of bladder function caused by central nervous system injury or by damage to nerves supplying the bladder. Overactive bladder function may be manifested as either incontinence (loss of voluntary control of micturition) or loss of the autonomic reflex, producing the sensation that the bladder is full. This is also referred to as urinary incontinence. Etiology Neurogenic bladder may present in one of the following two ways: (1) specific bladder dysfunction in which the neurological lesions are above sacral nerves S2 through S4 or (2) flaccid bladder dysfunction in which the lesions are below sacral nerves S2 through S4. Physical trauma to the spinal cord is a frequent cause of neurogenic bladder. Neurogenic bladder may arise as a consequence of multiple sclerosis, dementia, and Parkinson disease. Other causes can include nerve damage as a consequence of chronic alcoholism or heavy-metal poisoning. Me...
Glomerulonephritis (Acute) ICD-9: 580.9 Description Glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the glomeruli in the kidney’s nephrons, causes the rate of blood filtration to be reduced. Retention of water and salts follows, resulting in injury to the glomeruli, which allow RBCs and serum protein to pass into the urine. Both kidneys are affected. Etiology The cause is often unknown. However, it is also known as acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN), following a streptococcal infection of the respiratory tract. This inflammation is a consequence of an infection elsewhere in the body, most frequently following an infection of the upper respiratory tract or the middle ear by streptococcal bacteria. APSGN is less common today owing to the antibiotic therapy used for streptococcal infections. Other bacteria, however, and certain viruses and parasites, such as impetigo, mumps, Epstein-Barr virus, and hepatitis B and C as well as HIV (AIDS), also may induce glomerulonephritis. The disease also...
Urinary system anatomy and physiology review The urinary system is responsible for the production and elimination of urine when a type of waste called urea is removed from the blood. Urea is produced when protein-containing foods are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the bloodstream to the two kidneys, where urine is formed. The two ureters, the urinary bladder, and the urethra, are responsible for the elimination of urine. Figure illustrates the urinary system in relationship to the body, and Figure illustrates the interior and exterior features of the urinary system organs. FIGURE. The urinary system FIGURE. (A) Frontal section of the right kidney showing internal structures and blood vessels. (B) Magnified section of the kidney shows several nephrons. (From Scanlon, VC, and Sanders, T: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology, ed 5. FA Davis, Philadelphia, 2007, p 422, with permission.) The kidneys, each about the size of a fist, help to regulate the water, electrolyte (ionized salt), and acid-base content of th...
Pyelonephritis (Acute) ICD-9: 590.10 Description Pyelonephritis, also called infective tubulointerstitial nephritis or kidney infection, is inflammation of the kidney and renal pelvis due to infection. One or both kidneys may be affected. The infection can result in the destruction or scarring of renal tissue, impairing kidney function. It is the most common type of kidney disease and is more common in women than in men due in part to the anatomic difference between men and women. Etiology Pyelonephritis is most commonly due to infection by the bacteria Escherichia coli. E. coli is a normal intestinal bacteria that grows rapidly. It is found in fecal matter. Proteus, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, and Enterococcus bacteria are less frequent agents of the infection. The bacteria typically ascend to the kidneys from the lower urinary tract, but they also may enter the kidneys through the blood or lymph. Women, particularly those who are pregnant or who practice poor genital hygiene, are at risk. In m...