UTI after sexual intercourse is a condition that happens to many men and women. Most of the time, if it’s nothing to worry about, it should still be brought under control with personalized treatments. You can find more information below.
What is urinary tract infection after sexual intercourse?
Urinary tract infection (UTI) after sexual intercourse is a condition that is likely to happen to many people and can be caused by many conditions. For a better understanding of the subject, we first need to know what a UTI is and what it is not.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects your urinary system, including your urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys. Although a UTI can affect any part of your urinary system, it most often causes an infection in your bladder. Thisis known as cystitis .
Although the urine itself does not contain bacteria, sometimes bacteria from your genital area can enter your urinary tract. This can lead to infection and inflammation known as a UTI. Many factors, including sexual intercourse, can increase your risk of getting a urinary tract infection.
According to a 2013 review, UTIs will likely affect at least 50 to 60 percent of women in their lifetime. ( Source ) While men have a lower risk of getting a urinary tract infection, they are at higher risk of getting a urinary tract infection, especially from sexual intercourse.
In this article, we’ll look at what you can do to reduce your risk of post-sex urinary tract infection , other possible risk factors, and the most effective treatment.
Is urinary tract infection normal after sexual intercourse?
Yes, it is common to get urinary tract infections after sex, especially in women . Dr. Lakeisha Richardson emphasizes that penetration during intercourse can cause this.
The reason why women are more likely to get a UTI after sexual intercourse is due to the female anatomy. Women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, which means it’s easier for bacteria to enter the bladder.
Also, the urethra is closer to the anus in women. This makes it even easier for bacteria such as E. coli to enter the urethra.
It’s important to remember that you can get a UTI from any sexual contact, not just penetrative intercourse. For example, orally, bacteria can enter the urethra, which can lead to infection.
While everyone is prone to contracting a UTI through sexual intercourse, Dr. Richardson says women with a history of recurrent UTIs or urinary abnormalities have an increased risk of getting these infections.
How to reduce the risk of urinary tract infection after sexual intercourse?
While it’s not possible to have a completely foolproof plan for preventing any urinary tract infection, you can certainly take some steps to reduce your risk of getting a urinary tract infection after sex.
Here are some tips:
- Dr. Richardson says the most effective thing is to always urinate after sex. Excretion of any bacteria in the bladder through urine after sexual intercourse reduces the risk of UTI.
- Some doctors also recommend urinating before sexual intercourse to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.
- Washing your genital area with warm water before sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of bacteria entering the urethra, especially for women.
- Some contraceptives, such as diaphragms or spermicides, can increase your risk of UTIs. If you think any of these are causing your UTI, you may want to consider other birth control methods.
Dr. Richardson also says that women with recurrent urinary tract infections may benefit from taking a prescribed antibiotic after intercourse. This is a dose usually taken right after sexual intercourse.
If you are prone to urinary tract infections, you may want to talk to your doctor about a prescription for antibiotics for this purpose.
Are some people at higher risk of urinary tract infections?
While anyone can get a UTI, one study shows that women are about eight times more likely to have a UTI than men. ( Source )
Dr. “Also, menopausal women who have dry or atrophic tissue have a higher risk of having a UTI,” explains Richardson.
Factors that may put a person at risk of urinary tract infection after sex include:
- Frequent, intense sexual intercourse
- Relationship with a new partner
- Prior UTI
- multiple pregnancies
- a weakened immune system
- Abnormalities in the urine or genital area
Another factor is family history. Having a mother or sister who has frequent UTIs can increase the risk of other family members getting a UTI, according to Harvard Health. ( Source )
What are the symptoms of urinary tract infection?
The symptoms that accompany a UTI can cause discomfort. If severe enough, this ailment can cause serious confusion in your daily life.
Some of the more common symptoms of UTI include:
- Frequent urge to urinate, but urinating less
- burning sensation while urinating
- Abdominal pain or pain and pressure in the pelvic area
- blood in the urine
- Abnormal urine that may appear smelly or cloudy
- rectal pain in men
Depending on its location, you may also experience pain in your upper back and abdomen. This could be a sign that the infection has spread to your kidneys. In addition to pain, you may also experience:
What causes urinary tract infection after sexual intercourse?
Sexual intercourse is a common cause of UTI, but it is not the only cause.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are many factors that can cause a UTI. ( Source ) Besides sexual intercourse, some of the most common causes include:
- Problems not completely emptying your bladder while urinating
- Obstructions in the urinary tract such as kidney stones or prostate enlargement ( how to reduce kidney stones? )
- Use of a urinary catheter
- Frequent use of antibiotics, which can upset the balance of bacteria in your urinary tract
When should you see a doctor?
If you have symptoms of a urinary tract infection after intercourse, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. They will diagnose and treat your infection with the right kind of medication.
Urinary tract infection treatment after sexual intercourse
Urinary tract infection after sexual intercourse can be successfully treated with antibiotics. Most antibiotic treatments are very effective and cure in just a few days, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Your doctor may also prescribe pain medications to help relieve symptoms of abdominal pain or discomfort when urinating.
If a UTI is more complex or has developed into a more severe infection, your doctor may prescribe additional medications or require hospitalization.
If you are prone to recurrent urinary tract infections (three or more per year), your doctor may consider additional treatments such as:
- a low-dose antibiotic taken for 6 months
- A single dose of antibiotic to be taken immediately after sexual intercourse
- Vaginal estrogen therapy for postmenopausal women
Remember, your doctor will decide which medicine to take and how.
What is good for urinary tract infection after sexual intercourse?
Urinary tract infections are generally good for:
- drinking lots of water
- avoiding liquids that can irritate your bladder, such as coffee, soda, citrus juice, and alcohol
- applying a heating pad to the back if there is pelvic or abdominal pain
Can urinary tract infection be prevented after sexual intercourse?
In addition to any treatment plan your doctor may recommend, you can consider the following tips to prevent a recurrence of a UTI:
- Drink plenty of fluids, at least six to eight glasses of water a day.
- Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge. This is especially important right after intercourse.
- For women, after urinating, wipe from front to back to prevent any bacteria from entering the urethra.
- Keep your genital area clean by washing gently with warm water every day and before intercourse.
- Use a spermicide-free birth control method.
- Avoid douching, using vaginal deodorants, scented tampons or pads.
- Avoid wearing very tight jeans and underwear.
Dr. Richardson also recommends taking probiotics vaginally. These probiotic capsules can prevent recurrent UTIs by helping to maintain a healthy vaginal flora on a daily basis.
A popular tip you may have heard of is to drink cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. However, studies have not been able to provide definitive information on the effectiveness of cranberry juice in preventing urinary tract infection. ( Source ) So, for now, don’t rely on cranberry juice as a prevention method.
Remember, your doctor will decide which medicine to take and how.
As a result
Sex can increase your risk of getting a UTI, but there are simple steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting it. You can urinate immediately after sexual intercourse and keep your genital area clean. You may also need to use a different method of contraception recommended by your doctor.
You should talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about how to prevent a UTI. Also, if you have a burning sensation after sexual intercourse , blood in your urine, or pain in the abdomen, you should seek medical help.