The Link Between Utis And Sex: Causes And How To Prevent Them
One common way women get urinary tract infections is by having sex. But that doesn’t mean you have to banish sex from your life to prevent painful infections.
Pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections arent the only consequences of having sex. For some women, a urinary tract infection can also be a result.
Blame it on anatomy, which makes a UTI more likely for women than for men, says Sujata Yavagal, MD, a urogynecologist at Baptist Health South Florida in Miami.
Still, it isnt inevitable that having sex will cause a UTI. Taking proper precautions can minimize your odds.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
Not surprisingly, some of the symptoms of a UTI involve the frequency and quality of pee. Women suffering from a UTI, whether they get the infection from sex or other ways, can have a strong urge to urinate, have cloudy or red or pink urine, and may experience pain or burning during urination.
You might also get fever, shaking, or chills, and even pain in your upper back, your side, or the pelvic region.
When To Call A Healthcare Provider
Urinary tract infections require treatment with antibiotics. Even if a UTI is relatively mild, your healthcare provider will likely recommend a one- to three-day course of antibiotics.
If a UTI is causing dyspareunia, it is typically due to frequent or recurrent UTIs that require more extensive treatment. In some cases, a daily, low-dose antibiotic may be prescribed for six months or longer. In postmenopausal women, estrogen replacement therapy may be advised.
If a kidney infection develops, you need to seek prompt medical attention. If left untreated, pyelonephritis can lead to kidney failure and .
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Why Do Some Women Have Recurring Cystitis
In most cases, there is no apparent reason why cystitis returns. There is usually no problem with your bladder or defence system that can be identified. It is possible there may be a slight alteration in the ability of the body to resist bacteria getting into the bladder and causing infection. A slight variation in the bodys defence may tip the balance in favour of bacteria to cause infection.
For some women, one of the following may contribute:
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Historical Management Of Utis In Women
In the 1800s, management of bladder inflammation included conservative initial treatments whereas more aggressive therapy was reserved for patients who did not improve or deteriorated during initial therapy. Aggressive treatment included mustard- or ammonia-based plasters, oral alkali, bleeding and large doses of acid solutions.8 In the later 1800s, William Osler9 described an initial treatment consisting of absolute rest, cold applied to the loins or dry cups to the lumbar region, and amylnitrite and quinine in large doses. If these treatments were ineffective, therapy involved acetates of lead and opium, followed by ergot, gallic and tannic acid, or diluted sulphuric acid. The era of modern evidence-based urology began with the recognition that cystitis was infectious in origin. Beginning in the 1900s, trials with chemotherapeutic agents such as hexamine, phenazopyridine, hexylresorcinol, and Mercurochrome1013 were undertaken, initially with some success and then later with some pessimism.14 Sulfanilamide, introduced in 1937, ushered in the era of modern antimicrobial therapy for UTIs.15
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Urinate At Least Every Four Hours
Women who go more than four hours without urinating have an increased risk of developing a UTI, as voiding infrequently gives bacteria more time to accumulate in the bladder, which can lead to a kidney infection. Urinating at least every four hours ensures that any unwanted bacteria are flushed out of the bladder before it causes an infection.
Traditional Management Of Recurrent Utis
Traditionally, it was taught that significant bacteriuria had to be confirmed by culture before antibiotics were prescribed. Employing this traditional approach, each UTI episode in young women was associated on average with 6.1 days of symptoms, 2.4 days of restricted activity, 1.2 days of not attending work or school, and 0.4 days of bedrest.19 Although many teachers adhere to this traditional approach , most physicians will treat an uncomplicated UTI with antibiotics, based on a description of the patients symptoms, particularly if confirmed by urinalysis .
A proposed treatment algorithm for premenopausal women presenting with recurrent urinary tract infection .
First-line therapy for acute uncomplicated cystitis in women includes nitrofurantoin , trimethoprim-sulphamethoxasole , trimethoprim alone, or a fluoroquinolone . Three days of therapy appears to be optimal because it results in similar cure rates but with decreased costs and fewer side effects compared with 710 days of therapy, and lower recurrence rates compared with single-dose therapy 20
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
UTIs happen when bacteria enter the urinary tract. Typically, this occurs when bacteria on the skin or from enters the urethra. Once the bacteria is introduced, it can move up the urinary tract and multiply inside your organs.
Some factors increase your risk of getting a urinary tract infection, including:
- Sexual activity
- Physical problems in the urinary tract, including an enlarged prostate
- Not removing feces after defecation
Routinely Clean The Feminine Area
During pregnancy you need to regularly clean the female area in the right way, especially after every time you urinate. This is so that germs do not easily enter the urinary tract. The way to clean it is by washing it with clean water while wiping it from front to back.
To keep the feminine area dry and comfortable, you should wear underwear that is not too tight and made of materials that can absorb sweat well, such as cotton. Dont forget to change your underwear twice a day.
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What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection in any part of your urinary tract. Your urinary tract is the interconnected system of organs that make and store urine. The sections of the urinary tract include:
- Kidneys: The organs that filter waste from your blood and convert the waste and water into urine.
- Bladder: A sac-like organ that stores urine before it leaves your body.
- Ureters: Thin tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder.
- Urethra: A tube that allows urine to leave your body. â
You can get an infection in any part of the urinary tract. The most common type of UTI is called cystitis, and it is an infection in the bladder. You can also have an infection in the urethra known as urethritis. An infection in the kidneys is known as pyelonephritis and it is the most severe type of UTI.
Are Utis Dangerous To Health
Many UTIs clear up within a few days after being treated with antibiotics. But if a UTI is left untreated you risk running into more serious health complications. Complications include kidney infections and kidney damage, recurring urinary tract infections, and even sepsis.
UTIs are also more dangerous during pregnancy, when there is greater risk for a mother and baby. Its important to see or get in touch with your doctor right away If you have any symptoms of a UTI while pregnant.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Womens Health Arizona. As Arizonas largest ObGyn group, were trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.
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Why Do I Get Uti After Sex
Some health care experts say sex exposes your body to more bacteria. As we have already mentioned, if youre a woman, the urethra, the tube leading up to your bladder, is very short.
You can get a UTI after sex since friction and thrusting during sex can make it easier for the bacteria to make the short journey up the urethra to your bladder. Men can also be exposed to bacteria during sexual intercourse.
How To Prevent Utis When Youre Sexually Active
You don’t have to stop having sex to prevent UTIs. Here are some steps you can take to minimize bacteria buildup and reduce your risk of getting UTIs from sex.
- Urinate before sex and promptly after. This will flush your system and keep bacteria that has entered your urinary tract from gaining a foothold.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, then have an extra glass after intercourse. This will help rid your urinary tract of unwanted bacteria.
- Use a vaginal lubricant. Friction during sex can irritate the urethra.
- Consider a new form of birth control. If youre prone to UTIs, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm or spermicide as your form of pregnancy prevention. These can introduce bacteria into the area and can kill off healthy bacteria that keep the problem germs in check.
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Cystitis Treatment Prevention And Faq
Cystitis is a urinary tract infection, which many people suffer from at some point in their lives. Although women are affected most often, anyone can be infected. Fortunately, you can do a lot yourself to prevent cystitis.
Anne, Varde PharmacyAnne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products.Here you can see Annes profile »,
Can A Man Get Urinary Tract Infections From A Woman
No, let it be clear, urinary tract infections are not sexually transmitted and are not contagious. So it implies that if a woman with a UTI has intercourse with a male partner, he should not get a UTI.
The only variable is if the woman transfers a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea that leads to a UTI to her male partner.
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Utis And Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A number of sexually transmitted infections are known to cause UTIs, including trichomoniasis and chlamydia. Oftentimes a person will assume that the UTI is bacterial in nature and fail to identify the underlying STI.
It is, therefore, vital to consider your risk of STIs when any infection of the genitals or urinary tract is involved. This is especially true if you have multiple sex partners or have gotten a UTI after having sex with a new partner.
Current pediatric guidelines recommend that doctors take a comprehensive sexual history of any adolescent with urinary tract complaints and routinely test them for STIs.
Sexually active men under the age of 35 who don’t use condoms can experience a condition called epididymitis. It is an infection of the epididymis, the coiled tube to the back of the testicles, that can be caused either by bacteria or an STI, most often gonorrhea or chlamydia. Treatment varies based on the cause and severity.
Safer sex practices, which include the consistent use of condoms, are always the best plan for reducing the risk of these and other STIs.
What Ive Learned About Utis After Sex
Fortunately for me, I now know a lot more about UTIs after sex, thanks to the diligent and constant study and questioning of this website.
The last time it happened I immediately recognised what was happening. I was uncomfortable but I managed to flush it out before it developed into the splatter fest, recurring carnage of my previous experiences.
My Tips For Avoiding UTIs After Sex:
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Can You Have Sex If You Have A Uti
In general, it is recommended that you avoid having intercourse when you have an active urinary tract infection. When you get an antibiotic prescription, ask your doctor when the right time to resume sexual activity would be. Of course, you can still kiss and have other intimate and emotional connections.
Once you have completed a course of antibiotics and the UTI has cleared away, you should be able to resume sexual activity. But be sure to take the careful steps necessary to prevent the sex from putting you on the road to yet another one.
Urinate Before And After Sex
Sexual activity increases the chances of getting a UTI, especially if youre a woman. Thats because bacteria can easily get into the urethra during sex.
To reduce your risk, pee immediately before and after sex. The idea is to flush out bacteria that may cause UTIs.
Its also a good idea to gently wash your genital area before sex. This can help keep the area clean and reduce the chance of bacteria spreading to your urethra.
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Maintaining Optimal Urology Health With A Urologist
Urinary tract infections can be painful, annoying, and uncomfortable but dont worry! Following these tips can help you prevent a urinary tract infection this summer. As always, if you are experiencing any symptoms of a UTI, contact your nearest USOC location to schedule an appointment with one of our urology specialists.
Although existing UTIs need to be treated with antibiotics, avoiding future infections is possible with simple diet and lifestyle changes. Download our Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide for even more tips and tricks to help prevent future UTIs and achieve optimal urology health. Click the button below to access your free copy!
What Causes Recurring Utis
Some people get UTI symptoms frequently. This can result from IC, a chronic condition that causes pressure and pain in the bladder region.
IC results from inflammation, which sometimes occurs due to an autoimmune response in the bladder. This means that the body is mistakenly attacking its own cells.
In some people, the symptoms of IC come and go. Because the symptoms can resemble those of other conditions, IC can be difficult to diagnose. Treatment typically involves symptom management.
IC is not the only health issue that can resemble a UTI some STIs have similar symptoms to UTIs.
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Should My Partner Be Tested For Uti
Ive since learned that it is indeed possible for bacteria to be passed back and forth between partners during sex. If you think about it, that makes perfect sense this is exactly how STIs occur, so why not other organisms?
Its entirely possible for males to carry bacteria without experiencing symptoms, so they wouldnt necessarily know they were contributing to your own symptoms. Same sex partners can of course pass organisms back and forth too thats one area that is truly equal.
UTIs after sex prevention tip 2: Consider whether your partner should also be tested.
Strangely, my boyfriends housemate also began to experience recurrent UTIs. That got me thinking about the environment in their share house, or their drinking water or possibly my boyfriends fidelity! It seemed like way too much of a coincidence for this to be happening to both of us at the same time.
Learn more about UTI and sex and getting your partner tested in our expert video series.
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Reasons Why You Might Get Recurring Utis
Many women who get a urinary tract infection may get one again at some point in their lives. In fact, one in five women experience recurrent UTIsan infection that occurs two times or more within six months or at least three times in a year. Men can get recurrent UTIs too, but it is not as common and is often due to some type of urinary tract blockage.
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Risk Factors For Recurrent Utis Include:
- Frequent sexual intercourse, which increases the likelihood of bacteria entering the urethra and bladder.
- Using spermicide with or without a diaphragm, as this can harm protective bacteria in the urinary tract that defend against infection.
- Vaginal atrophy, which is a postmenopausal condition caused by decreased estrogen levels.
- Genetics, especially the inherited genes that regulate the body’s immune response to infections.
It’s common for some people to have bacteria in their urine but not experience any symptoms. In these cases, no treatment is necessary.
Talk with your health care team if you think you have a UTI. You may need an appointment to discuss your symptoms and collect a urine sample.
You should seek medical attention if you develop a fever, chills, disorientation, or back or side pain. These could be signs of a kidney infection, which requires treatment, or a systemic infection of the bloodstream that requires hospitalization.
The Day I Had A Uti Related Run
Im sure the weight thing sounds good to some, but this was extreme. I had given up sugar due to it being a Life Coach to bacteria, and I was literally climbing the walls.
I was afraid, terrified that there was no escape and most definitely no definitive answer to why the hell this was happening. Would I suffer from UTIs after sex for the rest of my life?
I was eventually referred to a urologist who told me hed take a look inside my bladder to see if anything else was happening .
He also told me that after the procedure many women never have another UTI, as the camera can enlarge the urethra, thereby not allowing it to further clog with nasty bacteria. . Thanks Urologist!
UTIs after sex prevention tip 4: It would appear that diet can play a part for many people with recurrent UTI. Sugary processed food and drinks. So an unhealthy diet might need to be addressed.
Yay, I thought, as I felt another infection rear its ugly head as I sat in his office. He also told me that his wife drank aloe vera juice to sooth the inflamed area. I should have known this was not the answer!
At this stage I didnt know whether to laugh or cry at the ridiculousness of it all. I wondered whether he usually gave his patients this kind of advice, and whether I should have just spoken to his wife directly.
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