When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
How To Prevent A Uti After Having Sex
To minimize the likelihood of bad bacteria entering your urethra, the easiest thing to do is to flush out the area naturally by urinating. Make it a habit to pee right away after every single sexual encounter involving your genital area, whether its masturbation or partner activity.
Even if youre just using a sex toy by yourself, this can increase the likelihood of bacteria getting where its not supposed to be. Make sure to clean your sex toys after every single use and to pee every time after using them.
The sooner you head to the bathroom after sex, the better aim for within 15 to 30 minutes after the end of sexual activity. It may be unsexy and inconvenient, but its a super important practice for your health.
Research has shown that women who always urinate after sex have a lower likelihood of developing UTIs than women who rarely or sometimes do this.
Uti Help: Urinary Tract Infection Myths
The first part of getting to the truth of any matter is nailing down all of the little myths and hearsay that have been buzzing around, causing havoc and confusion. Here are some UTI myths you may have heard through the grapevine:
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Causes Of Bladder Infection In Men
Cystitis is less common among men. In men, a common cause is bacterial infection of the prostate that causes repeated episodes of cystitis and urethritis. Urethritis Urethritis is infection of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. Bacteria, including those that are sexually transmitted, are the most common cause of urethritis… read more Although antibiotics quickly clear bacteria from the urine in the bladder, most of these drugs cannot penetrate well enough into the prostate to quickly cure an infection there. Usually antibiotics must be taken for weeks at a time. Consequently, if drug therapy is stopped prematurely, bacteria that remain in the prostate tend to reinfect the bladder.
Measurements And Main Results
Women were asked to enter daily diary information on vaginal intercourse, medication use, and genito-urinary symptoms. The outcome of interest, symptomatic UTI, was defined as a positive urine culture 105 CFU/mL of a uropathogen and the presence of 2 acute urinary symptoms. Nine hundred thirteen women returned diaries and were included in this study. Seventy-eight women experienced 108 symptomatic UTIs, and 361 reported sexual intercourse in their diaries. There was an increased hazard for UTI 2 calendar days after the reporting of sexual intercourse in the diaries , while there was no evidence for an increased hazard associated with intercourse at other times. When the UTI criterion was relaxed from 105 CFU/mL to 104 CFU/mL, adding 9 UTI events to the analysis, the HR for UTI 2 days after intercourse changed slightly to 3.26 .
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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 .
Symptoms And Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
Most people who get UTIs notice symptoms and discomfort. For an infection in your lower urinary tract, you may experience some or all of the following:
- Pain or burning while urinating
- Feeling a need to urinate even when your bladder is empty
- Aches or cramps in your lower abdomen
If the infection is in your kidneys, you may also notice fever and chills, backache, and nausea and vomiting.
If you think you have a UTI, call your doctor to discuss your symptoms. You will likely need to give a urine sample, which may help confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. They might also suggest medicine that will help with the discomfort.
Where To Get Tested
Women who have had Cystitis before may be able to recognise the symptoms and seek treatment at apharmacy.
However, you should seek advice if:
- you have Cystitis symptoms for the first time
- there’s blood in your urine
- you have a high temperature of 38°C
- you’re in a lot of pain
- you develop pain around your back .
- you’ve had Cystitis three times in one year
- you’re pregnant
- you have a catheter .
Your localsexual health clinicshould be able to diagnose Cystitis from asking about your symptoms. In some cases, they may ask you to provide a urine sample to identify any bacteria.
Ascertainment Of Outcome: Symptomatic Urinary Tract Infection
We defined the presence of a UTI on the basis of a midstream, clean-catch, urine specimen yielding 105 CFU/mL of a uropathogen as confirmed by culture, plus at least 2 acute urinary symptoms: dysuria, urgency, or urinary frequency. The presence of symptoms was determined by interview. Asymptomatic bacteriuria was not evaluated as an outcome. We identified UTIs in 2 ways. First, participants were asked to report new UTI symptoms to study personnel, at which time they were interviewed and asked to promptly mail a urine specimen for laboratory verification. Urine specimens were collected using a Dipslide® home testing kit, supplied to the participants at enrollment. In day-to-day use, the sensitivity and specificity of this method to detect 105 CFU is 73% and 94%, respectively.15 Second, we systematically reviewed computerized clinical records for codes identifying a diagnosis of acute cystitis with laboratory culture results. Identification of culture-confirmed, acute cystitis in the computerized database was verified for the presence of at least 2 symptoms via telephone interview.
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How Soon After A Uti Can You Have Sex
Its best to wait until the UTI has been treated to start having intercourse again. Your doctor will give you the green light about when that is, but its safe to assume it will be at least a week until youve finished your antibiotic regimen.
Even if you no longer notice symptoms, try your best to refrain from sexual activity until you are fully cleared of infection and done with your treatment.
When To See A Doctor
People dealing with serious symptoms or recurrent UTIs should book an appointment to see a provider. They can talk with you about your sexual history, hygiene habits, and symptom severity to determine the best course of treatment and a UTI prevention plan moving forward.
Dont wait until your symptoms get really bad to call your provider. Untreated UTIs can eventually turn into kidney infections, causing symptoms like:
- Nausea or vomiting
If you think you might have a kidney infection, seek medical help right away to avoid permanent damage to the area. Kidney infections require antibiotic treatment and sometimes a trip to the hospital when severe.
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Recurrent Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections
This has hitherto been regarded as a special category of UTI. However according to the new classification of UTI, recurrent UTI is now part of acute uncomplicated UTI together with the sporadic episodic UTI,7,8 provided the individuals have no structural or functional urinary tract abnormalities. It is defined as more than two separate episodes of uncomplicated UTI in the preceding six months or at least three episodes in the preceding twelve months, confirmed by bacteriological culture.54-56 They are symptomatic UTIs that occur after resolution of an earlier episode usually following appropriate treatment, and include relapses or a recurrent UTI caused by a different bacteria from the one isolated in the previous episode.57
Recurrent UTIs are quite common and are a cause of significant morbidities to the individual woman as well as impact on her social and sexual well-being due to the recurrence of symptoms. Of the women who get one episode of acute uncomplicated UTI, 25-50% will experience recurrent UTI,9,13,56 which is a significant proportion and number considering the proportion who get at least one episode.
When Can You Have Sex After A Uti
Healthcare providers say you are clear to have sex after a UTI once you finish your antibiotics.
“A good rule of thumb would be to wait until you’re done with antibiotics, but there’s no rule that says you have to wait,” said Dr. Wallace. “Most women will wait until they’re done with antibiotics because it sometimes takes three or four days to feel better, though.”
How long you should wait depends on how long your healthcare provider wants you to take antibiotics. Healthcare providers may treat uncomplicated cystitis, an ordinary bladder infection, with antibiotics for one to five days, depending on the exact medication you need. If you have a complicated UTIlike a kidney infectionor if you are pregnant, you may need to take antibiotics for up to 14 days.
Your symptoms may even subside before you finish your antibiotics, but that does not mean you should stop taking the medication, according to the Food and Drug Administration . Otherwise, the medication might not eliminate all the bacteria, and lingering organisms could become resistant to antibiotics. That can make future infections more challenging to treat than usual.
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What Can Happen If You Have Sex With A Uti
You wont break your urinary tract or anything, but its not an ideal scenario. It will be uncomfortable, Dr. Kaufman says. Dr. Wider points out that you may irritate the area and exacerbate your symptoms.
You can get an additional infection as well, Dr. Wider says. If you are being treated with antibiotics, the symptoms will likely clear in an expedient fashion and the chances of getting a secondary infection go way down.
Sexual Activity And The Risk Of Acute Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection In Premenopausal Women: Implicationsfor Reproductive Health Programming
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1Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aga Khan University, Kenya2Medical Officer, Nairobi Hospital, Kenya
Correspondence: Lema VM, Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Honorary Faculty, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya, Tel 254-711860582
Received: July 30, 2017 | Published: February 8, 2018
Citation: Lema VM, Lema APV Sexual Activity and the Risk of Acute Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection in Premenopausal Women: Implications for Reproductive Health Programming. Obstet Gynecol Int J 9: 00303. DOI: 10.15406/ogij.2018.09.00303
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Uti Antibiotics And Escaping Arrest
I left with a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics, tears in my eyes and a searing pain in my crotch Running to the chemist, desperate to fill the script, desperate to pee, desperate to see the end and find a cure.
As I clawed my antibiotics from their foil wrappers, clutching my bottle of sickly sweet aloe juice, I was questioned by police. Clearly they saw the desperation in my eyes, my weight loss and a persona of anything less than stable. I was a junkie, an antibiotic junkie.
Between the prophylactic antibiotics, the invasive bladder inspection and the breakup of my relationship, my UTIs after sex stopped, for a time, for a time
I have had one since, years after sex had stopped causing me anxiety. And yes, it was late in the evening the night before a public holiday in my slightly provincial home town.
The eye roll I gave the pharmacist who suggested Ural, a urinary alkalinizer, has actually gone down in history. I nearly pulled a muscle in both optic nerves.
Id just had sex with a new partner. This reinforced my own newly developed theory that there are some men that I am just not compatible with on some basic biological, bacterial level. Swipe left, move along, body says no.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
The most common symptoms associated with a UTI include:
- frequent urination
- burning or pain during urination
- feeling like you need to pee but little or no urine actually comes out
- pain in the lower abdomen or above the pubic bone
- a full feeling in the rectum
- bloody or foul-smelling urine
More serious symptoms, such as the ones listed below may indicate a kidney infection:
- nausea and vomiting
- pain in the back, just above the waist
See your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of a urinary tract infection. If you can’t reach your doctor, go to an urgent care center or hospital emergency room.
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Antibiotic Prevention Is Another Option
This means taking a low dose of an antibiotic regularly. One dose each night will usually reduce the number of bouts of cystitis. A six-month course of antibiotics is usually given.
You may still have bouts of cystitis if you take antibiotics regularly but the episodes should be much less often. If a bout does occur, it is usually caused by a germ which is resistant to the antibiotic you are taking regularly. A urine sample is needed to check on which bacterium is causing any bout of cystitis. You may then need a temporary change to a different antibiotic.
Evaluation Of Subjects And Exposures
At entry, participants completed a questionnaire regarding demographic characteristics, general and urinary health, hormone use, physical function, and prior sexual behavior. All participants not identified from the diabetes registry had a fasting plasma glucose test at baseline to detect undiagnosed diabetes, defined as a level 125 mg/dL.
Using checkboxes, participants were asked to record information daily about vaginal discharge, itching, irritation, or odor urinary burning, pain, frequency, or urgency incontinence vaginal intercourse, dyspareunia, post-coital urination and pharmaceutical use in a monthly diary throughout the 2-year follow-up.
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Safer Ways To Have Sex With A Uti
If you’re going to have sex with a UTI, Trubow says try certain sex positions that will cause less friction on the urethra, like doggy-style, potentially making things more enjoyable.
Just make sure to pee before and after having sex to flush out as much of the bacteria from the urethra as possible, and take breaks during sex if you feel the need to pee.
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