Why Do I Get a UTI After Sex?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) aren’t fun, and they can even lead to STIs. Frequent sexual intercourse and certain types of birth control increase the risk for UTIs.

Bacteria from the rectum can migrate to the urethra during sexual intercourse, causing a UTI. Peeing before and after sex can help prevent this from happening.

Causes

A urinary tract infection, or UTI, is when bacteria enters the bladder and/or urethra. It typically causes a burning sensation when you urinate, pain in the lower back and pelvic area, or bladder infections, which can cause a fever and chills.

Women are more likely to get a UTI because the opening of their urethra is closer to their anus and clitoris, making it easier for bacteria from these parts of the body to reach the urethra and travel up to the bladder. “When the bacteria reach the bladder, it invades your immune system and causes inflammation,” says Shteynshlyuger. Men are less likely to get a UTI because their urethras are much longer, but infection can still happen if bacteria from the anus or rectum makes its way down to the urethral opening.

Frequent sexual intercourse and not wearing barrier protection during sex can also cause UTIs, especially in younger people. If you’re a woman who gets UTIs frequently, try to avoid heavy thrusting and change your type of birth control if you’re using one that doesn’t have spermicide. It’s also important to pee right after sex, as your urine acts like a natural “jet stream” that can help push out any bacteria and prevent a UTI. And, no matter what, make sure you’re always wiping from front to back after urinating and before sex.

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Symptoms

Symptoms include burning pee, a painful urination, and sometimes, blood in the urine. Women may also experience pelvic pain or pressure. If you have a UTI, you should visit your doctor for treatment, which often includes antibiotics.

You can reduce your risk of getting a UTI by taking simple preventive steps. These include urinating after sexual activity, wiping the genital area from front to back before and after sex, and using a vaginal lubricant. You should also consider changing your form of birth control if you’re prone to UTIs. Using diaphragms or spermicide increases your risk for a UTI because they introduce bacteria to the area and kill off healthy bacteria that keep the problem germs in check.

In addition, you should drink plenty of fluids, which can help flush bacteria from your urinary tract. It’s best to do this before and after sexual activity, as well as throughout the day.

It’s also a good idea to stop having sex until you finish your antibiotic treatment. Your doctor can tell you the right time to start having intercourse again. Then, you can make sure you’re fully healed before you get a UTI again. It’s important to get a UTI treated promptly, so it doesn’t progress to an infection of the kidneys or bladder. A UTI can be a painful, embarrassing, and potentially dangerous condition, but it’s treatable with the right medication.

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Treatment

Men and women can both get UTIs after sex. Most are caused by bacteria (Escherichia coli) that normally live in your intestines and help digest the food you eat. But sometimes they can move up into your urinary tract, where they cause an infection. Sexual activity can make it easier for bacteria to reach your bladder and urethra. This is why it’s more common to get a UTI after vaginal sex than oral sex. And it’s also why people who have frequent sexual intercourse are more likely to get a UTI after sex.

While it’s possible to have sex with a UTI, it can be uncomfortable for both partners. That’s because the infection causes friction around the genital area. This can aggravate symptoms and even lead to pelvic pain or swollen lymph nodes.

To reduce your risk for a UTI after sex, you can try to eliminate bacteria from the area by urinating before and after sexual activity. You can also clean the genitals with warm water and wipe from front to back. And if you use a contraceptive that increases your risk for UTIs, such as diaphragms or spermicides, consider switching to another form of birth control. If you do get a UTI after sex, be sure to treat it with antibiotics to keep it from getting worse.

Prevention

There are a few steps you can take to prevent UTIs. These include drinking plenty of water, urinating often, and wiping from front to back. You should also use a lubricant, since friction can irritate the urethra. It’s also important to avoid sexual positions that can put pressure on the anus and bladder.

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Having sex can increase your chances of getting a UTI because the urethra is shorter in women than it is in men, so bacteria from the anus can get into the urinary tract more easily. But you can also reduce your risk by practicing good hygiene, such as wiping from front to back and cleaning the genital area before and after sex. Also, make sure to pee right after sex and avoid using diaphragms and birth control that contain spermicide, which can introduce bacteria into the area.

UTIs are painful and annoying, but they’re common and easy to treat with antibiotics. If you suspect a UTI, call your doctor immediately. The sooner you nip it in the bud, the less likely it is to spread further up into your urinary tract and cause other symptoms such as fever, shaking or chills, abdominal pain, and a sore lower back or pelvic area. If you don’t feel like waiting for an appointment, visit one of our immediate care centers.

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