How Long After A UTI Can You Have Sex?

Woman Lying on Bed

Generally speaking, experts recommend that you wait to have sex until you’re completely symptom-free and have finished your antibiotic treatment. According to Healthline, this is because sex can irritate the tissues around your urinary tract.

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can be painful and uncomfortable, especially if you’re constantly having to pee. But can you still have sex?

Symptoms

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can affect your sexual function. They occur when bacteria in the bladder infiltrate the urethra, which is a tube that carries urine out of the body. UTIs are usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), but they can also be caused by other types of bacteria, including yeast.

People of any age or sex can get a UTI, but they are more common in women than in men. That’s mostly because of female anatomy: a woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s, which means bacteria can more easily reach the bladder from the front.

Symptoms of a UTI can include a strong urge to pee, cloudy or pink urine, and pain or burning during urination. Some women may also have a vaginal discharge that smells like feces. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a UTI, be sure to talk with your doctor before having sex.

Having sex with a urinary tract infection can actually worsen erectile dysfunction in men, because the infection can cause the penis to have less blood flow. This can result in problems with getting and maintaining an erection, and over time, can lead to psychological issues that could impact sexual intimacy. It’s important to treat a uti before having sex again, and to take the entire course of antibiotics that your doctor prescribes.

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Treatment

Women often get multiple UTIs over time, which can lead to serious health problems if not treated. The easiest way to avoid a UTI is by practicing good hygiene, including making sure to urinate before and after sex. This prevents bacteria from the vagina or anal area from getting into your urethra and causing a urinary tract infection.

While it’s technically possible to have sex while you have a UTI, most doctors recommend waiting until you’re completely symptom-free and finished with your antibiotics. UTIs can irritate tissues in the urinary tract, so sexual activity could make your symptoms worse or even cause new ones.

It’s also important to note that you can’t give your partner a UTI, though some bacteria can pass back and forth during penetrative sex. However, this bacteria is not true UTI bacteria and is more likely STI (sexually transmitted infection) bacteria such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.

It’s also less common for men to get UTIs, mainly due to the anatomy of their genitals. It’s rare for bacteria from the rectum to travel all the way up to the urethral opening, but anal sex can cause it. Still, men can get UTIs from other causes as well, such as poor hygiene. This is why it’s so important for both partners to urinate before and after sexual activity, especially during anal sex.

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Waiting

It can take time for antibiotics to clear a UTI, and it’s not recommended that you have sex until you’re completely symptom-free and done with your antibiotics. This is because having sex can move bacteria into the area and possibly create another infection before the first one has cleared. It also can irritate the urethra and cause more pain or discomfort, which isn’t ideal when you have a UTI.

Luckily, it’s not possible to pass a UTI on to your partner during sex. However, it’s important to follow proper hygiene practices to prevent a recurrence of the infection. This includes wiping from front to back, taking showers instead of tub baths, using a clean sanitary product daily, and wearing cotton underwear. It’s also a good idea to urinate as soon as you feel the urge, especially before and after sexual activity.

Women are more likely to get a UTI from bacterial infections in the bladder or urethra, while men are more likely to get them from their penis and anal areas. That’s why it’s important for couples to practice good hygiene and use a barrier method of contraception such as condoms or spermicide. It’s also a good idea for both partners to be aware of any genital symptoms they’re having and seek treatment immediately. Having a UTI can lead to complications like pelvic pain, incontinence, and bladder or anal soreness.

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Avoiding

Although medically speaking, you can technically have sex with a UTI, you’ll likely want to avoid it until your infection is completely gone and any antibiotic treatment has been completed. That’s because sex can irritate the already-irritated urethra and cause more pain or discomfort. It can also introduce more bacteria into the urinary tract, which can worsen the current infection or even cause another one.

What’s more, according to Healthline, the force of penetrative sex can push bacteria further up the urinary tract. The same goes for oral sex, which can allow bacteria from your cervix or anus to be introduced to the urethra. To reduce the risk of bacterial transfer, you and your partner should use unscented condoms during sex. Additionally, it’s important to urinate before and after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have been transferred.

Lastly, some women find that their libido completely fizzles during a UTI, so adding in the potential for sexual intercourse might not be what you’re looking for. However, if you do feel like having sex, try to make it as low-impact as possible.

While sex may not be your idea of a good time while you have a UTI, it’s important to remember that most UTIs are caused by bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are common and usually harmless inside the intestines, but they can enter the urinary tract and cause an infection when they don’t get out of the system.

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