Are sex and UTI interlinked? An expert answers

Published on: 2 March 2022, 18:15 pm IST

If you are someone who is a victim of frequent UTI, your sex adventures may be one of the reasons. Here’s what you need to know.

uti
There is a strong link between sex and UTI. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Urinary tract infections (UTI) may have crept into your life at some point or the other, but you know how annoying they can be, right? Well, there are various reasons why they could occur, but sexual intercourse is also one of the biggest causes. Yes, sex and UTI can be interlinked.

Before we understand the link between the two, here’s all you need to know about UTIs, with the help of Dr Ankita Gharge, a popular Ob-Gny.

Here’s what she shares with Health Shots, “UTI is an infection of your urinary system. It can be an infection of the urethra, your bladder, ureters, or kidney. Some of the most common symptoms that are observed, including a burning sensation while passing urine, itching sensation near your urethra, urgency to urinate, decrease in the quantity of urine, change in the colour of urine, blood in the urine, pain in the lower abdomen, and more. Sometimes, the patient may also have fever, and it could be associated with a renal stone.”

What is the link between sex and UTI?

Dr Gharge explains that there is exchange of bacteria from the genital area to your urethra. The urethra is an opening that lies just above the vagina, which is not covered with any membrane. It is smaller in women, which is why women are more prone to UTIs than men.

“During sexual intercourse, the urethra is exposed to disturbed bacteria, which might travel from the urethral opening to the bladder. They might just grow into the bladder. That’s why you see that those couples who are newlywed or those who have started recent sexual intercourse may suffer from recurrent UTIs,” she adds.

Watch this HealthShots video by the expert!

What precautions must one take to avoid UTI?

Here’s what the expert says:

1. Keep yourself hydrated, so that you keep urinating frequently. That will help you flush out the bacteria present in the urinary bladder.
2. You need to pass urine immediately after sexual intercourse, because whatever bacteria may have entered will go away with the urine.
3. Do not hold on to your urine for too long, because if you do, bacteria will grow inside your bladder.
4. Use a barrier method of contraception, in order to prevent transmission of organisms
5. Recurrent UTIs are more common in women who have increased sugar levels. So, watch out for symptoms!

Also Read: Everything about UTIs: A doctor explains causes, precautions, and remedies

How to treat UTI?

“Your doctor will advise some urinary tests, just to confirm if there is an infection or to diagnose the kind of infection. If you do not complete your antibiotic course, there is a chance that your infection will not be treated properly,” says Dr Ankita.

If you have been taking over-the-counter medicines for recurrent UTIs, you may be exposing yourself to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and for that, you may need a higher dose of antibiotics. So, do NOT take those pills!

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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