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Can You Have Sex With a UTI?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when unhealthy bacteria grows in the urinary tract.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when unhealthy bacteria grows in the urinary tract. Although this condition can be painful, it’s usually minor and clears up quickly with antibiotic treatment. Unfortunately, conditions such as bacterial vaginosis and UTIs can put a damper on your sex life. In general, sexual activity is not recommended until your treatment is complete.

Why Avoid Sex During a UTI?

When you have an infection, you may feel pelvic pain, pressure and the persistent urge to urinate. Sexual activity can cause irritation that may worsen these symptoms. In fact, sex can even be painful during a UTI because intercourse puts pressure on the already irritated bladder.

In addition, you are more likely to have complications of a UTI if you have sex, since intercourse can introduce unhealthy bacteria into the vaginal area. A UTI can even be spread to your partner, potentially leading to bacterial infection.

Most doctors recommend holding off on sex until you are done with UTI treatment. However, some say it’s OK to get romantic once your symptoms resolve, as long as you feel up to doing so. Once you begin taking an antibiotic, you will likely start to feel better within 24 to 48 hours.

How Do I Know if I Have a UTI?

Some UTIs don’t cause symptoms. More typically, however, you may experience cloudy or discolored urine, unusual discharge, pain in the lower abdomen, blood in the urine, pelvic pressure or frequent and/or painful urination.

Women are at higher risk for UTI than men because bacteria can more easily enter their shorter urethra. Other high-risk groups include women who are past menopause, who use a diaphragm or condoms as contraception and who are sexually active and/or have a new sexual partner.

Do I Need Medical Care for a UTI?

If you have the symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor right away. Left untreated, the infection can spread to your kidneys, causing nausea, vomiting, shaking, chills, flank and back pain and a high fever. You may even develop sepsis, which can be life-threatening.

Typically, an antibiotic is prescribed to cure a UTI. It’s important to take the entire prescription as directed even if your symptoms improve, or the infection can recur.

Can UTIs Be Prevented?

Probiotics for UTIs can help ward off infections by increasing the amount of healthy bacteria in the vagina. This decreases the likelihood that infection-causing germs will spread to the urinary tract. Other preventive UTI measures include:

● Drinking lots of water, which can help remove infection-causing bacteria from your urinary tract

● Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom to prevent spreading rectal bacteria

● Avoiding lotions, sprays and feminine hygiene products, especially those with irritating chemicals and fragrances

● Urinating soon after intercourse to remove any newly introduced bacteria

● Changing birth control methods if you use spermicidal condoms or a diaphragm, both of which can contribute to infection

● Exercising regularly, which can prevent infection by boosting your body’s natural defenses

If you’re interested in one of the best ways to prevent UTIs naturally, talk with your doctor about probiotics. He or she can advise on whether these healthy supplements are right for you.

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