What happens if I have sex with a UTI?
There’s nothing sexy about a urinary tract infection (UTI). When I have a UTI I close up shop, meaning no sex — penetrative or otherwise. Nothing kills my sex drive faster than the idea of any additional stimulation to my vagina and its surrounding areas during such a painful infection. But, if the burning of your desire outweighs the burning of your urethra, is it medically safe to have sex while you have a UTI? Let’s start from the beginning..
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection to any part of your urinary tract and is not sexually transmitted or contagious. They are most common in the lower urinary tract, which includes your bladder and urethra. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urethra and travel to the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract. People with vaginas are more likely to get UTIs because the length of their urethra is shorter than people who have penises.
Common symptoms of a UTI are burning during urination, cloudy and/or strong-smelling urine, pelvic pain, frequently passing small amounts of urine, and a strong, persistent urge to urinate. If you think you may be experiencing a UTI, try our UTI Test & Relieve Combo to know whether you have a UTI and get pain relief fast until you can see your health care provider.
UTIs are sooo common, but if you don't know the telltale signs and get treatment, they can end up spreading to your kidney. In college, one of our founders ended up in the ER after peeing blood. Turns out, she had a UTI but didn't know what they were. This is why educating yourself is so important.
Are UTIs contagious?
No, UTIs are not contagious. If you choose to have sex while you have a UTI, it does not mean that your partner will also get a UTI. However, it is important to note that you can pass the bacteria that is causing your UTI to your partner. While unlikely, this bacteria then may or may not lead to your partner subsequently developing a UTI as well.
Test, relieve, and prevent UTIs
Can I have sex with a UTI?
Medically speaking, you can have sex while you have a UTI; however, it’s important to mention that your UTI-related pain can be exasperated by sexual intercourse. Sex may cause irritation to the already irritable urethra, and penetrative sex may put pressure on the bladder via the internal walls of the vagina, which can lead to more discomfort or pain. Additionally, sex — or any genital contact for that matter — can introduce more bacteria or even completely new bacteria into the urinary tract, which could worsen the infection you already have or cause another new infection if you have been given treatment recently.
Any additional introduction of bacteria can impact your existing infection or can lead to another UTI. While it may be tempting, the rumor that oral or manual sex is better for reducing your risk of UTIs is false. Any touching or new object can increase the chances of bacterial exposure and should be avoided when you have a UTI.
If you have a UTI and you’d like to recover as soon as possible, you should refrain from any type of sexual intercourse or vaginal stimulation until you have completed the course of your treatment and are symptom-free.
How to prevent UTIs
There are many things you can do to help prevent future UTIs:
- Remember to stay hydrated as diluting your urine can flush out bad bacteria
- Always try to pee after intercourse
- Be sure to wipe front to back when going to the bathroom
If you're worried about chronic UTIs, we recommend consulting your doctor!
You can also consider taking a daily vitamin supplement with cranberry and D Mannose like our UTI Daily Protection Supplement, which can help protect your urinary tract from bad bacteria.
With these simple tips, you can keep your genital area free from excess bacteria so that you can focus on the fun stuff instead.