So what’s the deal with sex and UTIs?

So what’s the deal with sex and UTIs?

Can you get a urinary tract infection (UTI) from sex? Is it true that not peeing after sex can increase your chances? Answers to these questions can be a bit confusing. We partnered with our friends at Awkward Essentials to help you better understand what exactly a UTI is and how sex can play a part. 

Well first.. what is a UTI?

Your urinary tract is a system of organs used to make, collect, and remove urine from your body. When this system of organs becomes infected, it is called a urinary tract infection or UTI. This system contains the following:

  • Kidneys                                           
  • Ureter
  • Bladder
  • Urethra

A UTI can affect the bladder and the other organs of the urinary tract system. Should the infection spread to other organs, such as your kidneys, it dramatically increases the infection's level of severity. Because of this, it is essential to catch and treat a UTI as soon as possible. With Stix UTI Tests, you can determine if you have a UTI and have accurate results to discuss with your doctor how to treat it. 

The most common cause of a urinary tract infection is bacteria. 75- 90% of infections come from E-Coli bacteria. These bacteria are usually found on a person's skin, making UTIs one of the most common infections a person can have. Women are more likely to experience this type of infection than men. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, 1 out of 5 women will have a UTI at some point in their lives.

Why do I get UTIs?

Put simply, it's because of anatomy.

According to Byram Healthcare and GoodRx, a woman's urethra is shorter than a man's and is closer to their rectum. These two factors make it easier for bacteria to enter the urethra and cause an infection. Since a woman's urethra is shorter, bacteria do not have a long way to reach the bladder. Any form of contact with certain bacteria on the skin can lead to a UTI infection. 

How does sex come into play?

Because the bacteria that cause UTIs live on a person's skin, your chances of coming into contact with those bacteria are incredibly high. Having sex moves these bacteria around the genital areas, bringing the bacteria closer to your urethra.

The closer it is to your urethra, the easier it is for the bacteria to be introduced and cause an infection. Having protected sex and practicing good hygiene before and after sex can help lower your chances. But can peeing after sex help as well? For many people it can.

Peeing both before and after sex can help some people lower their chances of getting a UTI. This is because peeing before and after sex can flush out the potentially harmful bacteria from your urethra.

You don't need to go right away, either. Instead, make sure to use the restroom when you need to and within a reasonable amount of time. This can help remove any bacteria that may cause a UTI and decrease your chances of getting an infection. However, using the restroom before and after sex does not always work for everyone.


How can I prevent UTIs? 

UTIs are relatively common, and anyone can become infected even if you don't have sex. 

While bacteria are the primary cause of infection and it's most common in women, older adults are also at higher risk. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this could be potentially due to:

  • An enlarged prostate
  • Bladder prolapse
  • Diabetes
  • Not emptying your bladder
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent UTIs:

Adopting these habits can help prevent UTIs, but if you think that you may have a UTI, reach out to your primary care provider as soon as possible in order to get treated with antibiotics.

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