Many women suffer from urinary tract infections or UTIs after sex. This isn’t always the case. Some women never end up with a UTI. Intercourse can increase your chances of getting a bladder infection, however. Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN explains below the correlation between sex and UTIs, how you can avoid them, and what to do if you get a bladder infection.
Sex and UTIs
Sexual intercourse can cause a UTI because the urethra, the tube through which urine passes, comes in contact with bacteria. Between a woman’s bacteria on her genital area and the bacteria on a man’s penis, it is easy for the urinary system to become infected with genital and anal bacteria that makes their way up through the urethra while having intercourse. In fact, nearly 80 percent of women who weren’t in perimenopause or menopause ended up with bladder infections within 24 hours of having sex.
This data suggests that sex is one of the primary causes of UTIs in young women. Once a woman reaches perimenopause and then menopause, her chances of getting a bladder infection can increase due to other reasons, including changes in hormone levels. To help prevent sex-related bladder infections, clean the genital areas before intercourse and urinate immediately after sex to flush out the urethra.
Urinary Tract Infection Signs
Nothing can guarantee you won’t get a bladder infection after sex, but the above along with staying hydrated all the time can help. If you suspect you have a UTI, get medical help right away. This prevents the UTI from getting too severe and making its way up to your kidneys. Signs of a UTI include
- Burning urination
- Pain when urinating
- Frequent urination
- Sudden incontinence
- Pain in the abdomen
- Cloudy urine
- Bloody urine
- Smelly urine
A general feeling of illness can also accompany a UTI, especially if you have a severe bladder infection. In severe cases and as we said above, the infection can travel up the urethra into the bladder and then up into your kidneys. In this case, you may also experience back pain and disorientation or confusion.
Treating a UTI
Antibiotics are used to treat urinary tract infections. Depending on the severity of the infection, a low-dose antibiotic might be effective. If the infection has made its way to the kidneys, high-dose antibiotics and even hospitalization may be required. You may also take OTC pain killers to help with the pain, and it’s a good idea to drink plenty of fluids to reduce bacteria multiplication in the bladder.
There you have it. Sex can increase your risk of UTIs, and you can discuss this and any other gynecological questions with Eagle’s Landing OB/GYN by scheduling an appointment with our Stockbridge, GA, medical offices today.