Sex and UTI’s : All questions answered
Dr. Divya Vora

Dr. Divya Vora

Mar 16Sexual health

Sex and UTI’s : All questions answered

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) can develop in any part of the urinary system - the kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra. Someone having a UTI can experience significant discomfort:

  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • High-grade fever with chills (in severe cases)

 

If you or your partner have UTI, you may be wondering if sex during that period is a wise choice. Ideally, you should at least wait for 7 to 10 days before having sex if you are on treatment and the UTI infection is subsiding. However, if you cannot wait, make sure to read the whole article and understand everything before getting intimate with your partner.

 

Why are women more prone to getting a UTI?

With the male urethra being close to the anus, the chances of bacteria like E.coli (found in the faeces) travelling to their urethra is high. If they have genital infections or poor hygiene practices, the bacteria can eventually transfer to the female partner during sex. The female urethra is much smaller compared to that of males, allowing the bacteria to travel faster. Furthermore, the female urethral opening is situated very close to the clitoris and right above the vaginal canal where penetration takes place. All of this, combined with poor safe sex practices, increase the chances of a woman contracting UTIs.

 

If my partner or I have a UTI, can we have penetrative sex?

It is possible to have vaginal sex while having a UTI but remember that it may be uncomfortable, painful and exaggerate the existing symptoms. Hence, it will be wise to consult your doctor, who can advise you based on your symptoms and ongoing treatment.

 

What if I am on my period?

During periods, there is already discomfort such as cramps, pains and mood swings. If you have period sex while having a UTI, it will exaggerate not only your period symptoms but also your UTI symptoms. Still, if you decide to have sex, make sure you use a condom and follow the necessary precautions that we’ve mentioned below.

 

Can we go down on each other?

Having oral sex while you or your partner is suffering from a UTI is not recommended. However, using a dental dam and condom may prevent the infection from spreading from the vagina or the penis to the mouth and other organs.

 

Can we use lube?

No, you should keep away from chemical lubricants if you have a UTI as it may aggravate the irritation and burning sensation in the vagina. Certain studies state that using coconut oil is a better choice for UTIs as it is a natural lubricant. However, there isn’t much evidence about its use.

 

What about sex toys?

Since sex toys are unsterilised, there are higher chances of bacteria and other germs thriving on them. Hence while already having a UTI, it is better to avoid using foreign objects for pleasure to prevent further irritation and pain.

 

Also, beware of the complications of having sex with a UTI.

Before having sex while having a UTI, you must be aware of the complications that may follow it:

  1. It may increase the chances of reinfection or secondary infection : When you have a UTI, your immunity is naturally low. If you decide to engage in vaginal or anal sex in this condition, there are chances of the existing bacteria increasing if you ignore the necessary hygiene precautions. New bacteria can also enter the urinary tract and cause a secondary infection.
  2. It may exaggerate your symptoms and increase the recovery time : A UTI causes abdominal pain, pelvic pain, burning sensation and difficulty while passing urine. Having sex can intensify all of these symptoms. New symptoms may also get introduced and worsen the condition, thus increasing the recovery time.
  3. You may pass on the infection to your partner : In case your partner is not using condoms, has low immunity, and does not take care of personal hygiene before and after sex, there are chances of the infection transmitting.

 

uti infection

If you do decide to have sex with a UTI, take these precautions

Even though it may seem burdensome, it is essential to follow sexual health practices to prevent complications and maintain good health.

  • Pee before and after having sex : It is crucial to visit the loo and empty your bladder right before and right after having sexual intercourse. It helps flush out any bacteria that may have transferred to you during sexual contact with your partner.
  • Wash up before and after sex : Before having sexual intercourse, gently cleanse your intimate areas with warm water and repeat the same after the act. It ensures your genital areas stay clean, hygienic and bacteria-free. However, vaginal douching is not recommended.
  • Use a condom : In the case of penetrative sex, use a male or female condom as it considerably lowers the chances of bacterial transfer. Although doctors do not recommend having oral sex with UTIs, still, if you decide to do it, use a condom and dental dam.
  • Comfort above pleasure : If sex exaggerates the existing symptoms of UTI or causes new symptoms to develop, you must immediately stop the act. You should wash up thoroughly with warm water and consult your doctor for treatment.
  • Maintain personal hygiene : You must change panty liners at least four times a day and panties twice daily. Also, wear comfortable and soft cotton panties to avoid irritation in the genitals.
  • Drink plenty of oral fluids : Drink a lot of water so that you pee frequently and flush out all the toxins and bacteria. An infection also lowers immunity and causes dehydration, which is why you need to increase your fluid intake.
  • Talk to your doctor : Most importantly, do not be impatient and take hasty decisions. Talking to your doctor before engaging in any form of sexual activity with a UTI is critical. Follow their advice to save yourself and your partner from further complications.

Can I masturbate if I have UTI?

It is safe to masturbate if you have a UTI provided you take the necessary precautions that include:

  • Wash your hands well enough before touching yourself
  • Pee before and after masturbating
  • Wash your intimate area well before and after masturbating
  • Do not use chemical lubes; instead, opt for natural ones such as coconut oil
  • Do not use penetrative sex toys for sexual stimulation

 

How to avoid a UTI?

To avoid UTI, you need to follow the sexual health tips to prevent the bacteria from travelling to your urethra.

  • Pee right before and after having sex
  • Gently cleanse your genitals before having sex
  • Thoroughly wash up with warm water after having sex

 

When should I see a doctor?

Having sex while having a UTI can worsen your existing symptoms and may introduce newer symptoms such as:

  • Immense back pain
  • High-grade fever with chills
  • Dehydration
  • Blood in urine

You must immediately stop and consult your doctor if you’re feeling uncomfortable at any point while having intercourse. Failure to do so can further complicate your situation.

Also Read: UTI Be Gone! All You Need to Know to Keep UTIs Away for Good  

 

Bottom Line

To conclude, yes, you can have sex while you have a UTI, but it is always better to do it after consulting your doctor. Sex can wait for a few days if your symptoms are severe and your doctor has advised you to avoid it. Lastly, follow the necessary hygiene practices before and after sex. It will prevent aggravation of the existing UTI symptoms and contraction of a UTI in the future if you don’t have it.

Disclaimer: This information is educational and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before making any dietary changes or adding supplements.

Proactive For Her is a digital clinic for women, offering accessible, personalised, and confidential healthcare solutions. We offer out-patient care, diagnostic services and programs for various health concerns of Indian women, across their lifetime - from puberty to pregnancy to menopause.