The mood can strike at unwelcome times. If you've ever questioned "Can you have sex with a UTI," here's what the medical experts want you to know before embarking on a romantic romp while dealing with a urinary tract infection.
First thing's first, while not always terribly serious, a UTI can be irritating—both literally and figuratively. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines UTIs as common infections that enter the urethra and work their way up toward the bladder. This can result in pain, burning, and frequent urges to urinate. Needless to say, these scenarios are less than ideal when you're feeling a little frisky.
So, does that mean sexual escapades need to be put on hold until everything clears up? Well, it's complicated.
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Can you have sex with a UTI?
While you can technically proceed with sexy time with a urinary tract infection, it's not advised.
"You can have sex with a UTI but very likely it will be uncomfortable," says Rena Malik, M.D., Director of Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "If you’re having vaginal penetrative intercourse, the phallus pushes on the bladder during penetration, which could cause pain."
What happens if you have sex with a UTI?
We hate to break the news, but your symptoms can possibly worsen if you choose to have sex with a UTI. Sensitive tissue can become irritated as you push bacteria deeper into your body.
You also have the potential to pass along the bacteria that causes a UTI to your partner. If you're thinking about alternatives, do note that doctors also warn against engaging in oral sex while you have a UTI, per Healthline, as it could cause a secondary infection.
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But if you do decide to proceed, there are a few precautions to take, though nothing is guaranteed.
"While there’s no data to suggest it helps, I recommend urinating after sex," says Rena Malik, M.D. "Also avoid spermicides, which can put you at higher risk of getting UTIs."
Healthline recommends heeding your symptoms if you decided to move forward, sticking with one type of sex, and showering when you're done, as it has the potential to get rid of bacteria. But again, following these rituals doesn't mean your symptoms won't worsen.
When in doubt, always consult your doctor before you engage in any type of sexual activity.
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How to treat a UTI:
Whether or not you've chosen to move forward with your frisky behavior, there are ways to treat your UTI.
"Drink lots of fluids," Rena Malik, M.D. says. "Adding 1.5L a day will reduce your risk of UTIs by 46-percent. Consider cranberry tablets with 36mg of soluble proanthocyanidins, one tablet daily."
Once you've taken the proper steps and you're healthy and ready to proceed, a recent study has revealed the best place to have sex in the house, and it's actually kind of surprising. Why not give it a whirl?
Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment.
The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets.
When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)
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