General Health

The Link Between UTI And Sexual Activity

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By Apollo 24|7, Reviewed by Dr. Srividya Kalavagunta, Verified by Dr. Ima Rashid, Published on - 05 July 2024

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Sexual activity can increase the risk of bacteria entering the urinary tract, potentially leading to an infection. UTIs are more prevalent in women, with approximately 1 in 5 adult women experiencing a UTI at some point. Women have a shorter urethra than men, which makes it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder due to their anatomy.

Let us try to understand the link between UTI and sexual activities, its symptoms, the risk factors, and how to prevent it.

How Sexual Activity Can Cause UTIs

Engaging in frequent sexual activity increases the chance of getting UTIs, especially if basic hygiene precautions are not followed before and after sexual activity.
Various factors related to sexual activity can increase the risk of UTIs. The exchange of fluids and touch during intercourse can facilitate the transmission of germs from the anus and vagina to the urethra. These factors contribute to why women are more likely than men to get UTIs. To maintain urinary tract health, it is crucial to be aware of these risks and take preventive action.

A UTI risk may increase if you use contraception, such as spermicides or diaphragms. Think about using another method of contraception if you believe that either of these is causing your UTI.

Effect of Diaphragms and Spermicides on UTI Risk

A diaphragm is a contraceptive method that covers the cervix to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. During diaphragm insertion, spermicide is injected into the bowl and along the edges of the diaphragm. The use of diaphragms and spermicides can increase the risk of UTIs.

These contraceptive methods can change the natural balance of bacteria present in the vagina and make it easy for harmful bacteria to cause UTIs. Women must choose alternative methods of contraception, especially if they have recurrent UTI issues, to protect their urinary health. 

UTI and Its Symptoms

Here are some symptoms that indicate you may have caught a UTI:

  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
  • Frequent urgency to use the bathroom. 
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Pain in your pelvis and Lower abdomen

If the infection is left untreated, it can reoccur, and its severity can increase. If you suspect a UTI, seeking medical attention is essential, as untreated infections can lead to severe complications like pyelonephritis (Kidney infection).

A chronic UTI is also known as a persistent or recurring UTI. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, you may experience:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion
  • Cloudy, dark, smelly, or bloody urine
  • Back or side pain
  • High fever with chills

How to Lower Your Risk of UTIs After Sex

You may take precautions to lower your risk of contracting a UTI after sex; , here are some tips to reduce the risk of getting UTIs after sex:

  • Ensure that the genital area is kept clean. 
  • Always urinate after and before sex to lower the risk of a UTI.
  • Avoid products such as scented douches and feminine hygiene sprays in the genital area, as they can cause infection.

Preventing an infection is always better than treating it; the same goes for UTIs. Also, here are some preventive measures to reduce the overall risk of UTIs:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. 
  • Empty your bladder often.
  • Drink cranberry juice to help reduce the risk of UTIs.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene.

Also, chronic UTIs can indicate other underlying causes, such as anatomical abnormalities or conditions like diabetes mellitus. If you experience frequent UTIs, consulting your doctor to develop a personalized prevention plan is essential.

Diagnosis and Treatment of UTIs

An early diagnosis increases the chance of recovery, prevents complications, and allows treatment to begin promptly. Here are some tests and Lab procedures used to diagnose urinary tract infections:

  • Urine Test: Your doctor will suggest a urine test. The urine will be examined in a lab to check for blood cells or bacteria. 
  • Imaging Test: If you have chronic UTIs, the most common test ordered by a doctor is an ultrasound, and in a few cases, the doctor might suggest a CT scan or an MRI to check for this issue. 
  • Cystoscopy (using a scope to see inside the bladder): If you have recurrent UTIs, your doctor may perform a cystoscopy. A cystoscope (thin tube with a lens) is used to see inside the urethra and bladder.

Antibiotics efficiently treat UTIs. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics by examining the type of bacteria in the urine sample. The doctor will suggest the dosage and how long you must take it. Following the instructions is essential; you can follow up with your doctor if needed. 


Nowadays, UTIs are a common condition that requires attention. If you face any symptoms of UTI, like burning sensations while urinating, frequent urge to use the bathroom, and cloudy, dark, or bloody urine after sexual intercourse, you must consult a doctor. Doctors prescribe antibiotics that help eliminate bacteria. Not to mention, it's always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. Drink plenty of water, urinate before and after sex, wipe from front to back after using the toilet, and empty your bladder often. Follow these preventive measures to help maintain urinary health and prevent UTIs.


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