A UTI is an uncomfortable infection that develops in the urinary tract of both men and women, and can disrupt normal functions such as urination and sexual activity. If you have a UTI and would rather not put your love life on pause, you may be wondering whether you can have sex with a UTI, and what potential complications may arise.
While you can have sex when treating a UTI with antibiotics, it is not recommended. Having sex with a UTI can be uncomfortable and painful for the infected party, and may also make the infection worse. Doctors suggest waiting until you have been symptom-free for two weeks and have finished your full course of antibiotics before resuming any sexual activity.
While UTIs themselves are not sexually transmittable, they can be caused by other diseases that are. UTIs may be a result of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or trichomoniasis, so while the urinary tract infection may not be passed on, the STI that caused it can be.
While men cannot get a UTI from having sex with a woman, women can get one from having sex with a man. This is due to urethra length. Women have shorter urethras that make it easier for the infection-causing bacteria to get caught and pushed back into the bladder, resulting in a UTI. Men, on the other hand, have longer urethras that make it more difficult for bacteria to travel all the way to their bladder.
Your love life doesn’t have to suffer because of a UTI, as there are other ways to maintain intimacy with a partner that do not include intercourse. Some ways to keep both you and your partner satisfied include:
Tension. Abstaining from intercourse for the two weeks required to heal can build sexual tension between you and your partner, so when the time comes the anticipation can make it feel like a new experience all over again.
Kissing. Take things slow and sweet and enjoy simple shows of affection like kissing. You can build intimacy and add to the anticipation while maintaining a physical closeness with your partner.
Secrets. Intimacy isn’t just about sex, it’s also about revealing your vulnerabilities to someone you trust. Share your most closely-guarded secrets and fears with your partner and show your trust of one another while sitting or lying together. The combination of physical touch and emotional vulnerability can help to strengthen your connection.
Exercise. Pent up energy may be leaving you frustrated as you are no longer getting a physical and emotional release in the bedroom. Try hitting the gym or going for a run to work through any frustrated energy, or pick a couples’ activity like dancing or skating so you can work through it together.
While you are waiting for the antibiotics to take effect, you may want to try a home remedy or two to help ease the symptoms of your UTI. Some home remedies include:
Water. Drinking lots of water is a great way to help your body recover from a UTI, as it aids your body in flushing the bacteria from your system.
Bathroom breaks. Drinking more water means you’ll have to pee more often, as this is how your body works to flush out bacteria. Never hold your pee, as it can allow the bacteria to multiply and may make your infection worse.
Celery seeds. Chewing a handful of celery seeds twice a day after meals can also help to flush your system. They act as a diuretic making you urinate more often, but keep you hydrated thanks to their butylphthalide content.
Heat. Holding a warm compress or hot water bottle over your abdomen when you feel discomfort can help ease the pain in your bladder and relax cramping muscles.
Ginger tea. Ginger tea is a fantastic natural anti-inflammatory that can help reduce the symptoms associated with UTIs, as many are caused by irritation and inflammation in the urinary tract.
While you can technically have sex while you have a UTI, most doctors recommend waiting until the condition has completely cleared and you are symptom-free for at least two weeks. UTIs are not sexually transmittable, but women can contract them after having sex with men if proper hygiene is not practiced. There are other ways to remain intimate with your partner while waiting for your UTI to resolve, as well as multiple home remedies to ease your symptoms while the antibiotics take effect.