Can sex give you a UTI?

Women are 10 times more likely than men to get a urinary tract infection through sex


KARACHI: If you are sexually active and have lately been suffering pain or a burning sensation while urinating, it is most likely that you have contracted a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Women are 10 times more likely than men to get a urinary tract infection, and one in five women will get a UTI at some point in their lives, according to Everyday Health data.

It is common in women because when they are sexually active, it can bring bacteria in their urinary tract from their genital area.

“A UTI is an infection caused by bacteria, especially gram negative bacteria, which causes soreness of the urethra, urinary bladder, ureters, and both kidneys,” says Doctor Kishawar Lucas, a sinologist and general practitioner based in Karachi.

“It is very common in newly wed girls because during intercourse a penis comes into contact with the urethral opening and it can cause eruption of superficial cells of urethra,” she adds.

Urethra is a tube in our system that connects the bladder to the outside of the body. “Since female urethra is smaller than male urethra, it can easily carry infection,” the doctor said. The infection makes it way from the urethra to the bladder, to the ureters and then towards the kidneys.

Symptoms of a UTI are extreme pain, burning and difficulty while urinating.

“When a woman is having sex with her partner, penis comes in direct contact with the urethra where the clitoris is. This can result in the disruption of the protective layer of the urethra letting normal bacteria to cause infection,” Dr Lucas says.

UTIs are usually treated with anti-biotics if the infection prolongs. To avoid UTIs, both partners should take care of personal hygiene and wash before engaging in any sexual activity.

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