Can I Have Sex With a UTI?

Urinary tract infections can be quite uncomfortable. Between the incessant need to pee and burning sensation down below, the libido tends to fizzle.

Sexual intercourse with a UTI can irritate the bacteria causing the infection, potentially making it worse. While a UTI is not contagious, it can be passed from one partner to another during sex.


Symptoms of UTIs include a painful bladder, urinating frequently, and a burning sensation when you urinate. These symptoms can also spread to the genitals and cause pain during intercourse. However, if your symptoms are mild and you are on antibiotics, there is no reason to avoid sexual activity completely. But if you are still experiencing symptoms, you should talk to your doctor before having sex. Use our Physician Finder to find a doctor near you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a urinary tract infection usually occurs when bacteria infects your bladder, but it can also affect your urethra or kidneys. The CDC notes that women are more likely to get a UTI than men because their anus is closer to the vagina and urethra. Additionally, the urethra is shorter in women.

Although a UTI is not a sexually transmitted infection, the CDC warns that you may pass the bacteria that causes it to your partner. This can happen during penetrative sex, when you rub your penis against your partner’s urethra or when you insert the clitoris into the vagina. You could also pass bacteria through oral sex or by using a lubricant or sex toy. Besides, you might not be able to tell if your partner has a UTI because the symptoms are similar to those of common STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia.

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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a painful condition that affects the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. It’s caused by bacteria (usually E. coli, but sometimes other strains) that enter the urinary tract from feces. It’s not an STI and, while it’s unpleasant, it usually goes away on its own with antibiotics.

But can you have sex while you have a UTI? The answer is yes, but you’ll need to wait until your symptoms clear up and your doctor gives the go-ahead.

Sexual activity can make the symptoms of a UTI worse by increasing pressure on the urethra, making it more difficult to expel urine. It can also introduce more bacteria into the urinary tract, potentially causing more inflammation and prolonging treatment.

According to Healthline, you can have sex while you have a symptomatic UTI as long as you don’t engage in penetrative sex or oral sex. Penetrating sex increases the risk of passing harmful bacteria, including Escherichia coli (which is responsible for most UTIs), to your partner’s anus and urethra. Oral sex also increases the likelihood of bacteria entering your bladder and urethra, so it’s best to use a condom or anal barrier protection method instead.

As far as vaginal sex is concerned, gynecologists recommend waiting until the symptoms have cleared up. They advise using lube with a low pH and taking slow, deep thrusts to reduce friction on the urethra, which could make the experience more uncomfortable than necessary.

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When you have a UTI, your libido is probably pretty low. Between the incessant urges to pee and a burning sensation in your urethra, the old romps might be the furthest thing from your mind. But if the symptoms have subsided and you are feeling ready to take the plunge, it’s important to know how to do so safely.

UTIs occur when bacteria — often from the anus, dirty hands or skin and/or from a sexual partner’s anal canal or clitoris – enter the urethra and then travel to the bladder (cystitis), kidneys (pyelonephritis) or other parts of the urinary tract. It is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and is not contagious. However, frequent sex increases the risk of UTI and using certain birth control methods like diaphragms or non-lubricated condoms increase the likelihood of getting a UTI as well.

Having sex with a UTI might make the symptoms worse or even cause another UTI since friction can irritate the urethra and encourage more bacteria to enter the urinary tract. Dr. Greves says that’s not to say sex can’t be enjoyable or desirable, but she recommends waiting until symptoms clear up or you are on the last days of your antibiotic treatment. Alternatively, you can use sex positions that decrease the amount of friction on the urethra such as doggy-style.


Doctors recommend abstaining from sex until all symptoms and the infection have disappeared. Sexual activity can disturb the bacteria causing the infection, pushing them further up the urethra and potentially making symptoms worse.

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Anyone can get a UTI, but they are more common in women because of their anatomy. The urethra tube is shorter and closer to the anus in females, making it easier for bacteria to travel from the large intestine and into the bladder. This is why women are also more likely to have recurrent UTIs than men.

The bacteria that cause UTIs can be passed between partners during sex. These bacteria are E. coli, and they can travel from the anus to the vaginal opening or penis. Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and trichomoniasis can be caused by E. coli and can also be spread during sex.

People can prevent getting UTIs by washing their hands after using the bathroom and before touching themselves. They should also avoid tight-fitting clothes, which promote bacterial growth. They should also make sure to pee right before and after having sex to help flush out bacteria. They should also consider using a diaphragm or non-lubricated condoms for birth control and talk to their healthcare provider about other options if they have recurrent UTIs. These precautions can reduce the risk of a UTI by 80%.

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