How Long After Antibiotics Can You Have Sex?

You may have heard the advice that you shouldn’t have sex while you have a UTI because it can make your symptoms worse. However, what about after you’ve recovered?

Researchers have found that taking a single dose of the antibiotic doxycycline soon after unprotected sex can prevent chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. This is called doxycycline postexposure prophylaxis (or doxy-PEP).

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are the most common bacterial infection in both men and women. They can affect any part of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), bladder and urethra. UTIs can be caused by E coli bacteria or other microorganisms. The symptoms of a UTI can vary depending on the location of the infection. For example, a cystitis infection causes pain in the lower urinary tract, while a pyelonephritis infection causes pain and swelling in the kidneys and ureters.

Sexual activity can introduce bacteria into the genital area and increase your risk of getting a UTI, which is why it’s important to use lubricant during sex. In addition, you should make sure to pee before and after sex because urinating helps flush the bacteria from the urethra. Women also have an increased risk of developing a UTI because their urethra is shorter and closer to the anus than in men. In addition, women who have a vaginal gynecologic condition, use a diaphragm or spermicide for birth control, or are going through menopause have an increased risk of infection.

Taking antibiotics shortly after unprotected sex can help prevent some STIs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea. A recent study showed that taking doxycycline within 72 hours after unprotected sex effectively cut chlamydia cases in men and women who participated in the study. However, the same antibiotics didn’t have the same effect on gonorrhea and syphilis.

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Chlamydia

Chlamydia (the bacteria that cause it) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It spreads through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex. It also can spread from a woman to her baby during childbirth. Chlamydia can be difficult to detect because it usually doesn’t cause symptoms. This is why it’s important to get tested. Infections with chlamydia can lead to serious reproductive health problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Your doctor will swab the inside of your urethra (the tube urine comes out of) in men or the cervix in women to test for the infection. Then, they’ll give you antibiotics to treat it. You’ll need to abstain from sex for seven days after taking the antibiotics, and for three months afterwards to prevent spreading the infection to your partner.

Once you’ve finished the course of antibiotics, you should get retested for chlamydia. You’ll also need to tell all your partners about the results, so they can get tested and treated, too. And remember, all folks who were in contact with you during the time you had chlamydia should abstain from sex until they’ve completed their course of treatment. This is to help reduce the chances of re-infection. And they should get retested for chlamydia again in 3 months to make sure the infection is gone, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

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Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

STIs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are infections that can spread between partners during vaginal, oral or anal sex. STIs are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites and can lead to serious health problems if not treated properly. Millions of STIs, including chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea and syphilis, are diagnosed every year. Some STIs are curable. Others are not, such as herpes and genital papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause cancer of the cervix or penis. STIs can also increase the risk of getting HIV, which can be fatal.

Symptoms of STIs can include itching around the vulva or anal area, discharge from the urethra or cervix or on the penis, painful urination and blood in the urine for women, and a reddish or brown bump on the penis for men. If you think you have a STI, talk to your healthcare provider right away. They may examine you, take a sample from your skin sores or from your vagina or penis, or give you a test.

Once you have a diagnosis, follow your treatment plan exactly. Don’t have sex until your antibiotics are finished and your symptoms have cleared, even if you are using condoms. You should also tell your partner(s) and ask them to get tested. They should also use safer sex precautions, like using condoms and avoiding unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex.

Antibiotics

A number of studies have found that taking a single dose of antibiotics, usually doxycycline, shortly after condomless sex can help prevent the spread of certain STIs. This is known as doxycycline post-exposure prophylaxis, or doxyPEP. The antibiotic works by stopping bacteria from reproducing, and it has been proven effective against chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea. Almost all of the research has been done with gay men, who have multiple sexual partners and don’t use condoms, so it isn’t clear whether this strategy would work for other people.

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However, doctors don’t typically recommend using doxyPEP to prevent STIs because it can lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to doxycycline. This could mean that doxycycline will no longer be effective against the same infections in the future, and it may increase the risk of getting other bacterial infections.

Many women who have BV are confused about when it’s safe to resume sexual activity after treatment. Bacterial vaginosis is caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina, and antibiotics are often prescribed to treat it. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and complete the full course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection is fully treated. After the medication is done, you can resume sexual activity as long as you don’t have any symptoms and your partner has had a negative STI test.

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