Can urinary tract infections affect your sex life?

Infections in your intimate area are no easy task to deal with. But can it have an effect on your sex life too?

Is it risky to have sex when you have urinary tract infections?
© Patcharanan Worrapatchareeroj GETTY_IMAGES
Is it risky to have sex when you have urinary tract infections?

Infections in the intimate area should not be taken lightly. Cystitis and mycosis are some of the most unpleasant ones. However, not serious in the beginning they can get uncomfortable fast when left untreated. They raise many questions, particularly concerning sexual health.

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How do I know if I have a urinary infection?

According to Mayo Clinic, cystitis is caused by a bacterium naturally present in the body: ‘escherichia coli’. It is harmless when it is in the intestines and around the anus. However, because of the friction during sex, it can sometimes travel up the urethra to the bladder. This is when you are likely to get a UTI.

The symptoms of urinary infection are unpleasant: frequent urination, burning sensation, stomach ache and pain in the kidneys. When you feel the first symptoms, do not hesitate to go and see your doctor who will give you an appropriate treatment. The infection goes away in about two days.

Are urinary tract infections contagious?

Cystitis is not a sexually transmitted infection therefore it is not contagious. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may not feel like it, and you don't have to feel guilty about that. Gynaecologist Joelle Robion mentions to Le Journal des Femmes that ‘there is no advantage to using a condom for cystitis’ when both partners have had all the necessary tests. Beware, however, that a urinary infection can also be linked to certain sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia. In this case, a condom must be used.

To avoid the risk of cystitis as much as possible, remember to go to the toilet after each intercourse, but also to drink enough water every day. This will flush out the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.

What are the symptoms of a yeast infection?

Vaginal mycosis is caused by a fungus called ‘candida albicans’ that is already present in your body. It can cause irritation if there is a disturbance in the flora. According to a study carried out by Passeport Santé, three out of four women will have a fungal infection at least once in their lives. It is therefore very common, but also very unpleasant.

The symptoms are itching, irritation and unusual discharge. Although it is unpleasant, it is also very treatable. Your doctor will probably give you an ovum to insert into your vagina in the evening with an associated cream to apply.

The right things to do to avoid getting a yeast infection are quite simple:

  • Avoid washing the vagina with aggressive products so as not to unbalance the pH.
  • Avoid synthetic underwear and clothing that is too tight.

The fungus can also be triggered by taking antibiotics, however, there's not much you can do about that.

Is it possible to have sex with a yeast infection?

Like cystitis, yeast infection is not contagious. Sex and fungus are therefore not compatible. However, as with a urinary tract infection, the discomfort and pain you may experience can affect your libido. If you still feel like it, you should make sure you lubricate well, otherwise, the irritation may be even more uncomfortable.

You can also use a condom to prevent the PH of the sperm from further altering the vaginal flora. Having cystitis or fungus does not mean that you are dirty. It happens to almost all women: 75% will have a mycosis during their lifetime according to the Geneva Foundation for Medical Training and Research. Do not hesitate to consult with your physician. The sooner they are treated, the faster you feel better!

This article is translated from Oh!MyMag FR.

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