I Kept Getting UTIs After Sex

By Juliet R.

5 mins

I distinctly remember my first UTI. It was an isolated incident that happened long before my year of hell that saw me through nine or ten. I like to think of it as the time when I was gloriously unaware that UTIs after sex were really a thing.

I had a boyfriend who worked nights so finding moments to shag could be difficult. On this occasion we had sex three times at intervals during the night and I was basically asleep – that type of dreamy, warm copulation that is closely followed by more slumber.

Needless to say, I did not bother going to the toilet. No Sir, it was straight back to sleep for me.

“The next day I awoke busting to pee, but upon urination found that I was still BUSTING! So uncomfortable, and so weird.”

I went straight to the doctor, he informed me I had contracted a UTI due to my failure to clear my urethra of bacteria after sex.

Ok got it: always pee immediately after I have sex. He then issued me with a single pill.

It was like some wondrous, fairytale magic. That was that, no blood, no more discomfort – just done and dusted.

 

UTIs After Sex – When It Really Kicked In

Years later all was forgotten, including my shift working boyfriend, and I found myself in another relationship with a man who could literally go for hours.

We’re brought up to believe this is the ultimate quality in a lover but apparently excessive friction coupled with a short and narrow urethra does not equate to the best sex of your life – to the contrary this was arguably the worst year of my life.

“I began to realise that every time I had sex, I would get another UTI. UTIs after sex had officially become my modus operandi and post coital intimacy had been replaced by me sitting on a toilet trying to force a decent stream of urine from my body.”

I couldn’t help but wonder why it was happening in this relationship and not others? I’d been in long term relationships and had never had this ongoing problem.

Was my boyfriend carrying bacteria that was reinfecting me each time we had sex? Was something happening in my own body that was causing some kind of imbalance in my urinary tract?

Strangely, my boyfriend’s housemate also began to experience recurrent UTIs. That got me thinking about the environment in their share house, or their drinking water or possibly my boyfriend’s fidelity! It seemed like way too much of a coincidence for this to be happening to both of us at the same time.

 

Antibiotics Didn’t Stop The UTIs After Sex

I was blasting through UTI after UTI and countless courses of antibiotics, resulting in an eventual prescription for prophylactic antibiotics to be taken twice a day for two months, just in case…

“UTIs must follow Murphy’s law because goddamn is there ever a worse time to get one than when they turn up? ‘Hi, it’s me! I thought I’d drop by. I know it’s 11pm on a Sunday night before a public holiday but I just had to come!’.”

During this year of my life they came in blood splattered, painful waves as I went from after hours doctor to after hours doctor, trying to work out WTF was going on!?

I never presented any UTI symptoms that my regular doctor or pathology could pick up on and every urine culture test I did came back negative. This was probably due to the fact pathology was only open in normal business hours – by which time I had already taken antibiotics. I also know now how inaccurate urine tests can be.

I was assured by my own doctor that women “just got them.”

I became “that person” – Googling and Googling, and trying absolutely EVERYTHING. Spoonfuls of cream of tartar, tea made from cornsilk, cranberries coming out my wazoo and nothing… No relief, no end in sight, just stress, while the weight dropped off me.

 

The Day I Had A UTI Related Run-In With The Police

I’m sure the weight thing sounds good to some, but this was extreme. I had given up sugar due to it being a Life Coach to bacteria, and I was literally climbing the walls.

“I was afraid, terrified that there was no escape and most definitely no definitive answer to why the hell this was happening. Would I suffer from UTIs after sex for the rest of my life?”

I was eventually referred to a urologist who told me he’d take a look inside my bladder to see if anything else was happening. He also told me that after the procedure many women never have another UTI, as the camera can enlarge the urethra, thereby not allowing it to further clog with nasty bacteria.

Yay, I thought, as I felt another infection rear its ugly head as I sat in his office. He also told me that his wife drank aloe vera juice (packed with sugar in its readily available form) to sooth the inflamed area.

At this stage I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the ridiculousness of it all. I wondered whether he usually gave his patients this kind of advice, and whether I should have just spoken to his wife directly.

I left with a prescription for prophylactic antibiotics, tears in my eyes and a searing pain in my crotch… Running to the chemist, desperate to fill the script, desperate to pee, desperate to see the end and find a cure.

“As I clawed my antibiotics from their foil wrappers, clutching my bottle of sickly sweet aloe juice, I was questioned by police. Clearly they saw the desperation in my eyes, my weight loss and a persona of anything less than stable. I was a junkie, an antibiotic junkie.”

Between the prophylactic antibiotics, the invasive bladder inspection and the breakup of my relationship, my UTIs after sex stopped, for a time, for a time…

I have had one since, years after sex had stopped causing me anxiety, and yes, it was late in the evening the night before a public holiday in my slightly provincial home town.

The eye roll I gave the pharmacist who suggested Ural, a urinary alkalinizer, has actually gone down in history. I nearly pulled a muscle in both optic nerves.

I’d just had sex with a new partner, reinforcing my own newly developed theory that there are some men that I am just not compatible with on some basic biological, bacterial level. Swipe left, move along, body says no.

 

What I Learned About UTIs After Sex

They sometimes refer to UTIs as “honeymooners syndrome”. Historically women became sexually active on their honeymoons.

There was probably already a mixture of fear and trepidation, but then the added embarrassment of showing your new husband that you needed to use the toilet, may have been enough to leave many new brides with a desperately full bladder and bacterial growth flourishing.

New relationships encounter these same problems too. In this last instance the toilet was next to the bedroom and the door did not close, so I was less than enthusiastic about issuing the powerful jet of urine that might have saved me.

Fortunately for me, I knew a lot more about UTIs after sex, thanks to the diligent and constant study and questioning of this site. I immediately recognised what was happening. I was uncomfortable but I managed to flush it out before it developed into the splatter fest, recurring carnage of my previous experiences.

If there was one thing I’d pass on to other sufferers of UTIs after sex, or recurrent UTIs in general, it’s to not accept it when you’re told it’s just the way you are, or when you’re offered remedies you don’t believe have validity.

Do your own research and keep track of your symptoms; consider whether your partner may be contributing to the issue, and whether it makes sense for both of you to be tested.

UTIs after sex are so incredibly common, it would have been great to learn more about them during sex ed at school. Imagine if everyone fully understood the role sex can play in the UTI department, so that peeing after sex was just the norm?

Maybe then we wouldn’t be terrified when we experience that first UTI. Maybe we’d have some idea how to handle it, and so would our partners.

 

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Comments

Azusena says:

Hello,

In the past year, I have become less sexually active as I was before because of the fear of the pain that comes with it. However, when I do engage in sex, I ALWAYS get a UTI, without fail. I cannot remember the last time I did not get one after sex, even though I take as much preventative care as possible – I wash before and after sex, pee immediately after sex, drink lots of water, etc.

I have been dealing with this for years and I do have 2 diagnoses ( IC and Hi-Tone Pelvic Floor Dysfunction). However, I have reasons to doubt that they are the real cause.

Do you have any advice on ways to improve this or avoid UTI’s after sex?

Hi Azusena, finding a practitioner who specializes in recurrent UTI may be helpful. We also have more information on our site regarding UTI testing, treatment and chronic infection, if you’d like to learn more. Melissa

Kidda says:

Hello.
Reading your post was like looking at my own history, and it rings so close to home. I do have a question you may be able to answer. I have been with the same partner for 4 years now and only recently have I begun to have UTIs with them. I really love this partner and I dont want to be afraid to have sex with them.
I’m also starting to have the problem that even if I pee after sex I still get a UTI.
I know you can relate but I dont think I can handle another UTI, they haunt you in everything you do. I curse at my body for being this way when I do everything I can to ensure I dont get one.
Do you have any advice as a chronic sufferer yourself?

Hi Kidda, many recurrent UTI sufferers have told us that finding the right practitioner was a turning point for them. If you’re considering finding a UTI specialist, we may be able to share some helpful information. You can send us a direct message if you’re interested. Melissa

Priscilla says:

I loved the last 2 paragraphs (especially). I wish sex ed at school was realistic when i was “taught” and that first uti i got. Well that was when i got raped by a cousin and apart from the trauma i endured, i also got a uti. I just sat in the shower for a looooooong time but didn’t pee. Thanks so much for writing this. It’s helpful and gave me female strength.

Hi Priscilla, I’m so sorry to hear you experienced that. There are many things sex ed doesn’t prepare anyone for – females and males included. We’re hoping to help change this. If you ever have any questions, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa

Lucinda says:

Hiya,
I’m currently in agony, counting down the minutes until my doctors appointment to finally get some relief. I’m the same – constant UTIs after sex. I got them after every time with my last partner but with my current partner they seem to be less frequent. I’m so fed up and honestly beginning to feel depressed by it. No doctor has an answer!?!
This is all made worst by the fact that I am also now pregnant so can only take certain types of antibiotics. Please suggest something apart from abstinence because right now that seems to be my only option.

Hi Lucinda, sorry to hear you’re going through that. Can you send us a direct message with a little more info, so we know what resources may be helpful? Melissa

Rebecca Weinman says:

Where is the solution?? I just read all that and there was no mention of what was causing the post-sex UTIs or how you got rid of them?! Unless it was that it’s partner-specific?

Hi Rebecca, in Juliet’s case, she believed it was likely to have been partner specific. Having said that, the cause of UTIs is different for each individual, and we have a lot of information on our site about testing, treatment and home remedies, if you’d like to read it. Melissa

Bathsheba says:

Hi I been getting uti after sex with my husband hysterectomy in 2015 try different antibiotics nothing works see a urologist please help thank you

Hi Bathsheba, can you send us a direct message and let us know where you’re based, so we can share any resources that may be useful? Melissa

Michelle says:

I get frequent UTIs from sex. Gram negative klebsiella pneumoniae was in the urinalysis. Antibiotics don’t seem to be working. Suggestions?

Hi Michelle, you might like to read our information about chronic vs recurrent UTI, and recurrent UTI treatment. If you have any questions, you can send us a direct message. Melissa

Akins says:

Reading your write up got me bursting with laughter.

My question is, can partners who are both UTI free both contact UTI infection as a result of excessive/frequent sex?

Hi Akins, I’m glad you liked the story, Juliet has a way with words :). If a UTI is caused by foreign bacteria ascending the urinary tract, it is possible that these bacteria came from any body part or object in close proximity to the urethra during sex. Bacteria that are found naturally on the skin, for example, may not be healthy for the urinary tract. There are many theories around UTIs and sex, and we’ll keep publishing new research as we find it. Melissa

Abby says:

Hi! I have never had a UTI prior to my current relationship. We started having sex practically daily since Feb 22, 2019 but I never experienced my first UTI (99% sure from the sex) until Mar 23, 2019. Now, I get them every two weeks, usually right after we have sex! He’s uncircumcised, so do you think that may be contributing? I’ve had raw intercourse with other men and have NEVER had an issue. I keep the same hygiene practice as always, but it just keeps coming back and I’m beyond confused. I’m sick of going through the same motions and just want to be normal 24/7 again.

Hi Abby, we haven’t seen any studies into a link between circumcision and UTIs, so we can’t comment on that. You might like to read the section on sex and UTIs in this article. There is also new research into the link between sex and UTI, that we hope to see published very soon. Melissa

Damianos says:

From a Male, I have a few questions. I have a Friend Girl we see each other not all that often. We both are extremely clean. Maybe we should shower and brush right before being intimate and not let it lag but she usually get get a UTI after we have been intimate. When we are we are intimate for a good hour non-stop, orally and intercourse. Anything I can do as a male to help prevent any bacterial transfer from me to her. It hurts to see her this way, just because of me. From any type of soap or mouthwash. I am all ears, Well in this case Eyes

Hi Damianos, we have some information about UTI prevention, and UTI home remedies, which you may like to read. It might also be helpful to check out the sex and chronic UTI section of this article. If you have any questions, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa

Sarah Lansdell says:

Hi Denise.

Finally! An article that gets me! I was so relieved to find this and came across it as I woke up this morning, more symptoms, desperate I would find a new answer!

I have battled with Chronic UTIs and Cysitis for the past 10 years. I have spent hundreds if not thousands on dr appointments, specialists and antibiotics, drank gallons of cranberry and ural and I man still trying to figure it all out.

I am also on a combination of D Mannose, cranberry and probiotics which tend to help and have reduced the UTIs. As suggested by a urologist. However I believe friction, not urinating after sex or not showering before sex all contribute.

I would love to read any material you have come across that helps or is discovering any way to help avoid these awful infections!

Hi Sarah, if you haven’t already, you may like to read our information on UTI testing, and recurrent UTI treatment. And if you have any questions, you can always get in touch directly. Melissa

Sophie says:

Hey I’m 26 have suffered with utis since I began having sex at 16. I suffered terrible at 16 and was getting UTI nearly every other time I had sex. I went through a few years where I thought I’d found a system where I could avoid them. Drinking pints of water before sex and then peeing afterwards always making sure myself and partner had showered. I’m now 26 and this last year it burns when I urinate every single time. My bladder feels swollen and I drink so much water to the point I’m shivering. Went to gynaecologist who prescribed me with nitro furantoin to take close to intercourse it works sometimes but not always. Would you recommend seeing a urologist?

Hi Sophie, sorry to hear you’re experiencing that. Many people say finding a practitioner with experience diagnosing and treating recurrent UTI was the key to helping them find answers. If you reach out to us directly we can share more info. Susy

Amelia Collins says:

I’ve had 2 UTIs in the past month from sex, never had one previously so came as a shock. As a uni student most of my friends have had a uti so explained the importance of seeing after sex. I went home for the holidays and found myself w the symptoms again after having a bath- urine culture negative though so I stopped taking antibiotics. Still have the symptoms but more calm since cutting out caffeine so hopefully I’m on the way up!

Hi Amelia, I hope you keep improving! If you have any questions, you can always write to us directly. Melissa

DENISE LOPEZ says:

I’m on prophylactic antibiotics and still get a uti once a week after the once a week sex with my husband. I’ve had a cystoscopy and CT but they still have no answers. My gyno thinks a hysterectomy will help. I don’t know what to do but I need help. I’m sick all the time!

Hi Denise, can you send us a direct message with more info on where you’re based, so we can share any resources via email? Melissa

Lena says:

I pee before and after intercourses and it’s not helping. I think that it is because I pee before it and when it is time to pee after it there’s not enough pee to flush out the bacteria. I’ve been with my husband for 10 years and this happens every once in a while( even before him with other partners) but it I has been happening a lot lately. I can’t stand it anymore! Should I just reserve the pee to afterwards instead of before and after?

Hi Lena, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence around peeing before or after sex. It’s more of a theory, and some people find one or the other or both helps, while others don’t. We can’t recommend a particular approach. There are other things you may want to look into and we’ve covered many aspects of recurrent UTI on our site. You can also send us a direct message if you have questions after checking out our other information. Melissa

Ania Komorowski says:

I got a fluke UTI in 2016 and had lots of sex issue free since then. Enter dream boat best relationship of my life in 2018 and UTI after UTI a total of 4 back to back within the span of a few months. I discovered d-mannose, and as long as I take that religiously I’m fine. However, I’d like to get to the root cause. What could my boyfriend be contributing to the mix here? He was tested for STDs as per usual and came back clean. He’s a keeper and I can’t even imagine not being with him as I’ve already gone through a divorce. Hopefully I can find some answers here.

Hi Ania, I got your other messages too, and will wait for you to get in touch directly with some more info, so I can share any resources that may be helpful. Melissa

Devon says:

Could I get these resources as well? Ania’s story is 100% my exact situation too. Thanks!

Hi Devon, if you send us a message directly we can share more info. Susy

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