Can Semen Cause Urinary Tract Infections in Women?

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are infections found in any part of the urinary system, including the kidney, ureters, bladder and urethra. The infection is incredibly common, accounting for nearly 25% of all infections, with 50-60% of women at risk of developing a UTI in their lifetime. 

A common misconception regarding UTIs is that sperm can lead directly to an infection. While sexual activity may increase the risk of a UTI, sperm itself is not to blame for the spreading of bacteria. Both men and women can develop a UTI, but infections are more prevalent in women due to their anatomy. 

For most women, UTIs begin in the bladder or urethra. Bacteria located near the anus can be shifted toward a woman’s urethra during intercourse or sexual activity. Once introduced to the urethra, bacteria looks for any opportunity it can to grow, traveling into the urinary tract if not treated early. Men experiencing a UTI can transmit bacteria to their partner, as urine and sperm both travel out of the urethra. However, the chance of this happening is extremely low. 

Common signs and symptoms of UTIs include:

  • Strong urges to urinate. 
  • Frequent urination. 
  • A burning sensation when urinating. 
  • Cloudy or strong-smelling urine. 
  • Urine that is red or bright pink in appearance – a sign of blood in the urine. 
  • Women’s pelvic pain. 

However, not all UTIs are linked to sexual activity. Risk factors for UTI development also include: certain forms of birth control, urinary tract blockage, catheter use, immune system deficiencies, recent urinary surgery or procedures, as well as menopause. 

While one out of two people will get a UTI at some point in their life, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk

Steps to Take for UTI Prevention:

  • Daily hydration – drink  1 ounce of water per kilogram of body weight.
  • Urinate frequently and always wipe from front to back.
  • Consume cranberry vitamins, d-Mannose or Vitamin C.
  • Use vaginal lubricants. 
  • Consider a new form of birth control. 
  • Urinate soon after sexual activity. 
  • Avoid irritating feminine products. 

Are you suffering from a urinary tract infection? Contact a doctor today!

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