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UTI Symptoms and Condoms: Myth Busted

UTI or the urinary tract infection is closely related to sexual activity and the contraceptives we use. It is easy to associate UTI symptoms with condom usage. Here is a closer look at the situation.

UTI is a genuine concern among people, especially among women.

The female population is always at a risk of developing UTI because of the E. coli bacteria present in the vagina.

Furthermore, the spermicide makes the danger of infection grow more.

What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)? 

A urinary tract infection is an infection in the urinary tract area.

It can effect kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.

The doctor will use antibiotics to cure this disease. However, if the infection spreads and affect kidney, it will require a professional medication.

This is why it is important to understand the symptoms of the infection initially.

What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) 

Most of the time, people tend to ignore the signs of urinary tract infection, thinking that the symptoms will go away.

The cause of UTI is a bacterial infection. Being sexually active increases your risk of having UTI. Having multiple sex partners increases the risk too.

Other reasons that can make you prone to the infection include,

  • If you are a diabetic

  • The genetics are responsible as well. The shape of urethra can lead to frequent infection.

  • Hormone change

  • Kidney stone

  • Menopause

Other reason that can lead to UTI is using certain contraceptives. Actually, it is not the method of contraceptive but the thing it is made of. If it is latex, then it can easily lead to infection.

Also Read: Why is it bad for your Health to Rely on Birth Control Pills?

Why is it bad for your Health to Rely on Birth Control Pills?


Can condoms cause UTI Symptoms?

Here is a fact- it’s not the condom that causes urinary tract infection, but the lube used in it. Another fact- you may develop UTI even if you don’t use condom or any contraceptive.

The intercourse itself leads to UTI in women. And if you are using spermicides, then you are definitely welcoming the disease with open hand.

The Nonoxynol-9 used in condoms is the reason that condoms are infamous for spreading urinary tract infection.

It kills the lactobacilli present in your vagina to keep in that keeps it in proper health.

Therefore, it will put you in a dangerous spot of being infected and re-infected by the E. coli bacteria.

Can condoms cause UTI Symptoms

You would want to switch to a condom that does not use lube or a lube that does not cause UTI to play safe against the infection.

You should use a condom that is not coated with spermicide. According to studies, people who were using spermicide condoms were on a much higher risk of being diagnosed with UTI than those who were using some other contraceptive method.

But don’t be paranoid about the condom usage. It is a great way of contraception and prevents STDs as well.

You just need to switch your condom type.

But how does spermicide promote UTI? Actually, spermicides are studied to have accelerated the growth of the E.coli bacteria that causes the urinary tract infection.

This will help the bacteria to multiply in numbers in the vagina, and you will be prone to develop UTI even more.

OK, this was about what in the condom leads to the infection. Now, what about sex?

How does having sex lead to UTI?

Even if you are not using the condom, how are you still at risk of UTI?

The answer is not hard. The research suggests that the E. coli bacteria causes about 90% of the urinary tract infections. And these bacteria is found around your anus, gut, and vagina.

You see, the clitoral, urethra and the anus lie close to each other. So, if the vaginal juice spreads out, it can easily travel to these places and cause infection.

So, it is important to maintain your vagina’s health. Keep your vagina clean so that it does not build a friendly environment for the bacteria to live and grow in.

How does having sex lead to UTI

A healthy vagina will not let the bacteria grow and even kick out the harmful elements from the infecting the organs.

In fact, oral and anal sex can also lead to infection.

Other reasons that you are having frequent UTI maybe related to constipation, menopause, blockage in urinary tract, urinary surgery and weak immune system.

If you have been infected more than 2 or 3 times in a month or even a year, you should consult your doctor to receive a proper medical check up.

Persistent bacterial infection can spread up to your kidney and infect it as well, causing serious health issues.

UTI Symptoms

If you are having these symptoms, you should consult your doctor as it can be an indicator of UTI:

  • Pain or burning while urinating

  • Frequent urge to urinate

  • Pink or brown color urine

UTI Symptoms

  • Spot of blood in urine

  • Pain in vaginal bone

  • Foul smell urine

  • Cloudy urine

What can I do to prevent UTI?

You can prevent the bacteria from infecting your urinary tract by taking some precaution and following some guidelines.

It might not be possible to completely prevent the infection, but you can still take some healthy steps to keep it away as much as possible.

  • Drink water. Drinking lots of fluid will help you flush harmful elements from the body.

What can I do to prevent UTI

  • When you come from the shower, wipe your genitals from front to back. This will avoid spreading the bacteria from the anus to the genitals.

  • Do not hold your pee. This will only make you more prone to the infection.

  • Pee before and after sex. Urinating before and after having sex will help you get rid of you bacteria and infection.

The bottom line

Condoms are feared to diagnose a person with urinary tract infection. However, it is not the condom, but the material used in it that spreads the infection.

Some condoms are coated with spermicide or another lube. This causes the existing bacteria E. coli in the vagina to spread and develop urinary tract infection.

You can switch to a condom that does not use lube or have lubes that don’t promote UTI.

Other than that, you can follow some preventions to keep yourself away from the possibility of developing an infection.

You should use a contraceptive method to have protected sex and avoid unplanned pregnancy.

Further Reading:

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