Granted, you might not really be ~in the mood~ when you're dealing with a UTI, but if opportunity knocks, should you?

By By Isadora Baum
Photo: Giphy

If you have a UTI, your entire lady-part region probably hurts. Still, you might find yourself with the urge. But can you have sex with a UTI, or is it unsafe?

UTI 101

Just to clarify, "a UTI (urinary tract infection) is caused by bacteria (usually E. coli, sometimes other strains) that infects the urinary tract-urethra, bladder, even the kidneys," says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an ob-gyn in New York City. "Many UTIs are caused by sexual activity because, for women, the urethra (where urine exits the bladder) is in close physical proximity to the anus/rectum (where you have a bowel movement), and this area is heavily colonized with bacteria. During thrusting of intercourse, this bacteria can contaminate and infect the bladder," says Dr. Dweck. Yuck. (Psst, you know you're interested: 12 Anal Sex Facts from an Insider)

The good news is, if you have a UTI, antibiotics will clear up the infection. Plus, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid UTIs in the future, such as peeing before and after sex, drinking plenty of fluids, and even exercise, says Dr. Dweck. (Here's more on how to prevent UTIs.) But it's always best to get checked by your gyno if you have recurrent UTIs or think you could be dealing with something else.

So, can you have sex with a UTI or not?

The simplest answer: It's ok to have sex with a UTI, but you probably won't like it.

You probably want to skip sex until the infection is totally gone, says Dr. Dweck. While there's no real risk to your health (or your partner's) by having sex with a UTI or having sex during UTI treatment, it's probably going to hurt like hell. Engaging in intercourse could be anything from uncomfortable to downright painful, and it could even worsen some symptoms, says Dr. Dweck. (P.S. did you know a new sexual partner could mess with your vagina?)

"Physically, the bladder and urethra might be inflamed and very sensitive with a UTI, and the friction from intercourse or other sexual activity would surely aggravate these symptoms," she says. You may experience increased feelings of pressure, sensitivity, and urgency to urinate if you have sex with a UTI, she adds.

With all that to deal with-plus the pain-just the thought of having sex with a UTI might be a total mood killer. Regardless, your best bet is to go to the doc, get an antibiotic (if needed), and wait until the coast is clear.

"Most people will feel better in 24 to 48 hours, but you should finish whatever course of treatment is recommended," says Dr. Dweck. Plenty of fluids to "flush bacteria out" can also help. "There are also over-the-counter and prescription remedies that will help ease discomfort while waiting for treatment to take effect," she says.

Bottom line: You should probably wait to have sex until you feel better. And let's be honest, sex, when you're not feeling 100 percent means less than stellar pleasure, anyway. (What is going to lead to amazing sex? This: The Best Sex Positions for Clitoral Stimulation)

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