Since sex is the main trigger for UTI, you probably wonder if you could pass a UTI to your partner?
The answer is “not likely”, but let’s examine this further.
First of all, congrats on feeling better, I assume? When I used to have my UTIs I definitely didn’t think about sex.
Since you are wondering if you could pass a UTI to your partner, you must feel better!
Check out this collection of 9 products to jump-start your UTI-prevention strategy.
Could You Pass A UTI To Your Partner?
First, let’s go over the basics. Urinary tract infections happen in the urinary tract: urethra and bladder. However, mechanism of the pathogen transmission often includes sexual organs.
So if we break down the problem we have a three-part question:
1. Can pathogenic bacteria from an infected urinary tract travel to someone else’s urinary tract during sex?
This is quite unlikely, regardless of which partner (male or female) has a UTI.
2. Can pathogenic bacteria from an infected urinary tract travel to your partner’s sexual organ during sex?
Could happen, regardless of which partner has a UTI, during unprotected sex.
3. Can pathogenic bacteria from any body part of any partner travel to any other partner’s urethra?
Much more likely regardless of whether you have or not have an acute UTI. That’s just how UTI happens!
This Is How UTI Happens
- E.coli bacteria cause 90% of all UTIs.
- These bacteria live in your intestines and (consequently) are present in your poop and on your genitals.
- If there are too many of them, they could be easily carried out toward urethra during sex to cause a UTI.
- Location, location, location! It’s unfortunate that women’s clitoris is right next to urethra. And for guys, the urethra is, obviously is in the penis. Both organs are frequently used during sex.
- Every time you introduce pathogenic bacteria in your urethra, there is a chance that you could contract a UTI.
Can Female Pass A UTI To A Healthy Male Partner?
Good news: it is highly unlikely that a female could pass a UTI to her male partner.
First of all, if you are a male, it is very unlikely that you are ever going to experience a UTI regardless whether your female partner has them or not.
In order for a man to get a UTI a lot of things need to go wrong.
Man’s urethra is at least 4 times longer than female’s, therefore it is so much harder for pathogenic bacteria to reach the bladder.
Moreover, if a female has a UTI, most likely her vaginal flora has been misbalanced for a while.
This means that pathogenic bacteria have been growing in her vagina and eventually reached the urethra, causing a UTI.
And this would not happen overnight.
Chances are her vaginal flora has been compromised with the pathogenic bacteria long before the first UTI symptoms.
Bottom line, if you are female, you will not pass a UTI to your otherwise healthy male partner.
Can A Guy With UTI Pass It To His Female Partner?
Logically speaking, If you are a male with a urinary tract infection, you could potentially introduce some bacteria causing UTIs to your female partner’s vagina.
Your sperm travels exactly through the same route as your urine does, and some of the bacteria could be still in your urethra.
However, if you just started your antibiotics, it means your urethra and bladder probably do not have much active pathogenic bacteria.
Even if there are traces of pathogenic bacteria in your urethra, we can speculate that it would not be more than she has on her own genitals at any given time.
Moreover, regardless of where E.coli come from (her own anus or your urethra), it’s up to your girlfriend’s vagina how to expel the pathogenic bacteria.
If the vaginal flora is compromised, the pathogen could “establish a base” in the vagina and will wait till an opportunity presents itself to reach female’s urethra and trigger a UTI.
A healthy vaginal flora (check out this supplement that could help support balanced flora), on the other hand, is not hospitable to pathogenic bacteria.
Also, keep in mind, if a guy has a UTI, he could experience a very painful ejaculation.
Using the words of one of the UTI sufferers “ejaculation feels like my penis is on fire on the inside”.
So perhaps, it is better to wait 3-5 days till antibiotics help you to get rid of the infection and the inflammation.
Can Female Pass a UTI to Another Female?
Can one of you pass a UTI to your partner if both are females? Unlikely.
Rather than worrying that pathogenic bacteria will make the whole way from one urethra to another, it’s more important to not share toys, and even yet more important to separate anal and vaginal toys.
Can Men Pass a UTI to Each Other?
As discussed above, an otherwise healthy male doesn’t normally have to worry about a UTI triggered by sex.
That’s correct, you don’t have to worry about passing a UTI to your partner, but do worry about safe anal sex practices.
And even more important, make sure to pee frequently during the day and get your prostate checked regularly, since these are the main factors that increase your risk of UTI, not sex alone.
However, if you do have repeated UTIs and practice unprotected anal sex, most likely after all other possibilities are ruled out, your doctor would suggest you to start using a condom.
Oral Sex And UTI
Researchers have a different outlook on the matter of UTI and oral sex.
Some consider that it is impossible to contract a UTI during oral sex, others point out that strep throat in male-to-female oral sex resulted in increased co-colonization with group B strep.
And while the jury is still out, I personally think it is, aesthetically unpleasant and definitely a turn off if your partner is going down on you while suffering from a sinus infection, sore throat, inflamed tonsils or stinky decaying teeth.
Ask Your Doctor When In Doubt
And the last cautionary note: while E.coli causes majority (80-85%) of UTIs, Chlamydia or trichomoniasis could also cause UTI-like symptoms.
Various bacteria and microorganisms including even fungal organisms (such as Candida species) are responsible for the rest of the infections.
All things considered, while the chances are low to pass a UTI to your partner, it is always better to consult a physician or take a test to confirm the diagnosis before engaging in unprotected sex.
And even if both of you are healthy at the moment, one of you could pass pathogenic bacteria to another (or yourself) during sex by simply moving the bacteria from the area of your anus toward your own urethra.
Regardless of whether you decide on perpetual celibacy or engage in a risky endeavor called “sex”, here are things to remember:
1. Be smart about which contraception methods you use. Certain contraception methods could affect your chances of contracting a UTI
2. Take preventive measures
3. Know other UTI risk factors