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UTIs are not sexually transmitted
First things first: urinary tract infections (UTIs) are not a type of sexually transmitted infection (STI). This means that they are not passed from person to person through sexual contact.
Instead, UTIs are caused by foreign bacteria––most often E. coli––that enter the urinary tract system through the urethral opening and cause an infection. A UTI can affect any part of the urogenital tract, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
Therefore, you cannot contract a UTI from a sexual partner, nor can you transmit the infection to others. However, this does not mean you should refrain from using contraception during sex, as unprotected sex still leaves you vulnerable to a range of STIs as well as pregnancy.
Being sexually active can increase your risk of a UTI
Sexual activity can increase the risk of developing a UTI, especially in women. This is because the female urethra is shorter than in males, reducing the distance pathogens must travel in order to reach the rest of the urinary tract. During sex, foreign bacteria can enter through the urethra and cause an infection.
You can mitigate the risk by staying hydrated and making sure to urinate after sex. This will help your urinary tract flush out any harmful bacteria that may be present.
In addition, make sure to always use a barrier method of contraception––such as condoms––to prevent STI transmission. Contracting any type of STI can leave you more vulnerable to developing further infections, such as UTIs and yeast infections, as STIs often damage healthy bacteria in the vagina. These microorganisms are collectively referred to as the vaginal microbiome, and help protect you from pathogens and prevent overgrowth of harmful yeast and bacteria.
You’re not alone
Bottom line: unprotected sex still has many risks
Even though having unprotected sex will not increase your chance of developing a UTI more than having sex with protection, it still carries the risk of STI transmission and pregnancy. Unprotected sex increases your risk of contracting an STI, which can damage your vagina’s natural defense mechanisms.
Preventing UTIs after sex
In order to avoid getting UTIs after unprotected sex, you can consider taking a D Mannose+ Booster which is a supplement capsule that supports urinary tract health with a combination of D-mannose, cranberry, antioxidants, and electrolytes. The capsule works when you’re most at risk in order to provide extra support – after intercourse, after a long flight, after exercise, or when dehydrated – and flush or cleanse your urinary tract. You can get it from Ease here.