A Urinary Tract Infection :
It is very common for women of all ages to get infections in their urethrathe tube that carries urine from your bladder to the porcelain container. UTIs happen when bacteria or other agents like viruses or fungi get into your urethra, bladder or kidneysusually starting in your urethraand cause an infection.This can happen by wiping the wrong way, or wearing thongs that transfer bacteria from the anus to the urethra .
Sex can cause a UTI, because sexual intercourse can help push bacteria into the urethra. But having sex doesnt guarantee that you will get a UTI. There are preventative measures that can be taken when engaging in sexual activity that can help reduce your risk of getting a UTI.
- Pee before and after sex
- Stay hydrated to help rid your urinary tract of bacteria
- Avoid using spermicide as a form of contraceptive, as it may disrupt the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina and urethra1
The most common symptoms of UTIs are urgency to urinate, feeling the need to urinate very frequently and pain or burning when you pee. UTIs can usually be fixed pretty quickly with antibiotics from your primary care provider.
Now, while it isnt invariable that sex led to your UTI, it is necessary for you to have sex to get an STI. Viral infections need other strategies.
Clinical Manifestations And Complications Of Chlamydial Infection In Male Genitourinary Tract
C. trachomatis is a bacterium whose sexually transmitted strains D-K cause genital tract infections in women and men . However, chlamydia is known as a ‘silent’ pathogen because about three-quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms . Symptoms of chlamydia, if present, include discharge of mucopurulent or purulent material, dysuria, urethral pruritus, urinary frequency or urgency, and lower abdominal or pelvic pain and show up about 1 to 3 weeks after being infected. One of the most common symptoms for in cases of chlamydia in men is a painful urination. In the worst cases chlamydia infection can, without treatment, lead on to other problems such as epididymitis or orchitis if the infection has made it to the testicles. This is particularly worrisome because it can occasionally cause a man to become sterile.
Other C. trachomatis strains, L1, L2 and L3 cause lymphogranuloma venereum. This tropical sexually transmitted infection is currently responsible for outbreaks of ulcerative proctitis mainly affecting homosexual men in various European countries and the US .
Is It Possible To Prevent Chlamydia
Since most people who have the infection do not have symptoms and may not be aware they are infected, it is commonly spread, and it can be difficult to prevent the infection. Male condoms can reduce the risk of spreading or acquiring the infection. Having a mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested or treated also reduces the risk of contracting chlamydia infection.
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Is It Possible To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections With Diet And Supplements
It is possible to reduce the chance that a UTI will develop with dietary methods and some supplements but prevention of all UTIs is unlikely with these methods. Supplements such as eating cranberries, taking vitamin C tablets, and eating yogurt and other substances also may reduce the chance that a UTI will develop . However, as stated in the prevention section, changes in a person’s lifestyle may reduce the chance getting a UTI as good as, if not better than, any diet or supplement.
Clinical Indicators For Testing
Test for chlamydia in the following situations:
- < 30 years and sexually active
- partner change in the last 12 months
- have had an STI in past 12 months
- have had a sexual partner with an STI
- at increased risk of complications of an STI e.g. termination of pregnancy or intrauterine device insertion
- signs or symptoms suggestive of chlamydia
- patient requests a sexual health check.
Doxycycline 100mg PO, BD 7 days if asymptomatic, but 21 days if symptomatic
Azithromycin 1g PO, stat, and repeat in 1 week
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Signs That Uti Is Not Responding To Antibiotics
What if you feel lower back pain? Is this a sure sign that infection is progressing to the kidneys and antibiotics are not working?
While lower back pain could be an important sign of kidney infection, in many cases low back pain alone is not a sure sign that bacteria ascended to the kidneys, it could be just pain radiating from the bladder due to UTI, clarifies Dr. Hawes. However, if you are experiencing fever and/or nausea, these are very serious symptoms and you should seek immediate medical attention.
This is when the chances are higher to get sick with an infection caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria:
- You underwent multiple UTI treatments in your lifetime
- If you have been using the same antibiotic for previous infections
- Stopped taking antibiotics and didnt finish all the pills that your doctor prescribed you
- If you are guilty of keeping a stash of antibiotics and self-treating UTIs, cold, travel diarrhea, etc.
- Youve been recently hospitalized
- If you are immunosuppressed or have any serious chronic health issues, for example, uncontrolled diabetes.
Dr. Hawes highlights that it is important to request a urine culture test before deciding on a type of antibiotic. If you are taking multiple antibiotics without checking bacterial drug sensitivity, its a guessing game that only increases your chances to develop resistant bacteria.
Read how torevert antibiotic resistance with diet.
What Other Problems Can Chlamydia Cause
In women, an untreated infection can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage to your reproductive system. This can lead to long-term pelvic pain, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy. Women who have had chlamydia infections more than once are at higher risk of serious reproductive health complications.
Men often don’t have health problems from chlamydia. Sometimes it can infect the epididymis . This can cause pain, fever, and, rarely, infertility.
Both men and women can develop reactive arthritis because of a chlamydia infection. Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that happens as a “reaction” to an infection in the body.
Babies born to infected mothers can get eye infections and pneumonia from chlamydia. It may also make it more likely for your baby to be born too early.
Untreated chlamydia may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV/AIDS.
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What Can Be Done To Prevent The Spread Of Chlamydia
- Limit your number of sex partners
- Use a male or female condom
- If you think you are infected or have been exposed, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local sexually transmitted disease clinic, a hospital or your doctor. Either bring your sex partners with you when you are treated or notify them immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.
Took Antibiotics Some Uti Symptoms Resolved Other Symptoms Still Linger
So why if it wasnt a UTI, the prescribed antibiotics worked and you did feel a relief? Well, there could be at least three reasons:
Dr. Hawes hypothesizes that it could be due to some sort of a side-effect from Cipro: perhaps, the medicine does something else to the body besides killing bacteria that could indeed reduce UTI-like symptoms.
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A Sexually Transmitted Infection :
Some infections are passed from one person to another during sex. These are called sexually transmitted infections, commonly known as STIs.
A sexually transmitted infection refers to any one of various infections that can be transmitted by direct sexual contact. There are many STIs with different symptoms. But often, people with an STI dont have any symptoms at all , so they may not even know they have one. The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get tested.
If you are sexually active, there are precautions you may take to reduce your risk of contracting an STI.
- Practice safe sexusing condoms can reduce your chances of getting STIs
- Get tested regularly to help you stay healthy and STI-free
Urogenital Infection In Men
In men, chlamydial infection of the lower genital tract causes urethritis and, on occasion, epididymitis. Urethritis is secondary to C. trachomatis infection in approximately 15 to 55 percent of men, although the prevalence is lower among older men.2 Symptoms, if present, include a mild to moderate, clear to white urethral discharge. This is best observed in the morning, before the patient voids. To observe the discharge, the penis may need to be milked by applying pressure from the base of the penis to the glans.
The diagnosis of nongonococcal urethritis can be confirmed by the presence of a mucopurulent discharge from the penis, a Gram stain of the discharge with more than five white blood cells per oil-immersion field, and no intracellular gram-negative diplococci.2 A positive result on a leukocyte esterase test of first-void urine or a microscopic examination of first-void urine showing 10 or more white blood cells per high-powered field also confirms the diagnosis of urethritis.
For diagnosis of C. trachomatis infection in men with suspected urethritis, the nucleic acid amplification technique to detect chlamydial and gonococcal infections is best .4 Empiric treatment should be considered for patients who are at high risk of being lost to follow-up.
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What Are The Treatments For Chlamydia
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, your doctor will prescribe oral antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or taking doxycycline twice daily for 7 to 14 days are the most common treatments and are the same for those with or without HIV.
With treatment, the infection should clear up in about a week. Do not have sex for at least 7 days until you have taken all of your medication, and do not stop taking the antibiotics even if you feel better.
Your doctor will also recommend that your partner be treated as well to prevent reinfection and further spread of the disease.
Women with serious infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, may require a longer course of antibiotics or hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics. Some severe pelvic infections may require surgery in addition to antibiotic therapy.
Make sure you get retested after three months to be certain the infection is gone. Do this even if your partner has been treated and appears to be infection free.
What Is An Std
An STD is a sexually-transmitted disease that is transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex, intravenous drug use, or through non-sexual contacts such as childbirth or breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 19 million reported STD cases each year in the United States. STDs are common and it is possible to be infected without being aware, because many STDs do not display obvious symptoms. Getting tested for STDs once or twice every year is recommended for sexually-active people. Regular STD testing is a great way to protect your sexual health as well as the health of your partner.
So, How Do You Get an STD?
STDs can occur in a myriad of ways:
- Having unprotected sex with someone who has also been affected.
- Eating contaminated food that has been contaminated with fecal matter can potentially transfer hepatitis A .
- Skin-to-skin contact with someone who has been affected by HPV or herpes can increase the risk of contracting either infection.
- Sharing sheets, towels, or clothes can increase the chance of spreading Trichomoniasis.
- Sharing needles or even razors, which cause the risk of breaking the skin and mixing blood, can lead to catching, developing, and the passing on of STDs.
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Copyright 2021 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.
This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women’s health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOGs complete disclaimer.
Can A Urinary Tract Infection Be Prevented
Many methods have been suggested to reduce or prevent UTIs. The single most important prevention measure is increased fluid intake. Many people develop UTIs simply because they do not drink enough fluids. Some of these are considered home remedies and have been discussed . There are other suggestions that may help prevent UTIs. Good hygiene for males and females is useful. For females, wiping from front to back helps keep pathogens that may reside or pass through the anal opening away from the urethra. For males, retracting the foreskin before urinating reduces the chance of urine lingering at the urethral opening and acting as a culture media for pathogens. Incomplete bladder emptying and resisting the normal urge to urinate can allow pathogens to survive and replicate easier in a non-flowing system. Some clinicians recommend washing before and urinating soon after sex to reduce the chance of urethritis and cystitis. Many clinicians suggest that anything that causes a person irritation in the genital area may encourage UTI development. Wearing underwear that is somewhat adsorptive may help wick away urine drops that otherwise may be areas for pathogen growth.
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How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you suspect you have chlamydia, your doctor may want to test cervical or penile discharge or urine using one of several available methods.
In most cases of chlamydia, the cure rate is 95%. However, because many women don’t know they have the disease until it has caused serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually active women under age 25 and others at higher risk should be tested for chlamydia once a year during their annual pelvic exam even if they dont have symptoms.
Pregnant women should also be tested as part of their routine lab work.
Bacteria Hide In Your Bladder Lining
One interesting fact from Dr. Hawes: during bladder cystoscopy of chronic UTI patients she frequently sees pimples on their bladder surface. The correct medical term is Cystitis cystica, which is a benign lesion of the bladder as a result of chronic inflammation.
These pimples are thought to be caused by chronic irritation of the urothelium because of infection, calculi, obstruction, or tumor.
Per Dr. Hawes, a biopsy of these pimples typically comes back with results of bacterial contamination. Basically, bacteria comfortably reside inside of these pimples on a bladder wall. The worst thing, they can reappear from time to time to cause yet another infection. Thats why you notice that UTI symptoms come back after antibiotics.
If thats the case, Dr. Hawes identifies the type of bacteria via a culture test and which antibiotic bacteria are susceptive to. After that, she combines short-term intensive antibiotic therapy with long-term low dose antibiotics. This normally kills bacteria that keep reappearing out of the cysts into your bladder.
Many thanks to Dr. Lisa Hawes who took the time off her weekend to share these insights. We hope this information will help you when discussing a treatment plan with your urologist. And if you are happened to be in Maryland, here is the contact information for Dr. Hawes practice.
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Unusual Vaginal Discharge Frequent Or Painful Urination And Uncomfortable Itching May All Be Signs Of A Yeast Infection Uti Or Std
Maintaining proper reproductive and urinary tract health is just as important as exercising or eating right to keep your heart healthy. The lower urinary tract and vagina can serve as gateways for bacteria to enter the body, and, as a result, unwanted infections can appear. Here are some of the more common infections that can occur in this region, and how they can be diagnosed by your Little Rock gynecologist.
Embarrassed Dont Be: It Can Be Dangerous
A lot of people dont visit their doctor due to symptoms because they consider it potentially embarrassing. Dont put it off! Both UTIs and STDs are easy to diagnose and just as easy to cure. Any waiting before you see your doctor has the potential to be more dangerous to you and your sexual partners, and not seeing a doctor at all could mean that your symptoms get worse.
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The Answer: It’s Complicated
You see, a UTI is an infection in your urinary tract that can be caused during sex however, it has more possible causes than sex. An STI, on the other hand, is a sexually transmitted disease that almost always requires sex to getthat is, an infection transmitted from one person to another through sexual activity.
UTIs and STIs have many of the same symptoms and sex can be involved in getting either, which is why they are so often confused. So, lets formally define them.