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Why Am I Getting Urinary Tract Infections?

Ever since I started having sex I get urinary tract infections a lot. Does that mean there could be something else wrong?
Mandy*

If you have burning or pain when you pee, it could be a number of things. One possibility is a urinary tract infection (UTI), but others include a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia, or chemical irritation from a spermicide (a chemical that kills sperm). It’s hard to tell the difference without seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner .

Urinary tract infections tend to be more common in girls who have sex. Often, they happen because bacteria entered the urethra (the tube that pee comes out of).

Follow these steps to help decrease your chances of getting UTIs:

  • Don't touch your vagina with anything that has been in contact with your anus (the hole poop comes out of). This includes condoms, toilet paper, fingers, etc. Do not go from anal to vaginal sex.
  • Wipe front to back after going to the bathroom.
  • Pee right before and after sex.
  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water.

STDs can cause symptoms similar to those of a UTI, such as burning, vaginal discharge, belly pain, and irregular bleeding.

Many times, though, STDs have few symptoms, which is why it is important for anyone who has had sex to be tested at least once a year. And always use condoms with any type of sex to help prevent STDs.

In any case, the best thing to do is get checked out ASAP by a health care provider who can look for the reason you're having symptoms. It's really important to get the right diagnosis and treatment!

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date Reviewed: 08-09-2020

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