Often known as “honeymoon cystitis,” increased sexual activity is actually one of the top reasons women contract UTIs.  Many women reported that sexual intercourse was the cause of their last urinary tract infection (UTI) – definitely not romantic!. The UTI-sex connection is not clear cut because sexual activity, itself, does not directly cause a urinary tract infection (UTI), however, it can increase the introduction of bacteria into the urethra and cause irritation to that area. This, in effect, can increase the chances of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), particularly among women who are more prone and whose urine stream isn’t typically strong enough to flush the bladder of this increased bacteria.

Use of certain types of barrier contraception can also increase the risk. Women who frequently develop urinary tract infections (UTIs) after sexual intercourse reported using condoms, diaphragms or spermicides while engaging in sexual activity. A common belief amongst the urological community is that these barrier contraceptive methods irritate the sensitive tissue in the vaginal and genital areas in women who may be allergic. This irritated tissue then helps create an environment where bacteria can thrive.

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