Hey @jackh from my understanding, yeah UTIs can be caused by sex, but they can happen due to other reasons too. Men are less likely to get them from sex, I think it has something to do with having a longer urethra, but it’s technically possible. @Nurse_Nettie will be able to give us the specifics though. How come you don’t want to see a doctor? I’ve never had one but from what I’ve heard they can be really painful, so if you had one I imagine you’d want to get it sorted out ASAP – which luckily is pretty easy to do, I believe.
@jackh when people say urinary tract infections (UTIs) they’re usually talking about cystitis which an infection of the bladder. People with vaginas can get these very easily because the distance between the opening of the urethra (where wee comes out) and the bladder is very short and bacteria doesn’t have to travel far to cause a problem!
The most common bacteria that causes cystitis is E. coli. This is a gut bacteria we often have on our bodies. Sex can help push this bacteria into the urethra, but it’s not considered an STI because you don’t get it from your partner (having sex with someone who has a UTI doesn’t mean you need treatment). We all have this bacteria around, it’s just a matter of whether it gets into your bladder. People with penises are much less likely to get this infection simply because the anatomy makes it hard for bacteria to get into the bladder.
If you think you have a UTI/cystitis there isn’t really a way around seeing a doctor. You should have a wee test and if you do have the infection you’ll need a prescription for antibiotics. If you leave it untreated, it can get worse unfortunately. Keep in mind, GPs are totally used to this stuff! They see genitals with infections all the time. You should expect them to be reassuring and helpful!
@jackh How did you go? Did you end up going to the doctors to get checked out? I know that can be a scary experience, especially if it’s about something concerning body parts you’re generally private about. But I assure you your GP is there to help you, not judge you! I hope things are going much better and everything got sorted out. 🙂
Cystitis is so uncomfortable! I’ve had it about 4 times I think. Getting to the doctors pronto when I get that familiar burn is definitely important!! They don’t even bat an eyelid either – they’ve seen it all before. But as Nurse Nettie says – it’s definitely not at STI!