Can a UTI Cause Infertility?

Written by: Jessica Guht Reviewed by: Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Jessica Guht
Categorized as UTI
Jessica Guht
Categorized as UTI

A urinary tract infection can cause a great amount of pain and suffering, especially in the most severe cases. The burning and cramped sensation you get in your body whenever you use the toilet can be extremely discomforting, and it can feel like your body will never work the same. Thankfully, modern medicine has made it possible to recover from a urinary tract infection with relative ease, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about the possible side effects of a UTI and what damage it could cause to our body.

In particular, many people are concerned about the link between a UTI and fertility. After all, a UTI affects the urinary system which includes areas such as the kidney, urethra, bladder, and liver. Women are also more prone to UTIs because the urethra is located closer to the anus, leading to more opportunities for bacteria to infect the body. Issues like this can further stoke speculation that a UTI can cause infertility or at least affect our reproductive systems by turning into a more worrying disease or condition.

But can a UTI actually cause infertility? The answer is no. A UTI alone cannot cause infertility and it cannot impact fertility.

Table of Contents

What Is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary system. This includes the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. A urinary tract infection is often caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract via the urethra. From there, it spreads in the bladder. Our immune systems are designed to remove foreign bacteria, but our bodies can sometimes fail to do this. When this happens, our bodies will be infected by the bacteria, causing a urinary tract infection.

A UTI doesn’t have to cause symptoms. However, some of the most common things you’ll notice are:

  • A painful sensation when urinating that feels like burning.
  • Cloudy urine.
  • Urinating often.
  • Urine that smells strong.
  • Pain around the pelvis.
  • A strong urge to urinate.

If you notice any of these symptoms, then it’s likely caused by a UTI.

Can UTIs Cause Infertility or Affect Fertility in Any Way?

Since a UTI affects the bladder, it’s common for people to believe that it can also affect fertility or potentially cause infertility. Other people may also believe that a UTI can develop into a more concerning disease. However, this is not true in both males and females.

In Males

Although a UTI affects the bladder, there is no evidence to suggest that a UTI alone can cause infertility. However, bacteria from some infections can cause infertility, and this may spread to the urinary system which can cause UTIs.

In other words, a UTI could be caused by an infection that may ultimately lead to infertility. However, the presence of a UTI does not mean that someone will face fertility problems. A UTI is also not the cause of fertility problems in men, but rather the bacteria which causes it.

In Females

Women may be particularly concerned about UTIs causing infertility because they are more likely to be affected by it. However, the truth is that while UTIs are more common in women, they do not face infertility or any fertility issues as a result of a UTI.

Some people believe that females with a UTI may experience pelvic inflammatory disease which could affect their fertility. However, PID comes from untreated sexually transmitted infections and not a UTI. As such, there is no evidence to suggest that a UTI alone can cause infertility in females.

What Infections Can Cause Infertility?

The two most common infections that can cause infertility are chlamydia and gonorrhea. If these infections are not treated, they could lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the reproductive organs. If it is not treated, it could cause long-term damage and scarring which can block the fallopian tubes and make it difficult for eggs to travel through them. As a result, this increases the risk of ectopic pregnancies or infertility.

What Else Could Cause Infertility?

There is a long list of things that could potentially cause infertility. However, the most common include pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, fibroids, the use of certain medicines and drugs, and also scarring from surgery.

In men, infertility can be caused by a lack of sperm, testicular problems such as cancer, ejaculation disorders, or abnormally low levels of testosterone.

How Can DrHouse Help You?

If you’re worried about a UTI causing infertility, the best thing to do is get in touch with a healthcare professional. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action and put your mind at ease.

DrHouse is here to help you with all of your healthcare needs. If you have a UTI, our team of experts will be able to help you treat it and get rid of the infection. We can also advise you on how to prevent UTIs in the future.


Can UTI Cause Permanent Infertility?

No. A UTI cannot cause infertility, let alone permanent infertility. However, bacteria that cause infertility could also affect the bladder, causing a UTI.

Can a UTI Stop You From Ejaculating?

There is evidence to suggest that a urinary tract infection may cause delayed ejaculation. This is a condition that causes men to require extended periods of sexual stimulation in order to release semen. In some severe cases, men with delayed ejaculation are unable to ejaculate.

Can a UTI Affect Getting Pregnant?

Having a UTI does not affect your chances of getting pregnant. The American Pregnancy Association notes that it’s actually possible to get a UTI from pregnancy due to the changes that your uterus is going through.

Can Recurrent UTIs Cause Infertility in Women?

While the occasional UTI is considered normal, recurrent UTIs are not and should be treated with care. If a woman experiences multiple UTIs in a short span, then there could be bacteria in the body that leads to a more serious infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. These infections can cause infertility, but they are not directly linked to UTIs.

Key Takeaways

  • A urinary tract infection is an infection of the urinary system that is caused by bacteria.
  • Women are more likely to experience a UTI than men.
  • UTIs alone cannot cause infertility.
  • However, bacteria that cause infertility can potentially cause a UTI as well.
  • The occasional UTI is fairly normal, but recurrent UTIs could point to a more serious infection that could potentially lead to infertility due to an infection such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.


Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information click here.

Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.

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