UTIs are some of the most common infections globally. In fact, a recent study from Urology Health found that “about 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.”
While ranging in severity and cause, they can impact many different areas of your life – especially your sex life. However, while doctors advise avoiding sexual intercourse when dealing with a UTI, you may still be able to engage in masturbation.
Table of Contents
- Is It Safe to Masturbate With a UTI?
- Could Masturbation Help a UTI?
- Is It Possible to Get a UTI From Masturbating?
- Some Things to Consider
- How to Prevent a UTI?
- How to Treat a UTI?
- When to See a Doctor?
- Key Takeaways
Is It Safe to Masturbate With a UTI?
A UTI, or Urinary tract infection, is an infection that occurs when a pathogen, such as bacteria, infects a part of your urinary tract. This could include parts of your body such as the urethra, ureters, bladder, or kidneys. If untreated, it could lead to a series of health concerns.
As a result, it’s hardly surprising that sexual activity with a partner is discouraged during this time, especially when you consider that intercourse or ejaculation is often a key cause of UTIs, to begin with. However, it is safe to masturbate during this time – though you should take real care to ensure that your hands are clean to prevent the further spread of bacteria or pathogens.
In some instances, masturbation may provide you with an effective method of pain relief when suffering from a urinary tract infection. This is because an orgasm can stimulate the production of oxytocin, an endorphin that is known for its ability to reduce pain and release tension. As a result, not only is it safe to masturbate with a UTI, but evidence suggests that it could be a great way to reduce the pain you are experiencing.
Could Masturbation Help a UTI?
As mentioned above, many people seek relief from urinary tract infections through masturbation as they can reduce some of the discomfort you are feeling. However, in cases where antibiotics are required, this kind of relief will only be temporary – meaning that it should not be considered an alternative to speaking to your physician or seeking treatment.
However, there are various studies out there that indicate that masturbation could be particularly useful for reducing UTI symptoms in women. For example, in Sex: A Natural History, Joann Ellison Rodgers argues that masturbation and orgasms protect individuals from cervical or vagina infections because they “flush out” harmful bacteria and open up the cervix. If you’re wondering if you can masturbate with a UTI as a male, then similar pain relief could be achieved from masturbation.
Is It Possible to Get a UTI From Masturbating?
There are many different causes of urinary tract infections – sexual activity being one of them. However, you are far more likely to contract a UTI from sex with a partner as opposed to masturbating, as penetrative sex increases the chances of bacteria being spread from one person in the relationship to the other.
That being said, poor hygiene practices could lead to a UTI. This is unsurprising when you consider that many aspects of our sexual health are impacted by our hygiene practices. For example, failing to wash your hands before masturbation could mean that you are transferring bacteria from your hands or fingers onto your genitals (penis or vagina).
Some Things to Consider
As mentioned above, a UTI or bladder infection can have a wide-ranging impact on your body and health. For example, many studies suggest that beyond discomfort in/around your genitals, UTIs can also lead to headaches and fatigue. Such symptoms are often attributed to the fact that UTIs can lead to dehydration, as many of those suffering from a UTI will avoid consuming as much liquid as possible as urinating is painful. This could worsen symptoms, while also leading to further complications such as kidney stones.
As a result, it’s important that you seek treatment for your UTI sooner, rather than later. Do not wait for the symptoms to get worse before speaking to a physician. You should also take steps, when masturbating, to avoid certain products or substances that could make a UTI worse. For example, this could include:
Saliva. Many of those engaging in sexual activities will use saliva as a form of lubrication – likely due to the fact that one of the primary functions of saliva is to provide “lubrication for oral structures“. However, this lubricative function is designed to support us when consuming food and drink or speaking – not during sexual activity. Using saliva as a form of lubrication when masturbating can lead to UTIs as it could transfer harmful bacteria from your mouth to your urinary tract.
Lubricants. On a similar note, some forms of lube can cause a UTI to develop. As such, many medical professionals recommend that users stay away from oil-based lubricants, spermicides, or petroleum jellies.
Hygiene products. The use of certain hygiene products could also increase the chances of experiencing a UTI. For example, many women use intravaginal cleaning products before sexual activity, as they believe this will make the experience more enjoyable. However, this could negatively impact their vaginal PH. As such, “the standard vaginal pH of 4.5, essential for maintaining a healthy vaginal immune barrier, can be disturbed by such feminine practice.”
What to do after/before masturbating.
To reduce the chances of you contracting a UTI when masturbating, you should:
- Wash your hands, genitals, and sex toys ahead of time.
- Avoid using any products that could increase infection, such as certain hygiene products and lubricants.
How to Prevent a UTI?
There are various different steps you can take to prevent UTIs. For example:
- Drink plenty of water. This is because drinking a lot of water encourages you to urinate more often, which helps to flush out the harmful bacteria from your urinary tract.
- Wipe from front to back. Wiping from front to back after using the bathroom reduces the chances of you spreading bacteria from the anus to the vagina or penis.
- Know what to do after sex. As sexual intercourse is a key cause of UTIs, it’s crucial that you know how to prevent a UTI after having sex. For example, you should urinate directly after sex and shower/wash your genitals afterward.
How to Treat a UTI?
In some cases, you can treat a UTI at home by increasing your fluid intake, and by managing your pain through painkillers or other methods (as discussed above). However, if symptoms persist or worsen, it may be worthwhile to speak with your physician. They will be able to provide you with a formal diagnosis and discuss your treatment options with you. For example, they may prescribe antibiotics to help clear out the infection.
When to See a Doctor?
As mentioned previously, there are some occasions when you may need the help of a doctor or physician to treat your UTI. You should decide to see a doctor on the following occasions:
- You deal with persistent/frequent UTIs.
- You’ve experienced symptoms for more than a few days.
- Symptoms are worsening, or you are in a great deal of pain.
- You are considered ‘at risk’. For example, UTIs are common in pregnancy and could lead to a range of complications.
How Can DrHouse Help You?
With DrHouse you can make on-demand online doctor visits 24/7. We offer a convenient and affordable way to get the treatment you need without having to go to a traditional brick-and-mortar doctor’s office. Plus, our online consultations are just as effective as in-person visits.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a UTI, such as burning while urinating, cloudy or dark urine, or strong-smelling urine, our online doctors can help. We will also be able to prescribe the appropriate medication to help you get rid of the infection quickly and effectively.
Most adults will experience a UTI in their lifetime. While the symptoms can vary, it’s crucial that you take proper care of yourself during this time to lessen the severity of the situation and reduce the chances of you dealing with a repeat infection in the future.
If you were wondering whether it is safe to masturbate with a UTI, the short answer is yes. While it should not be considered a substitute for formal treatment or drinking more water, it can also be an effective method of pain relief and in some instances, help to speed up the recovery process. As medical professionals advise against sexual intercourse when dealing with a UTI, it can provide you with a sense of pleasure that you are missing when abstaining.
For those with a UTI, treatment typically involves an antibiotic, which can be obtained virtually through an online doctor.
- Urinary Tract Infection. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/uti.html
- What is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in Adults? Urology Care Foundation. Available from: https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/u/urinary-tract-infections-in-adults
- Etsuro Ito, Rei Shima, Tohru Yoshioka, A novel role of oxytocin: Oxytocin-induced well-being in humans, Biophysics and Physicobiology, 2019, Volume 16, Pages 132-139, Released on J-STAGE August 24, 2019, Online ISSN 2189-4779, https://doi.org/10.2142/biophysico.16.0_132
- Sex: a Natural History.. (n.d.) >The Free Library. (2014). Available from https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Sex%3a+a+Natural+History.-a098977999
- Lingström, Peter; Moynihan, Paula. Nutrition; Kidlington Vol. 19, Iss. 6, (Jun 2003): 567-9. DOI:https://www.doi.org/10.1016/S0899-9007(03)00062-5
- Alaa Daher, Obey Albaini, Lauren Siff, Stephanie Farah, Karl Jallad, Intimate hygiene practices and reproductive tract infections: A systematic review, Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinical Medicine, Volume 2, Issue 3, 2022, Pages 129-135, ISSN 2667-1646, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gocm.2022.06.001.