Ever since I started having sex I get urinary tract infections very frequently. Does that mean there could be something else wrong?
If you have burning or pain on urination, it could be a number of things. One possibility is a urinary tract infection (UTI), but other possibilities include a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as chlamydia, or just chemical irritation from a spermicide. It may be difficult to tell the difference.
Urinary tract infections tend to be more common in girls who have sex with a new partner, or who are having sex for the first time. Often, UTIs are the result of bacteria entering the vagina.
Following these steps will help you to decrease the chance of developing UTIs:
- Don't touch your vagina with anything that has been in contact with your anus (this includes condoms, toilet paper, etc.).
- Wipe front to back after going to the bathroom.
- Pee immediately before and after sex.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
STDs can have symptoms similar to those of a urinary tract infection. Depending on the organism causing it (and how your body reacts), you could have burning, a discharge, abdominal pain, irregular bleeding, a rash, or other signs. Many times, though, sexually transmitted infections have few symptoms.
In any case, the best thing to do is get checked out ASAP by a doctor who can look for the reason you're having symptoms. It's really important to get the right diagnosis and treatment!
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: January 2008
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