UTIs and Periods
- Posted on: Jun 24 2022
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are considered the most common type of infection by many healthcare professionals. Since they are so common, some women question if a UTI will affect their period in any way. The simple answer to this is no, UTIs do not directly affect a woman’s period. Let’s dig into this question deeper by starting with a review of the female anatomy and what causes a UTI.
There are three orifices or openings in the female genitalia: the urethra, vagina, and anus. Each opening is part of a different body system. The anus is part of the gastrointestinal system. This system helps you eat, digest, and remove food waste from the body. The vagina is part of the reproductive system. In females, this body system is responsible for menstruation, carrying a fetus, and producing hormones. The urethra is part of the urinary system which is responsible for filtering the blood and removing waste from the blood through the process of urinating. Each system is unique and has specific functions that it carries out. The urinary system affected by a UTI is separate from the reproductive system that carries out a female’s menstrual cycle, therefore UTIs do not directly affect periods. However, other factors could affect menstruation such as age, illness, stress, pregnancy, and hormonal changes.
How Does a UTI Happen?
A UTI occurs when bacteria or sometimes fungi get into the urinary tract. Bacteria usually gets into the urinary system by sexual activity, wiping your genital area from back to front, poor hygiene, or urinary structural issues. This can happen to anyone at any time. The only effective method to treat a UTI is with antibiotics. There is no over-the-counter or at-home remedy that will treat a UTI. If you think you may have a UTI, you should see your primary healthcare provider or go to urgent care. If a UTI goes untreated, it can spread and cause complications. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) will vary depending on the person. Some people may have no symptoms at all, while others may experience an array of indications. The most common symptoms include burning pain with urination, frequent urination, urge to urinate, blood in the urine, abdominal / pelvic pain or cramping, cloudy urine, foul-smelling urine, fever, and flank pain.
Changes to Your Period During a UTI
UTIs and the menstrual cycle are not directly connected and will not affect each other. There are other factors that could affect your menstrual cycles such as age, illness, stress, pregnancy, and hormonal changes. If you notice changes in your period or think you may have a UTI, see your healthcare provider for further discussion and testing.
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