Medically Reviewed by Board Certified Urologist, Dr. Yanina Barbalat.
It's that time of the month again. Aunt Flo has come to town and, along with her, another unfortunate visitor... a UTI. Having a UTI does not directly affect your period, but certain circumstances link UTIs and periods, such as hormonal imbalances, stress, sex, and hygiene. As 50–60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, chances are they will experience one during their period. Luckily there are ways to curb your chance of getting a UTI during your period, but why is it that these two unwelcome guests tend to arrive at the same time?
Estrogen can help keep UTIs at bay. "While UTIs are generally correlated with sexual activity, they tend to appear around your period," board-certified gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine explains to HelloGiggles. Vaginal estrogen is protective against UTIs and because it is at its lowest during the menstrual period, this may put a woman at an increased risk for an infection during that time.
I would change to Sex is a known risk factor for UTIs. Some women have more sex during their period because they are less concerned about getting pregnant. Unfortunately, the bacteria that cause a UTI that lives in the anus area can shift toward the urethra during sex. It can also aggravate your already sensitized urethra (due to your period), making it more open to bacterial infections.
It's no surprise that the pain and discomfort from your period can cause you stress. Stress can not only delay your period, but it can also lead to a UTI, as our bodies have a harder time fighting off infections when we're stressed. This is primarily because stress leads to high cortisol levels, which weakens our immune systems.
Pads and Tampons
When you have your period, you likely wear pads or tampons. These feminine care products can trap more heat and moisture than just underwear alone, especially if they aren't changed regularly. All of these factors promote bacterial growth, which increases your risk of getting a UTI.
What Are Some Ways to Prevent a UTI During Your Period?
Change Your Feminine Care Products
Always change your pads and tampons regularly to prevent an infection. In particular, don't leave a tampon in for longer than six hours. On average, a pad can be worn overnight or for four to six hours during the day. Change it when it is full or saturated, or it starts to develop an odor.
Consider Buying the Right Feminine Care Product
Cotton, absorbable, chemical free, and breathable pads may help prevent UTIs in patients who are prone to infections during their menstrual period. If you do have a UTI, avoid using tampons, as they can worsen your symptoms.
Nannocare is a feminine care company that has innovated the pad industry by implementing Far Infrared technology developed to relieve menstrual discomfort. Utiva customers can check out Nannocare products and get a free trial here.
Urinate After Sex
Make sure to pee after doing the deed. This will help ensure that any bacteria that entered the urinary tract during sex is flushed out.
Meditate. Breathe. Take time for yourself. Whatever it takes to ease your nerves, do it. You're worth it!
Stay Well Hydrated
Women lose fluid during their menstrual period. Studies have shown that drinking at least 1.5 L of water daily helps with UTI prevention. If you tend to get UTIs, it is very important to stay well hydrated.
Drink a Glass of Water After Sexual Activity
"I tell all of my patients to drink a glass of water after sex. It usually forces them to go to the bathroom and pee in the middle of the night, which helps flush out any remaining bacteria in the urinary tract," says board certified urologist, Dr. Yanina Barbalat.
Utiva can help you prevent your next UTI
All of Utiva's UTI products have been created to be the most effective products, recommended by doctors and trusted by medical professionals. All of our ingredients are sourced from North America at the highest quality and are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. We believe in only the best health care for everyone!
The 36mg PAC formulation of our Cranberry PACs supplement is doctor recommended and backed by urology Guidelines. Utiva also has D-Mannose for extra protection and Probiotic Power for urinary tract and gut health.
Can I Use a Tampon With A UTI?
While tampons will not cause a UTI, they can cause flare-ups in UTI symptoms. If you suffer from frequent UTIs that commonly flare up during your period while you wear a tampon, try using a sanitary pad instead.
Can Antibiotics for UTI Affect Your Period?
Generally, antibiotics do not delay your period. However, stress, illness, age, and hormone changes can play a part in a delayed period. If your period is late and you are sexually active, take a home pregnancy test or visit your doctor.
Can You Test For a UTI on Your Period?
Unfortunately, at-home UTI tests such as Utiva's UTI Diagnostic Test Strips are not recommended for use due to traces of menses within the urine can produce a false positive WBC (Leukocyte) result. If you believe that you are suffering from a UTI during your period, please contact your doctor.
To find out more about UTIs, visit www.utivahealth.ca. Utiva's Cranberry PACs supplements are clinically proven and medically recommended to be part of a safe, natural, drug-free daily regime to maintain a healthy urinary tract and protect against UTIs.