4 Common Myths About UTIs

UTI diagram showing all the parts of your urinary tract and where you can get an infection.

Dealing with a urinary tract infection (UTI) is not easy, especially for women prone to recurrent infections. These infections can occur in any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. The typical symptoms are burning pain with urination, urgent and frequent urination, and pain above the pubic bone. It is important to have accurate information about UTIs because they are common infections, especially among women.

Here are four myths about UTIs that you need to stop believing!

1) A UTI Is a Sexually Transmitted Infection

A UTI is closely associated with sexual activities, especially for women, but it is by no means a sexually transmitted infection. Among women, sexual activities can trigger a bad case of UTI, as they may cause irritations and minor infections. The short distance between the anus and the urethra makes it easy for UTI-causing bacteria to travel up the urinary tract, especially when there is increased activity in the genital area. Women can prevent having sex-related UTIs by following UTI prevention tips like peeing immediately after sex to flush out any bacteria that may have traveled to the urethra or bladder. 

2) Getting a UTI Means You Have Poor Hygiene

A UTI is caused by specific bacteria, the most notorious of which is Escherichia coli. These commonly thrive in the rectum. So, if you regularly wipe from back to front, you are more likely to contract a UTI. Aside from this habit, other hygiene-related practices do not directly cause UTIs. Over-cleaning the genital area using harsh chemicals may cause even more irritation and kill the good bacteria in the vulva.

3) Only Women Get UTIs

Women’s anatomy, particularly the short perineum or the area between the anus and vagina, is to blame for high UTI incidences, but this does not mean men are off the hook. Men can also get UTIs, and when it happens, it usually strikes as a more severe infection. It is recommended that they visit a doctor as soon as they experience the symptoms of UTI to manage it effectively.

4) A UTI Will Go Away on Its Own

Some cases of a mild UTI will probably go away on their own, provided that the person is careful to drink a lot of water while avoiding other habits that can worsen the infection. However, it is better and safer to take antibiotics for a UTI when the symptoms become more severe. Make sure to follow your doctor’s directions for a more effective treatment. If you stop taking the antibiotics without completing the entire treatment course, you risk not completely clearing out the infection. 

At South Avenue Women’s Services, we understand how important it is to care for your reproductive and sexual health. We offer various OBGYN services and gynecological exams. If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, call (585)271-3850 to make an appointment with a women’s healthcare professional today!