Dr. Santosh Gupta, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF fertility, Koramangala in Bengaluru
Urinary tract infection is an infection that infects any part of the urinary tract- it can be the urethra, kidneys, or bladder. Urinary tract infections can impact both men and women. This infection can be seen very frequently in the rainy season. That is because due to the increased amount of moisture and humidity in the air it becomes easier for the bacteria to stay alive for a longer duration.
How urinary tract infection can severely impact male and female fertility:
Generally, people feel that a urinary tract infection is nothing to fear and will go away on its own. However, this is not true. A urinary tract infection if left untreated or left to ‘heal itself’ may cause urinary and fertility issues. This fact is very less known but is very serious.
Infertility in males:
It is very common for women to have urinary tract infections. On the other hand, it is not very frequently seen in men and the simple reason behind that is that men have a longer urethra. Having a longer urethra by itself is a natural way of protection against urinary tract infections. In males, it is uncommon to see a urinary tract infection but if one does end up having a UTI then there are chances that his fertility might be impacted. Once the infection is inside the urethra is can quickly spread to the prostate which in turn ends up impacting the quality, quantity, and motility of sperm in a man. Infection can increase oxidative damage to sperm and deteriorate their quality.
Infertility in females:
There are several infections that can impact the chances of getting pregnant in women and urinary tract infection is one of them. If a urinary tract infection is left untreated and it may spread in the upper part of the urinary tract that includes bladder, ureter and kidneys, as genital tract is adjacent to urinary tract these untreated infections can spread to fallopian tubes and the uterus, can harm the area, and affect one’s ability to conceive a child. In general, UTI is common in young sexually active females. Vaginal infections can be associated with urinary infections.
Few signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection:
- Discoloration of urine
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody urine
- High fever and chills
- Increased frequency of urination
- Fatigue (less common)
- Cloudy and smelly urine
- Pain and burning sensation while urinating and or while having sexual
In monsoons the infection can spread across the prostate gland and other reproductive structures: As it is very uncommon for men to have a urinary tract infection as their urethra is longer as compared to females, hence they should get checked for –
- Prostate enlargement
- Sexually transmitted infection
- Recent instrumentation (meaning some medical instrument may have been inserted in the urinary tract)
- Urinary stones
- Urethra tightening (that could be due to any previous surgeries or scopes or infection)
Here is how you can save yourself from contracting UTI (preventions):
- Never hold your bladder and go to the washroom when you have the
- One should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water to keep themselves hydrated. Keep a bottle near you as a reminder to keep sipping water at regular
- Always wash up or keep wet wipes near you after having sexual
- During sexual intercourse, choose the right kind of protection like a condom to reduce the chances of a sexually transmitted infection from your
- Always wash or wipe after passing urine and that should be done from the front to the back to avoid any more unwanted
- Maintain good
- For women- during menstruation, one should make it a habit to change the tampon or pad maybe every 2 to 3 hours to avoid any additional infection from the blood. It is recommended to use menstrual cups to avoid infection.
One should pay a visit to the doctor as soon as they see any signs and symptoms listed above as the infection may start out to be very minimal but can turn out to be very damaging with silent impact on fertility as well. One should visit a doctor as soon as symptoms appear and should not delay the treatment.