Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, especially in sexually active women of reproductive ages.
Urinary tract infections are often caused by bacteria that enter your urethra during sexual activity.
Since the opening of your urethra is right in front of your vagina, you may be concerned that developing an infection of this type might make your period late.
However, UTIs don’t directly impact your menstrual cycle, or reproductive organs.
In some instances, a UTI may travel into your upper urinary tract. This can lead you to develop a kidney infection. This type of infection is more serious, but will not delay your period.
Being sick from many health conditions can sometimes delay menstruation. Having a cold or the flu can make you feel as if you’re imbalanced. Even though there isn’t a direct connection, this can also be true for UTIs.
In addition to pain, UTIs cause burning and stress. They can make you feel sick and worried too. If a UTI seems to be delaying your period, it may be stress rather than the infection to blame.
Ironically, it may be that your menstrual cycle is affecting the timing of your UTI, not the other way around. The reason for this is lowered estrogen levels.
Estrogen has anti-inflammatory properties. When estrogen levels are high, you may be less susceptible to developing a UTI.
Estrogen also helps keep Lactobacillus, the good bacteria in your vagina, healthy and active. Lactobacillus helps regulate vaginal pH, keeping bad bacteria levels low.
Estrogen production lowers around the time of menstruation. This may make you more vulnerable to developing an infection. Add extreme stress into the mix, and your period may be delayed by a few days.
If your UTI is caused by bacteria, you will be prescribed antibiotics to cure the infection.
Antibiotics work by killing or stopping bacteria from multiplying. Most antibiotics don’t impact your hormones that regulate ovulation and menstruation.
Lower tract UTIs, the most common type, typically respond well to oral antibiotics. The most commonly used antibiotics for lower tract, simple UTIs are:
None of these medications have been shown to delay menstruation.
One antibiotic, rifampin, may impact upon hormonal levels, causing your period to be late. Rifampin used with trimethoprim can be effective against UTIs, but is not commonly prescribed for this condition.
Upper tract UTIs may require intravenous antibiotics, such as Vabomere. There’s no data linking Vabomere to a delay in menstruation.
If you are sexually active and your period is late, the first reason which may come to mind is pregnancy.
If you’re not pregnant, there are other health conditions which may delay your period. They include:
In addition to a late or missed period, some symptoms of early pregnancy may seem like a UTI. They include:
- frequent urination
It’s possible to have a urinary tract infection during pregnancy. The best way to know for sure is to call your doctor.
If you have a UTI, taking antibiotics or another recommended form of treatment is essential for getting back on the road to health.
If you have a UTI, your doctor will need to prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. If you have a UTI and are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for you that are safe to take during pregnancy.
If you have recurrent infections, they may also recommend prophylactic medications that reduce your risk of UTIs.
Delaying treatment may worsen your infection, so calling your doctor to discuss treatment options right away is a good idea.
One symptom, lower back pain, may be a red flag for both kidney infection and miscarriage. If you have lower back pain either with or without nausea, give your doctor a call.
If you have chronic UTIs, talk with your doctor about lifestyle changes which may help. These include:
- drinking lots of water
- urinating frequently rather than holding it in
- urinating immediately after sexual activity
- washing your genitals daily, and after sexual activity
- wiping from front to back after moving your bowels
- not douching or using feminine hygiene products, such as vaginal sprays
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common condition. They often occur in women who are sexually active and of reproductive ages.
Having a UTI does not delay your period. The stress caused by a UTI may have an impact.
Due to the low estrogen levels that occur near menstruation, you may be more likely to get a UTI during this time.