Recent Blog Articles

Diseases & Conditions

Did I cause my partner’s bladder infection?

January 1, 2023

On call

Q. My female sexual partner has a bladder infection. Do I need a urine test to see if I gave it to her?

A. A woman’s sexual partner doesn’t need to be evaluated when she has a typical bladder infection, the most common type of urinary tract infection (UTI). The bacteria that cause UTIs aren’t passed between partners. Women develop UTIs because they have short urethras (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder). Bacteria live on the skin, including the area around the end of the urethra. In women, these bacteria only need to travel a short distance from the urethral opening to get inside the bladder and cause an infection. While you did not transmit the bacteria, you may have played a role. Some women develop UTIs after intercourse. This is particularly true with vigorous or frequent sex. In these situations, it may help to change sexual positions and encourage her to urinate right after intercourse.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

About the Author

photo of Howard E. LeWine, MD

Howard E. LeWine, MD, Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Howard LeWine, M.D., is a practicing internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Chief Medical Editor at Harvard Health Publishing, and editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch. See Full Bio
View all posts by Howard E. LeWine, MD


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

You might also be interested in…

Urinary Tract Infection

If you’ve experienced a UTI, then you know that this burning, painful, uncomfortable condition is nothing to mess around with. That’s why the health experts at Harvard Medical School have created a guide to help you protect your health. This guide explains how a UTI begins and ways to help prevent infection. It covers the factors that increase risk at all ages, how UTIs are diagnosed, and how they’re treated. The guide also discusses the growing problem of antibiotic resistance and how this affects treatment for UTI.
Read More

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.