As unpleasant as your period days might be with all the symptoms that make you feel uncomfortable like cramps, it remains a vital part of your female health. The thought of skipping just one period might seem like a relief but it can be a cause for alarm. In some cases, a late period can be indicative of other underlying health conditions. But are infections one of them? Let’s find out.
Can having a UTI delay your period?
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are often caused by bacteria that enter your urethra during sexual activity and are common, especially in sexually active women of reproductive age. It’s understandable to think that since the opening of your urethra is right in front of your vagina, developing an infection of this type might make your period late. However, UTIs don’t directly impact your menstrual cycle or reproductive organs. While yes, a UTI may travel into your upper urinary tract and cause you to develop a kidney infection which is more serious but it will not delay your period. UTIs only involve the urinary tract and do not directly affect the reproductive organs or the menstrual cycle.
What about UTI antibiotics?
If your UTI is caused by bacteria, the only way to cure it is through antibiotics, which are often prescribed in oral doses. Antibiotics work by killing or stopping bacteria from multiplying. Most antibiotics don’t impact your hormones that regulate ovulation and menstruation. However, there’s one antibiotic, rifampin, that may impact hormone levels and delay your period but it's not commonly prescribed for this condition.
So what can delay a period?
Usually, the first thought that comes to mind when you miss your period is pregnancy. If you turn out not to be pregnant, there are other health conditions which may delay your period. They include:
hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
polycystic ovarian syndrome
primary ovarian insufficiency
extreme weight loss or weight gain
Are you curious about some of these conditions? We have a much more detailed blog post on Missed periods if you would wish to learn about some of these factors and more.
How can I know for sure it’s not pregnancy?
If you are sexually active, a missed/late period could mean pregnancy. What’s even more confusing is that some of the symptoms of a UTI are similar to those of early pregnancy. Such as:
It is also possible to have a UTI while pregnant. The best way to know for sure is to call your doctor. Taking antibiotics or another recommended form of treatment is essential for getting back on the road to good health.
So UTIs can’t affect your period at all?
While the infection itself may not affect your period, it is still possible for a period to be delayed when sick with a UTI. This is because the stress a UTI places on your body can impact your menstrual cycle. However, your upcoming period may lead to a UTI instead of the other way around.
Allow us to explain! You see with your period, your estrogen production lowers. Estrogen has anti-inflammatory properties that protect against infection and keep the good bacteria in the vagina (that keep harmful bacteria levels low) healthy and active. So when estrogen levels dip, you become more vulnerable to infection.
When should I see a doctor?
If you have a UTI, your doctor will need to prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. For those that have a UTI and are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics for you that are safe to take during pregnancy. If you have recurrent UTI infections, they may also recommend medications that reduce your risk of UTIs.
Since UTI put’s you at risk of a kidney infection, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms
pain in the back and sides
bloody or cloudy urine
nausea and vomiting
A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, and despite being located near the reproductive organs, it will not delay your period. However, the stress inflicted on the body by the infection may cause a delay. If your period is late, there are a couple of health reasons why that could be happening. It is best to discuss this with a doctor to determine the cause behind it. Additionally, if you think you have a UTI, speak to a doctor to receive antibiotic treatment and avoid a more severe infection.
Stay informed, stay in control Did this answer your questions?