Can a Urinary Tract Infection Delay Your Period?

by DP Nguyen

in Women’s Health

Do urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect your periods? – This is a commonly asked question with a simple answer. Theoretically, it is possible for a UTI to cause you to have a late period. Illnesses and infections can delay ovulation (the release of an egg from your ovaries), and this can make your period come later than expected.

In general, most women who have a urinary tract infection do not have missed periods, or a late period.

There are many reasons why a woman may have a delayed period, or a missed period, but a common urinary tract infection shouldn’t cause any menstrual cycle irregularities. The most common reasons you’ve missed your period, or had delayed menstruation include stress, anxiety, or depression; a recent illness that has upset your regular hormonal balance; vigorous exercise or dieting that has caused you to lose too much weight all at once.

If you have missed your period three months in a row (and you’ve ruled out pregnancy), you need to contact your healthcare provider.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection is what it sounds like. It’s an infection that affects your urinary tract – the body’s draining system that removes extra water and wastes from your body via urine. The urinary tract includes your two kidneys, your bladder, your two ureters, and the urethra.

Can a Urinary Tract Infection Delay Your Period?

A majority of urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria. However, UTIs can also be caused by other microbes (tiny organisms that you need a microscope to see) – including germs, fungi, and viruses.

Most of the time, when the bacterium enters a woman’s urinary tract, it is quickly removed when you urinate, so you never experience any symptoms. However, when there is too much bacteria (or other microbes), it can overwhelm your body’s natural defense mechanisms and cause an infection.

Women are more likely to get urinary tract infections, compared to men, because they have shorter urethras that are closer to the anus. This is the reason that women are more likely to get UTIs are having sexual intercourse.

There are various types of urinary tract infections, depending on the area of the urinary tract that they affect. Common types of UTIs include:

  • Urethra Infection – If the UTI only affects the urethra (which is the tube that carries urine from your bladder to outside your body), it is called urethritis. Most women who have urethritis end up getting bladder infections.
  • Bladder Infection – Also called cystitis, this type of UTI occurs when bacteria (or other germs) enter through the urethra and travel to your bladder. If cystitis is not treated, the bacteria can travel up the ureters (tubes that funnels urine from the kidneys down to the bladder) and into the kidneys, causing an infection.
  • Kidney Infection – Also called pyelonephritis, kidney infections are the most severe type of UTIs. Severe kidney infections, or recurrent infections can sometimes cause permanent damage to your kidneys and even lead you to develop chronic kidney disease. In rare cases, pyelonephritis can spread to your bloodstream (a condition called sepsis).

Over 50 percent of all women will experience a urinary tract infection (abbreviated UTI) in their lifetime. UTIs aren’t fun, and they can cause you to experience a painful or burning sensation when you urinate. Other signs of a UTI include:

  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Urine that has a foul or bad odor
  • Pressure or cramping in your lower abdomen
  • The frequent and strong need to urinate
  • Low fever

Kidney Infections and Your Menstrual Cycle

In general, urinary tract infections usually do not affect your menstrual periods. Kidney infections are the most severe form of UTIs, and they can really run down your body. This, in turn, can cause delays in ovulation and late (or missed) periods.

When untreated, kidney infections can lead to sepsis – a serious illness that causes your bloodstream to be infected with bacteria. Sepsis can cause your blood pressure to drop, leading to shock. Sepsis can cause all your major organs – like your lungs, kidney, liver, and even central nervous system to stop functioning. Sepsis can also cause your reproductive systems to stop working, which will affect your menstrual cycle.

Urinary tract infections – including kidney infections – are usually treated with antibiotics. If you think you may have a UTI, please go see a healthcare provider for treatment.

To recap – urinary tract infections can potentially delay your period, since illnesses can burden your immune system and make it harder for your organs, like the ovaries, to properly do its job. Most of the time, however, UTIs will not delay your period.

Please consult your doctor if you are worried about UTIs and your period. Only your healthcare provider can give you medical advice on your particular situation.

About

DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ny April 16, 2014 at 11:46 am

I was recently treated for a UTI and I took all my medication. It’s gone now but right before I started taking the medicine I had protected sex with my boyfriend. Maybe about 3 weeks ago and again yesterday, also protected. Now I am 3 days late on my period. Should I be worried? Or did the medicine delay my menstrual?

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2 sue April 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm

I had severe kidneys stones and a kidney infection February of 2013. I went to hospital and had an IV /a shot for pain.. I was given antibiotics but didn’t finish taking them all on accident. Then around late February/ early march of 2014. I happen to get a bad kidney infection again. I took my own antibiotics and pain meds instead of going to the doctor. I felt Completely better in about 5 day . But now it is mid-april and I haven’t had my period since January. I would have had it late February when I had the infection. So this is my 3rd month and I’m waiting to see if I’m gonna miss my 3rd period. Oh did I mention I’m on 17…. Is there ANY WAY it could he late from the infection. Me and my boyfriend of 2 years are scared and Its hard to buy a test when none of our family or friends is standing right there with us.. please let me know your thoughts on this ASAP

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3 CHARITY February 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm

ive been having nauseous feeling, cramping, frequent urination but not alot at one time. im not sure if its a uti or if im pregnant. i took a test but it was negative, but im eight days late for my menstrual cycle. i had sex around the time i should be ovulating. i just started having sex and he uses protection. could it be a UTI that is causing my late period? please help

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4 katie December 28, 2013 at 9:29 am

Hi I had a water infection last month now again this month I am two weeks late but feel pregnant around my nipples has gone darker heartburn all the time and slight morning sickness on a evening cnt wear anything tight on my stomach all signs I’ve had with my other children I’ve had loads of water infections and they have never stopped my period I’ve done 6 tests 3 at the docs and all neg am so confused :( plz help

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5 Amber October 2, 2013 at 1:34 am

I have a UTI, but dont have money for a doctor, nor a doctor for that matter. Im kinda scared due to letting a UTI go before and having it affect my blood. Now Im 2 days late. IDK what to do

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6 DP Nguyen October 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm

You need to get your UTI treated so that it doesn’t spread to your kidneys. Kidney infections are serious business. So you need to go see a doctor or go to a walk-in clinic, or urgent care. You need antibiotics to stop the UTI from spreading! I know it’s expensive but your health is important!

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7 Rachel September 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I had a uti like 3 wks ago dr gave me antibiotics, I took it for 7 days and didnt finish the pills. Now I’m on my period and whenever I go pee it hurts. Can it be possible for the uti to come back?

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8 DP Nguyen September 16, 2013 at 1:09 am

If you didn’t finish the pills, there is a good chance that it came back. Given your symptoms, I do think that the UTI has come back. I would go back to the doctor and get more antibiotics. It is very important that you finish each round of antibiotics so that it kills everything. Even if you are feeling better, you should finish all the antibiotics next time. Good luck!

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9 What Does Kidney Pain Feel Like June 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
I don’t understand the reason why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

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10 penelope May 16, 2013 at 3:23 am

I had unprotected sex with my bf on d 21st,22nd nd 23rd of my menstrual cycle but he didn’t cum inside of me.I’m supposed to see my period on the 14th to 17th of May and this is already 16th yet nothing..could I be pregnant?_please reply me soonest

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11 besök sidan May 8, 2013 at 3:34 am

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12 Alaiah April 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Lady Soma cranberry Supplement works great if you have a bladder infection. I got it and took two a day for a few days and mine was relieved quite a bit. Now keep in mind, I have then pretty regularly, so that’s why I took two a day .

If you are healthy and have an occasional urinary tract infection , this might be the ticket.
Cheers :-)

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13 k March 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

hello am having a UTI for now some days nw like 3 days and am late for my period for like 6 days now .. i have been havin sexual intercourse for now 1 month and i even did 2 pregnancy tests as precaution both -ve .. this is not the first time am havin a UTI .. is my period late because of the UTI or havin sexual relationshp?

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14 let March 27, 2013 at 9:20 am

i have spotting during my uti is this symptoms of pregnancy?

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15 Lelanda Cole March 21, 2013 at 12:03 am

Have a uti and was treated a week ago I finish the pills in 3 days but I feel bloat3d am I pregnant

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16 Natasha March 15, 2013 at 2:12 am

hi. a month ago a day just afta my menses i was diagnised with a kidney uti tht was so servere.i also had malaria n ulcers. i was treated wth antibiotics for th uti as wel as malaria drugs n omed drugs for the acidity below my diafram.i alsl had sex a week to my expected menses.
i always hav my periods afta 28days and thy neva skip a day for th past 9years. it is since 4days n hav not seen them.
im nervours.cld it b coz of th drugs tho medicin has neva affected my cycle nor weather nor sicknes.?
or cld it b bcz th uti had spread over my kidneys? plz help cz im sick tensed scared n nervos.

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17 Joanna February 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I have recently got the the hospital because I had a fever, chest pains, back pain, fatigue, and no appetite. I found out that I have a UTI, my period is 6 weeks late and there is no way I am pregnant. I am currently on antibiotics for my UTI, should I expect my period soon or is it more likely that my period will be back after I finish my antibiotics?

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18 Lucy February 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm

for the lAst couple of dys ive. Had. A horrible pains on the left side of my stomache and i looked at the symptoms and I do have all the symptoms but not fever and also my periods came two weeks early than normal. When I’m asleep I find it hard to get comfy and need to get up every ten minutes to go for the toilet. Ive vometed a few times. I’ve already been to the doctor and they didn’t know what it was and just gave me paracetamol but hasn’t worked but if you could help me then that would be great thanks.

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19 DP Nguyen February 22, 2013 at 11:18 am

I would go back to the doctor and ask them to dig deeper, to figure out what is causing your pain and discomfort.

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20 kristy February 17, 2013 at 11:06 am

I had a urinary track infection that was left untreated for awhile, due to not sure if that was what the problem was. My advise is too please do not never wait! If you suspect you have a UTI, go get medical attention asap. Once it goes untreated, the pain, nausea and vomiting is unbearable.

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21 Amber October 2, 2013 at 1:31 am

Agreed, was in the hospital for a few days with the same problems, my problem now is i have no money for a doctor

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22 Melissa January 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm

So I got a uti this past Saturday and got my period the nxt day normal flow and today is my third day and nothing? I didn’t go to the doctors I just drank a lot of water and well started peeing normally but was jw if the uti made my period shorter than normal if u can let me know cause I’ve had uti’s in the past and don’t remember it ever affecting my periods. Thanks

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23 sheila January 12, 2013 at 1:28 am

sheila hi i have a u.t.i and i missed one of my period..i got sex a week before my period at that time 3 weeks after i take pregnacy test but it is negative.. after a week on taking the test, i take the test again but it is still negative??? what should i do?

pls dont post my fullname tnx..can you leave me a private message if you are going my question tnx alot

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24 courtney December 30, 2012 at 1:03 am

I have been diagnosed with a UTI. I went to the doctor, not thinking anything about the possibility of being pregnant. I was put on antibiotics, but then was switched due to having E-Coli bacteria. Then, I noticed I am a week or two late on my period. I don’t have any signs or symptoms of my period nor pregnancy. the only things I notice a slight difference in is I am having terrible headaches and slight bloating in abdomen. should I take a pregnancy test? or is it just the UTI effecting my cycle?
please respond ASAP

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25 thembi December 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

i have missed my period i took a home pregnancy test and the results were negative what could b the problem please reply quickly

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26 heather October 31, 2012 at 11:42 pm

i ‘m on birth control I had all the symptoms except fever.. And I thought I was pregnant but neg on both urine and blood tests. But my period still didn’t come. Can uti’s still affect your period when on birth control? Bc I have had really bad cases of tonsilitis with high fever and my period was still normal.

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27 Ashley October 21, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I recently just finished my UTI antibiotics and my eperiod is almost a week and a half late.It was a pretty bad UTI, would this cause my period to be delayed? Im having all the side effects of a period except the bleeding.

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28 DP Nguyen October 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Yeah, it is definitely possible that your UTI delayed your period. Some women with UTIs don’t experience any late periods, but some do. Just being sick can mess up your cycle by a few days. If you are having all the side effects of a period, it’s probable that your period will soon come. When in doubt, take a home pregnancy test.

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29 maya joe September 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm

i do have the have the urinary tract infections, and my period is late :((
what should i do pllllllllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssseeeeeeeee answer me as quick as possible, its been late for months and half i think!
but please answer me if you know

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30 DP Nguyen September 12, 2012 at 12:20 am

Go see a doctor to get an accurate answer in your individual case.

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31 Dory April 6, 2012 at 5:09 am

Just want to know when do i get pregrant after treating stappl,UTI,Candid

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