UTIs (aka Urinary Tract Infections) can be painful and a hindrance to your everyday life. There are a range of different causes of a UTI, but luckily they are easily treatable.
One of the biggest questions is whether swimming in a swimming pool can cause a UTI? And if it can, how and why?
In this article, we are going to cover the answer the question of can swimming pools cause a UTI, as well as explain what a UTI is, the symptoms you should look out for, and whether it is safe to swim with one.
Table of Contents
What Is A UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)?
UTI stands for urinary tract infection and occurs when bacteria from the urethra and bladder enter into the kidneys, causing inflammation of the lining of the tubes that carry urine away from the bladder.
This causes pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen and back. A UTI can also cause fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
There are many ways in which you can contract a UTI including:
- Having sexual intercourse
- Wiping from back to front
- Taking antibiotics
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Having a yeast infection
But what about swimming pools? Can they lead to contracting a UTI, and if they can then how?
Can Swimming Pools Cause a UTI?
The answer is technically yes, although it is not common. The chemicals used in chlorine water kill germs and thus prevent infections, like UTIs and yeast infections, of those who are in the water.
However, there’s still a small chance that a swimming pool can cause a UTI.
Chlorine can be an irritant to urinary tracts, especially for women, so it is important to rinse after being in chlorine water.
Alongside this, it is impossible to know whether the pool you’re in has been treated properly, in which case it may have germs within the water that can infect you.
There is also the fact that wearing clothing that is tight around the genitalia (such as a swimsuit) can irritate the area, as well as provide the ideal environment for bacteria to grow.
Preventing A UTI From Swimming
There are a few precautions you can take if you want to avoid contracting a UTI while swimming.
The first is to make sure that you shower both before and after you have been in the pool.
This will help to wash off any germs you may have before entering the water, and again afterward.
You must wash off the chlorine water because the chemicals can be very irritating to your skin, especially if your pool has bleach in it.
You should also remove your wet swimsuits once you are finished swimming – a damp, tight-fitting costume is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Other ways that you can avoid contracting a UTI are to drink plenty of water throughout the day, use a condom during sex, as well as urinate afterward, and of course we do not recommend you drink pool water unless it has been filtered and distilled.
If you do get a UTI, remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and seek medical attention immediately.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
- Always wear a bathing suit that covers your private parts
- Never share towels with anyone else
- Make sure you always rinse off after using the toilet
- Take care when removing your clothes
Can I Swim With A UTI?
If you have a UTI, you should not go swimming. Although swimming is good for your health, it could worsen your condition.
When you have a UTI you need to rest, and avoid strenuous exercise. Also, if you feel like you might pass out, don’t try to swim. Instead, sit down until you recover.
If you do decide to go swimming, however, there is little risk that you would contract another UTI from it, or pass it on to anyone else, as they are not contagious.
Related Read: Does Pee Turn Blue in Swimming Pools?
If you think you’ve contracted a UTI, you’ll probably notice some symptoms such as burning on urination, blood in your urine, or lower abdominal pain.
These symptoms usually last between one and two days and will disappear once you’ve recovered. In rare cases, however, a UTI can become more serious.
In these situations, the symptoms can last longer than expected, and can even lead to kidney failure.
Therefore, if you experience any of the above symptoms, you should see your doctor right away.
Symptoms Of A UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)
Some symptoms of having a UTI include:
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating – This is one of the most telling symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
If you find that it is uncomfortable and/or painful while you urinate then that could be a sign that you have a UTI, and should get treated.
- Discomfort in your lower belly or back – You should pay attention to any pain or discomfort in your body that doesn’t have an obvious cause.
- Fever – If you have a UTI, likely, you will also have a fever.
- Nausea or vomiting – Unexplained nausea or sickness is a sign of a UTI.
- Feeling like you have to go to the bathroom all the time – If you feel the need to go to the restroom more often than you usually would, this could be a sign that you have a UTI.
It’s important to note that there are other reasons why you may experience these symptoms, that aren’t because of a UTI.
For example, you might have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, etc., which can cause similar symptoms.
It is best to go to your doctor if you have any symptoms.
What Happens If I Don’t Treat A UTI?
The main thing to remember is that if you do not treat a UTI, it can become worse.
The longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder it can be to cure.
UTIs on their own are relatively simple to treat, so don’t wait if you suspect you could have one.
An untreated UTI could spread through your bloodstream, leading to serious health problems. Some of them include:
- Kidney damage
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Blood poisoning
So, if you suspect that you have a UTI then don’t delay. Go see your doctor right away!
Our Final Thoughts On If You Can Get A UTI From A Swimming Pool
So, when it comes to wondering if you can get a UTI from a pool, it’s important to know that although swimming in swimming pools can cause a UTI, it is more likely because of the bacteria growth from your swimming costume or chlorine water if you do not rinse it off thoroughly.
Although you can’t spread UTIs, it is best to stay rested until it has cleared up before you go swimming again!
As with anything medically-related, always consult with your doctor on what is best for you in regards to the proper treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections.
Hello! I am a swimming pool contractor with over 10 years of experience helping homeowners install and repair both inground swimming pools and above-ground swimming pools. I enjoy barbecue, Star Wars, blogging, and spending time outside enjoying the backyard with my family.