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Colorado Springs, CO
A 19-year-old female asked:

Can holding in your urine really cause a uti? i thought urine was sterile.

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
Yes. Good question: Urine is sterile, however bacteria are liable to travel up a female urethra, which is short, from within labia & area around urethral meatus (opening). Regular or frequent urination empies bladder of urine & unattached bacteria. This prevents utis in many women. However, bacteria have time to multiply & attach to bladder lining & cause UTI when subject holds urinating. Specially true after sex.
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Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 57 years experience
Holding in your urine is a physiologic form of obstruction. Dr. Donald Kaye's experiments many years ago confirm what Dr. Klauber has said, in that the bladder wall will kill bacteria as long as urine is kept flowing, but when stangnant, UTI may occur.
Jun 18, 2013
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
Provided original answer
Thank you. Very helpful supportive comment.
Jun 18, 2013
Last updated Jun 10, 2014

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