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Gynecology

Is my wife infectious?

03/30/2009

Question:

A coincidence too hard to ignore.

My wife and I are 80 years old. We do not have any other sex partners. I had sex with her in 08/08/08 and got a UTI three days after the sex. The UTI was diagnosed and treated by our primary care Dr. Just two weeks ago we had sex again, and three days later I had another UTI. Again diagnosed and treated by our primary Dr. I have noticed a white, frothy, discharge from her vagina on my penis after I with draw from her vagina. Also I have noticed a very light colored (tan) dried residue on the white bed sheet from her lubricating discharge. The dried colored area is about 5 inches across.

Doctors have told me that I have an unusually large opening at the end of my urethra. I think the bacterium from her might find it easier to enter a larger opening like I have as opposed to normal size opening. I use a prostaglandin injection into my penis to give me an erection. It lasts a long time, so I am usually inside of her for about 20 minutes.

My conclusion is that she has an infection she is giving to me due to the coincidences of my two UTI’s twice now after sex, the colored vaginal discharge, the frothy discharge.

I have had sex with her several times in between those two occasions where I could not maintain an erection, and withdrew from her after about 4 minutes. I did not get a UTI after those times. It was only after I had been within her for the longer 20 minutes.

She also has a sore area on her vaginal wall that irritates her during sex, but does not irritate her when we do not have sex.

She talked to our primary Dr about it and she (a lady) says it is very difficult for a woman to infect a man, and was so sure of her opinion that she did not want to do a pelvic exam, nor take any swab samples for culturing growth. She said the sore spot in the vagina is normal during sex.

I do not want to have sex with my wife and get another UTI. What is your reaction to this situation?

Answer:

For one, your wife's vaginal discharge and sore area in the vagina warrant an exam. She needs to be evaluated for an infection. Having said that, most UTI's are not due to an abnormal bacteria, but rather normal bacteria in an abnormal place. There are some bacteria that are healthy and need to be in the vagina. Although bacteria can enter the penis with a larger opening, it still has to travel a long way and is usually flushed out with urination which is why men have a more difficult time getting a UTI. There are some other things like a bladder tumor, polyp, etc that could predispose to a bladder infection. This needs to be ruled out in all men who develop a UTI. Lastly, I hope that each UTI was confirmed with a culture and not just based on symptoms.

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Response by:

Thomas  A deHoop, MD Thomas A deHoop, MD
Formerly Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Medical Student Education
No longer associated