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COVID-19 and urinary tract infection (UTI)

Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team

Updated on


  • COVID-19 can trigger urinary tract infections as the virus can bind to ACE2 receptors which are also present in the urinary tract. 
  • A COVID UTI can present itself with many symptoms, such pain or discomfort while urinating and a more frequent urge to urinate. 
  • COVID and UTI can usually be resolved with the appropriate rest and medication.

COVID and urinary tract infections have been the topic of various studies, as it appears that infections with the coronavirus can have an effect on the urinary tract as well. In this article, our medical team will guide you through how coronavirus can cause UTIs, the symptoms you may experience, and what to do about an infection.

UTI and COVID-19

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is quite a common infection which can affect several parts of the urinary tract. The bladder is the most commonly affected organ, although the kidneys and ureters can also get infected. Bladder infections are usually referred to as lower UTIs, while kidney and ureter infections are upper UTIs. Bacteria are generally the reason for UTIs, although recent research has concluded that infections with the coronavirus may also increase your risk of having post-COVID urinary tract infections.

Can COVID-19 cause a UTI? 

COVID and UTI have been associated with each other in several studies. The symptoms of COVID-19 can be pretty diverse, with respiratory symptoms such as cough, a runny or congested nose, and shortness of breath being the most commonly reported. Besides these respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 can also affect other body systems, such as the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, central nervous, and urinary systems. Regarding the urinary system, it’s possible to experience urinary symptoms during infection with the coronavirus or afterward.2

The possible reason why COVID-19 can have its effect on different systems throughout the entire body lies in the ACE-2 receptors, which can be found in many structures all over the body. These ACE-2 receptors are also believed to be the link between UTI and COVID. The coronavirus can bind to these receptors easily, which allows the virus to enter the cells and cause damage.

COVID-19 and UTI symptoms

COVID UTI symptoms can take on many forms. You may experience: 2 4

  • Pain and discomfort while urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • An urge to get up at night regularly to urinate 
  • Not being able to empty the bladder completely
  • More frequent urination

The severity of these COVID urinary symptoms is often related to the severity of the infection with the coronavirus. If you're experiencing severe symptoms due to your infection, then the chances are higher that you'll also experience more severe urinary symptoms after your infection.2 4

How long does a COVID UTI last?

The duration of a UTI depends on how severe your symptoms are and which treatment method is being used. Normally, uncomplicated UTIs take a few days to get better when treated with antibiotics. If you do notice that your symptoms are not improving or if they’re getting worse, then you should seek medical advice.5

What can you do if you experience long COVID urinary symptoms? 

If you experience any of the symptoms of a UTI after COVID, then it’s recommended to talk to your healthcare provider. After a UTI has been diagnosed, most cases can be resolved by taking the antibiotics that your healthcare provider has prescribed. You may also receive pain medication to help alleviate the symptoms that your UTI is causing.6

Suppose you have an active COVID infection and a UTI. In that case, you should talk to your healthcare provider to see if you can take antibiotics for your UTI while having COVID, especially if you're on any specific kind of treatment for your infection with the coronavirus. In any case, it's recommended to drink plenty of water while recovering from your illness.  

It’s essential to monitor your symptoms if you have a UTI, as upper UTIs infecting the kidneys or ureters can cause serious damage. Talk to your healthcare provider urgently if you: 5

  • Have a very low or high temperature
  • Are feeling confused or drowsy 
  • Can see blood in your urine 
  • Have pain just under the ribs or in the back

How can you prevent long COVID UTIs?

There are several things that you can do to prevent getting urinary tract infections after COVID or in general: 6  

  • Urinate after sexual activity
  • Avoid holding up your urine 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Ensure good hygiene in the genital area
  • Take showers instead of baths

Wrapping up

COVID UTIs usually develop after the course of the infection with the coronavirus. People who have experienced COVID-19 are more prone to UTIs because of the coronavirus's affinity to bind to ACE2 receptors. These receptors can be found in the urinary tract, which allows the virus to enter the cells and cause damage. Luckily, most UTIs can be resolved with medication. 


Q: Can COVID-19 trigger a UTI?
A: Studies suggest that UTIs can result from long COVID, as the virus can also enter the cells of the urinary tract. 

Q: Can you take antibiotics for UTI while having COVID-19?

A: If you notice signs of a UTI while having COVID, it’s crucial to talk to your healthcare provider about these symptoms so that you can get the appropriate medication. 

Q: What is the appropriate treatment for post-COVID urinary symptoms? 

A: If you experience urinary symptoms after a COVID-19 infection, then your healthcare provider could prescribe you with antibiotics or pain medication to alleviate your symptoms. In any case, it’s essential to drink plenty of water. 

Q: Can I get a COVID booster if I have a UTI? 

A: You can get a COVID booster if you have a UTI, even if you’re on a course of antibiotics.