Can a UTI delay your period?

Brittany Pierce
Brittany Pierce
April 16, 2023
min read
Technically reviewed by: 
Adele Morris
Can a UTI delay your period?

If you’ve ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) during your period, you may have noticed irregularities. While there’s no direct link between UTIs and menstrual cycle delays, there may be an indirect relationship due to psychological factors.

Other variables such as specific medications, lifestyle habits, and medical conditions can also affect your menstrual cycles. As a result, it’s not out of the ordinary to notice period delays when going through a UTI.

Can a UTI Affect Your Period?

There is no evidence to support a direct link between UTIs and delays in your menstrual cycle. Yet, there may be some indirect relationship between the two, as research shows that stress and similar psychological factors can change your period’s timing.

While the topic is still being researched, a comprehensive 2006 review shows that stress can impair the ovarian cycle. This doesn’t always manifest as menstrual irregularity, but mental burdens can delay your period as long as stress remains present.

Mental stress due to a UTI can impair with your normal menstrual cycle.

Researchers suggest that this may happen due to the hormonal imbalance that stress causes. When sustained over time, the famous “fight or flight” response can release a specific type of hormone known as corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). In turn, CRH suppresses gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) activity, which regulates menstrual cycles.

Studies show that high stress due to a UTI may disrupt your normal menstrual cycle.

Another 2015 study supports this theory, indicating that high stress levels can cause menstrual irregularities. Yet, its authors point out that stress doesn’t affect the period duration, amount of flow, and level of pain.

It’s also important to remember that prolonged stress can affect future periods, so it’s normal to still be irregular afterward.

It’s completely normal to feel anxious, afraid, and stressed when going through a UTI during periods. Menstrual irregularities can intensify these emotions, so it’s important to discard other possible causes to relieve your mental burden.

Can UTI Treatment Delay Your Period?

The most common UTI treatment is antibiotics, which combat the bacteria causing the infection. Most antibiotics used to treat UTIs have no direct impact on the menstrual cycle. However, the medication rifampin is an exception.

Certain medications, such as Rifampin can interfere with your normal menstrual cycle.

Rifampin is an antibiotic used to prevent and treat meningococcal infections. Although it’s not the most common choice for treating UTIs, some doctors may prescribe it if they believe the infection stems from these bacteria.

Rifampin is known to interfere both with menstrual periods and birth control pills. Therefore, taking this medication may lead to abnormal bleeding, absence of periods, and increased time between them.

Other medications, like antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and hormonal therapy can also disrupt the menstrual cycle. If you’re taking any of these, you should check with a doctor to determine if they are the cause of the delay.

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What Can Delay Your Period?

Besides some specific medications, other factors can influence your menstrual cycle. Naturally, the most obvious one is pregnancy, which causes your periods to stop altogether. We also mentioned stress, which can be a big factor — even if it’s unrelated to a UTI on a period.

Sudden weight loss can also cause irregularities in your periods. Low caloric intakes are strongly related to the inhibition of specific hormones that are needed for menstruating. Similarly, being overweight can also cause hormonal imbalances that lead to delays in your menstrual cycle.

Other common causes of delays in periods include:

  • Contraceptive pills
  • Menopause
  • Over-exercising
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

If you are going through a UTI and notice period irregularities, it might be a good idea to review these causes first. A doctor can easily tell if medications, lifestyle habits, conditions, or other factors are causing the delay.

Can a UTI Cause Bleeding Like a Period?

While UTI bleeding is a common symptom, it is significantly different from period bleeding. UTIs may cause blood in your urine (hematuria), but they won’t cause abnormal discharge whenever you aren’t urinating.

Period bleeding, instead, may happen at any time, whether you’re peeing or not. It will also usually be thicker and more noticeable than UTI bleeding, as it won’t be diluted in urine.

In any case, if you notice blood in your urine, it might be a good idea to check with a doctor. While it’s a common UTI symptom, it’s hard to tell on your own if there isn’t another condition causing the bleeding.


UTIs don’t have a direct link to menstrual irregularities. However, they can cause stress, which is a known factor that can cause delays in your period. Other variables may also change your cycle, so it’s best to check with a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

  1. Mind over matter: psychological factors and the menstrual cycle. (August 2006). Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology.
  2. To evaluate the effect of perceived stress on menstrual function. (March 2015). Journal of clinical and diagnostic research.
  3. Important Notes on Rifampin. (February 1995). Manitoba Health.
  4. What causes amenorrhea? (January 2017). National Institutes of Health.
  5. Stopped or missed periods. (n. d.). Nidirect.
  6. Urinary tract infections in adults. (n. d.). Nidirect.
About the Author
Brittany Pierce

Brittany Pierce is a healthcare content writer with a degree in nutrition. Her passion for nutrition, holistic health, and diet drives her career as she believes that food is medicine. Brittany is excited to be working with Diagnox, a leading healthcare company, as she feels that this job perfectly matches her career and personal aspirations. In her free time, Brittany enjoys spending time with her dogs and learning about new ways to improve her own health and well-being.

With a strong foundation in nutrition and a dedication to improving the overall health and well-being of individuals, Brittany is committed to delivering high-quality content that empowers readers to make informed decisions about their health. She is excited to continue her work with Diagnox and contribute to the company's mission of providing exceptional healthcare services.

About the Reviewer
This blog was
Technically reviewed by: 
Adele Morris

Adele Morris served as the editor and proofreader of this blog, displaying her exceptional editorial skills and expertise in the field.

The blog was also reviewed by the Diagnox content team. Diagnox Staff consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, content writers, and healthcare professionals with an expertise to create and review high-quality, informative, accurate, and easy-to-understand content for both professionals and everyday readers. Our staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the credibility and authenticity of the information, reviewing them independently and verifying them by various scientific and technical sources to ensure accuracy. Our review team believes in delivering knowledge free from bias to improve public health and well-being.

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