One of the woes of being a woman is getting a Urinary Tract Infection at some time in your life. UTIs are incredibly common for women, in fact, 50-60% of the women population will experience a UTI at some point. They can happen to babies, teens, adults, and yes, even men too. UTIs can seriously depress you and your vagina, causing unwanted symptoms like pain while urinating, chills, feeling like you have to pee all the time but don't actually have to. We get it; it is a real bummer and wish this didn't happen. But there are ways to conquer them once and for all. Promise.
Why UTIs Happen
Without getting too technical, a urinary tract infection happens when bacteria somehow enters the urinary tract (through the urethra and then to the bladder.) This is very easy to do considering our anatomy, but the urinary system is designed to keep out such invaders. With that said, sometimes our defenses fail. When that happens, bacteria may stick to your vaginal walls and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract. It's that easy. And anything that throws off your vaginal pH balance can also cause the body not to properly fight off the bad bacteria. Most people would be surprised to know that there are actually three kinds of UTIs that you can get.
- Infection of the bladder (cystitis). This is the most common type of UTI. It occurs when Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli), commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, gets into the urethra and travels to the bladder. Sadly, one of the main causes of cystitis is sex. Because vaginas have a short distance from the anus, bacteria can easily make its way inside during sex.
- Infection of the urethra (urethritis). This occurs when the E. coli bacteria just stays in the urethra. This type of UTI can also happen from sex, but most often, it's just from not wiping front to back.
- Infection of the bladder (pyelonephritis). This is more serious than the other two, as it affects the kidneys and causes more painful symptoms. This type usually occurs when a simple UTI is not treated in a timely fashion.
A UTI can start in the urethra and, if not treated, can travel to the bladder and then the kidneys. And E. coli isn't the only type of bacteria that can cause it. It's just the most common.
Now That We Know Why, Let's Learn How to Prevent UTIs
As stated before, sex can cause UTIs, but it isn't the only trigger. And by all means, don't skip sex with your partner just because you might get a UTI. There are lots of ways to keep these suckers away, starting with the obvious.
- Drink tons of water. It really does help keep the urinary tract clean.
- Pee before and after sex. I'm sure you've heard this one a million times as well, but flushing bacteria out will help it not stick or grow.
- Use condoms. Sorry gals, it really does keep things clean down there.
- Avoid oil-based lubes and lotions during sexy time. Opt for lubes that are water-based.
- Wipe your tush. Keep it clean back there after going number 2. Make sure to always wipe front to back after peeing.
- Take urinary tract supplements. If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, these can be your best friend. Evidence shows that D-mannose and cranberry powder help prevent bacteria from sticking to your vaginal parts. Checkable Urinary Tract Balance provides all of the nutrients needed to keep UTIs away.
See, you can still have fun in the sack and prevent UTIs. You may still get one now and again, but these tips should definitely help mitigate them. Remember, antibiotics are needed at the first sign of a UTI so it doesn't develop into a kidney infection. Now, go drink a bottle of water, pee, and take your supplements.