Sex and UTIs: 2 Rules to Remember
When we talk about safe sex, we are normally referring to condoms, contraceptive pills, and blood screenings for sexually transmitted diseases. But there are four rules we need to remember to keep sex safe – at least when it comes to your urinary tract.
There is a reason that urinary tract infections are sometimes referred to as “honeymoon cystitis.” There truly is a sex and UTI connection, but it may not be exactly what you think it is.
I am here to clear up for you. You will see exactly why sex can lead to a urinary tract infection. And then I want to talk about how to protect yourself from the issue in the first place.
Why Sex Leads To UTIs
Let’s start off by understanding one important factor: urinary tract infections are not contagious. So your partner is not infecting you with one directly. When we say you get UTIs from having sex, it is not in the same way you would get a sexually transmitted infection. You do not pass them back and forth.
In this case, UTIs from sex have everything to do with the combo of anatomy and bacteria.
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UTIs start when bacteria enters and then infects the urinary tract. I know none of us like to think of things like bacteria from the genitals/anus when we are talking about sex, but it is the real science of it all. We all have bacteria down there.
So when you are having sex, there is a lot of movement that can sort of “encourage” any bacteria that may have been on you – or on him – to go into the urethra. For women, this can happen so easily when you have sex for two reasons:
- The urethra is located just above the vagina
- The female urethra is significantly shorter than a male’s (meaning it hits the bladder faster and easier)
Once the bacteria is in your urinary tract, it can quickly start the process of infection. But the situation is not hopeless… so remember these rules
1. Going To The Bathroom Saves The Day
The first rule to this unfortunate sex and UTI connection is as simple as can be.
Right when you are done having sex, go to the bathroom. The urine acts as an immediate flushing system. It will get rid of the bacteria that may have entered your urethra before it goes any further.
But what if you don’t have to go to the bathroom? Or do you find it difficult to pee after sex or an orgasm? Drink some extra water and then go as soon as you can. And if you feel like you can never manage to urinate post-sex, talk to your doctor to see if you may have some bladder issues that need to be addressed.
I know planning sounds like it dampers sexual spontaneity – but a UTI is even more of a damper. If you know you will be having sex, drink a glass or two of water. And unless you have to go very badly, do not urinate right before sex.
On the topic of going to the bathroom, make sure you are going all the time in general. Holding it in can leave any problematic bacteria sitting in your bladder for too long. When you feel the urge, make it a point to go.
2. Spermicide Is An Extra UTI Risk
Since we are already talking about sex and UTIs, let’s not forget another way making love can also make a urinary tract infection: condoms.
I know what you are probably thinking – here you are using a condom to keep you safe in one way – and yet it can cause harm in another way. But fear not. There is a way to keep using condoms without any painful issues.
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Ditch the spermicide.
Spermicide coated condoms are the big culprits of condom-induced UTIs. Not only are they good at killing off sperm, they are also good at killing off good bacteria – which is exactly what you need to ward off UTIs.
Simply switch them out for regular condoms. And if you are using spermicide jellies, swap them for different types of birth control.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
Now you know a post-sex bathroom trip is the most important way to avoid UTIs, and you are going to go to the store for regular condoms, so you should be good to go.
But if you are concerned about getting a urinary tract infection, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself:
- D-mannose: This supplement is scientifically proven to help cleanse and protect the urinary tract, including to help flush away bacteria. It can be a great option for daily protection if you have these issues occasionally.
- Hibiscus Extract: Here is yet another natural supplement to add to your regiment to help protect your urinary health.
- Water: Not only does hydration help prevent UTIs, staying well-hydrated means you should be able to urinate whenever you need to – like right after sex.
- Do not douche: Some women may want to douche after sex to “clean” themselves. Your body already cleans itself. All douching does is irritate the area and mess with your PH levels.
If you do end up with a UTI, lay off the sex for a few days. Not because it is contagious, but because your body needs time to heal. Then get on a regimen of D-mannose to help protect your urinary health (and sex life) every day.