If you’ve ever experienced a urinary tract infection (UTI) before, then you’ll understand how excruciatingly painful it can be :/
Image via Tenor
In case you didn’t know, UTIs are caused by bacteria that has made its way into the urethra, a tube that brings urine out of the bladder, thus infecting the urinary tract. UTIs most commonly involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra, and serious health problems may occur if the infection travels up to the kidneys.
Typically, women are more prone to getting a UTI, as their urethras are shorter than men’s. In fact, about 50% to 80% of women will acquire cystitis (infection of the bladder) at least once in their lives.
Among the symptoms of a UTI are:
– Pain or burning while urinating
– Frequently urinating
– Having the urgent need to urinate all the time
– Pain in the lower abdomen
– Cloudy/smelly/bloody urine
While UTIs are caused by a myriad of factors such as poor hygiene, did you know that sexual activity also increases your chances of getting the infection? 🙁
Image via Vecteezy
Yup, aside from penetrative sex, oral sex also increases the risk of contracting UTIs, as fingers, mouths, and penises are capable of introducing bacteria to the urethra.
However, this doesn’t mean you gotta stop doing it to prevent UTIs. 😛 All you have to do is take a few precautionary measures, so you can have sex with ease!
For instance, peeing after sex helps to get rid of the bacteria in your bladder. So, simply head to the bathroom to let it all out, and wash your genital area with water too, for good measure. It’s also recommended to urinate and wash before sex as well.
However, if you suspect you’ve already gotten UTI, don’t worry. You’ll first want to seek a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.
Image via Vecteezy
Your doctor will need to conduct a urine test to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, he or she will most likely prescribe you antibiotics to treat the UTI.
While UTI usually clears up after a few days, there are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort:
– Drink lots of water.
– Avoid fluids that can irritate your bladder, such as coffee, soda, and alcohol
– Empty your bladder completely each time you urinate
FYI, one popular belief many have is that cranberry juice can be used to treat UTI, but this simply isn’t true!
Image via Kamran Aydinov (Freepik)
The studies revolving around this myth are weak and inconclusive, though some studies suggest that it may help in reducing the occurrence of UTI. Nevertheless, keep in mind that cranberry juice does not help treat active UTIs.
Look out for more #sexualhealth stories and tips this month!
Image via SAYS