How To Prevent A Uti After Having Sex
To minimize the likelihood of bad bacteria entering your urethra, the easiest thing to do is to flush out the area naturally by urinating. Make it a habit to pee right away after every single sexual encounter involving your genital area, whether its masturbation or partner activity.
Even if youre just using a sex toy by yourself, this can increase the likelihood of bacteria getting where its not supposed to be. Make sure to clean your sex toys after every single use and to pee every time after using them.
The sooner you head to the bathroom after sex, the better aim for within 15 to 30 minutes after the end of sexual activity. It may be unsexy and inconvenient, but its a super important practice for your health.
Research has shown that women who always urinate after sex have a lower likelihood of developing UTIs than women who rarely or sometimes do this.
Keep Getting Cystitis After Having Sex Here’s What To Do
Sex can increase your likelihood of getting cystitis, especially if you do not pee afterwards.
Does it burn when you pee? If your urethra stings coupled with symptoms including an increased need to urinate and generally feeling unwell, it’s possible you might have cystitis.
Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, usually caused by a bladder infection and sex can increase your likelihood of getting cystitis, especially if you don’t pee afterwards.
We speak to gynaecologist and co-founder of HANX Dr Sarah Welsh for everything you need to know about cystitis and sex:
Recurrent Episodes Of Cystitis
It is now generally more accepted amongst the medical community that sex related cystitis is not always caused by an outside source of bacteria, for example, a new partner. Recurrent infections may also be caused by the agitation of dormant bacteria already deeply embedded in the bladder wall, migrating to the bladder lining where they proliferate, causing the same infection to flare up again when conditions become favorable.
Doctors are becoming increasingly reluctant to prescribe antibiotics until the infection has progressed into the kidneys. Antibiotics destroy pathogenic bacteria causing the infection, however they also destroy beneficial bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract. If enough beneficial bacteria are destroyed, side effects such as an overgrowth of yeast may give rise to Thrush. Many women suffering from recurrent cystitis often report a cycle of infection, course of antibiotics, case of thrush, period of well-being, then reinfection.
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Urinary Tract Infection Signs
Nothing can guarantee you wont get a bladder infection after sex, but the above along with staying hydrated all the time can help. If you suspect you have a UTI, get medical help right away. This prevents the UTI from getting too severe and making its way up to your kidneys. Signs of a UTI include
- Burning urination
- Smelly urine
A general feeling of illness can also accompany a UTI, especially if you have a severe bladder infection. In severe cases and as we said above, the infection can travel up the urethra into the bladder and then up into your kidneys. In this case, you may also experience back pain and disorientation or confusion.
So How Can We Manage Sex Related Cystitis
- Take prophylactic dose of D-Mannose one hour before sexual activity.
- Immediately after sex, urinate and take another dose of D-Mannose.
- The following morning, take another dose and then another every 4 6 hours.
- Maintain a urine pH of 7 or higher, to inhibit bacterial growth.
- Both partners should practise strict hygiene standards.
- Gradually you should be able to return to a normal sex life.
See our article titled How much D-Mannose should you take, for detailed instructions on how to effectively use D-Mannose for Urinary Tract Infections.
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Are Utis Dangerous To Health
Many UTIs clear up within a few days after being treated with antibiotics. But if a UTI is left untreated you risk running into more serious health complications. Complications include kidney infections and kidney damage, recurring urinary tract infections, and even sepsis.
UTIs are also more dangerous during pregnancy, when there is greater risk for a mother and baby. Its important to see or get in touch with your doctor right away If you have any symptoms of a UTI while pregnant.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Womens Health Arizona. As Arizonas largest ObGyn group, were trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.
Can You Have Sex With A Uti
Technically yes its unlikely to do any major damage but it might not feel very good.
If youre dealing with a burning sensation around your urethra, adding friction probably doesnt sound too appealing.
Plus, the last thing you need is to move more bacteria to the affected area and up the risk of further inflammation, which could mess with your treatment plan.
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Uti After Sex Why Do I Keep Getting Them
Very briefly a Urinary Tract Infection is when bacteria that normally lives outside the body finds its way into your bladder. T he most common way people get a UTI is after sex.
Once in your bladder, it starts multiplying and clings to the sides of your bladder and urethra . Once there, it causes extreme discomfort and thats why it stings when you pee.
Its very rare for a UTI after sex to cure itself. f you leave it without treatment, it can spread up to your kidneys where it can become more serious and harder to shift and you could even damage your kidneys.
So trying to live with a bladder infection is not an option. You have to get rid of it as fast as possible.
You get UTI after sex because your urethra, the tube leading up to your bladder, is very short. The friction during sex, makes it easier for the bacteria to make the short journey up the urethra to your bladder.
Also the opening out of the body is very close to your anus which naturally and normally contains more bacteria such as E-Coli.
No matter how clean you are during sex its very easy to transfer microscopic and invisible bacteria close to your urethra. And from there, it makes its way rapidly to your bladder and the UTI starts.
So how do you stop this happening?
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnancy
UTI is the most frequent medical complication of pregnancy. The risk factors of preterm delivery, low infant birth weight and abortions are most commonly associated with symptomatic and asymptomatic bacteriuria during pregnancy.77 In pregnancy, factors that contribute to UTI risk are ureteric and renal pelvis dilation increased urinary pH decreased muscle tone of the ureters, and glycosuria, which promotes bacterial growth. Treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy reduces the risk of pyelonephritis. As RUTIs are common in pregnancy, they need prophylactic treatment if they occur. Screening for bacteriuria is recommended in all pregnant women at their first prenatal visit and then in the third trimester.82,83 They should subsequently be treated with antibiotics such as nitrofurantoin, sulfisoxazole or cephalexin.21,24,8284 Antibiotic prophylaxis for RUTI in pregnant women is effective using continuous or post-coital regimens. The causative organisms of UTI in pregnancy are similar to those found in non-pregnant patients, with E. coli accounting for 8090% of infections.85,86 Urinary group B streptococcal infections in pregnant women need to be treated and followed by intrapartum prophylaxis.21
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What Foods To Avoid If You Have A Bladder Infection
So try to avoid lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes when youre treating a UTI. Other fruits that may cause bladder irritation and worsen a urinary tract infection include apples, peaches, grapes, plums, strawberries, and pineapple. You should also steer clear of juices made from these fruits.
Early Intervention Is Key
From my reading and research, it sounds like its important to get your symptoms under control early. Dietary changes when you first experience symptoms can prevent your condition from progressing. Patients who have had an irritated bladder for a longer period of time experience less relief from dietary changes.
If it turns out you do have interstitial cystitis, there are medications and treatments that may be beneficial to you.
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Conservative Approach To Prevention
A number of risk factors, other than sexual activity, have been identified in patients with recurrent UTIs. Contraceptive methods employing a diaphragm and/or spermicides and tampon use have been associated with increased risk of UTI., Contraceptive methods should be changed, spermicidal agents should be discontinued, and patients should consider using pads instead of tampons. Drinking cranberry juice or cranberry extract appears to be a safe and possibly effective method of reducing the frequency of recurrent UTIs in some women. Attempting to change the vaginal flora by douching with lactobacilli has been suggested but not proven. It is probable that in the future, some form of immunization program will be the key to prevention of recurrent UTIs. It is probably appropriate to suggest that patients stay hydrated, void regularly, avoid feminine hygiene products such as vaginal douches and scented bubble baths, and practice proper toilet habits , although none of these practices has proven to be effective in reducing the incidence of recurrent UTIs.
Other Uti Risk Factors
Sex increases the chances of contracting a UTI, but there are many other risk factors as well. If you are not sure how you got your UTI, check out 26 main UTI causes that you should know about.
Because bacteria can easily find their way into a womans very short urethra, its very common for women to have UTIs without knowing the real cause.
Sometimes, the urethra gets irritated by sexual activity and you might then get urinary symptoms like frequency, urgency, and burning while urinating. This is called honeymoon cystitis, which may be one of two things. Sometimes after not having any sex for a long time, the vaginal flora may be thrown out of balance chemically , increasing your risk of UTIs some studies show increased bacteria in the urine after intercourse. Alternately, you could have honeymoon urethritis. In this case, the symptoms may not be caused by bacteria or STDs, but by overstimulation and inflammation in the urethra and will likely go away in a few days.
If you repeatedly experience these symptoms and your urine sample is clean, use a lubricant, stay away from spermicides, harsh soaps or other chemicals and make sure your partner is gentle during sex and takes good care of their nails.
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How Are Utis Treated
Your doctor will typically prescribe an oral antibiotic to rid you of the UTI.
Yavagal says if you come down with a UTI frequently, ask your doctor to do a culture one time to be sure this is actually what you have. A chronic bladder condition known as interstitial cystitis is sometimes mistaken for a UTI, she says. You should be especially suspicious if the antibiotics you have taken for your UTIs in the past have not sufficiently helped.
Diagnosis Of Childrens Symptoms Can Be Difficult
It may be difficult to diagnose a child with cystitis purely on the basis of the symptoms. A urine sample will usually be necessary, and in some cases blood samples.
The diagnosis and treatment will differ, depending on whether it is an upper or lower urinary tract infection. In cases of inflammation of the renal pelvis, an ultrasound scan or x-ray will be taken, or possibly an isotope examination, which is taken during urination.
This is to check whether the infection is due to congenital malformations which may make the child more prone to urinary tract infections.
What Can I Do To Help Prevent Cystitis
Unfortunately there is no evidence that any lifestyle changes really help to prevent cystitis. Traditionally, doctors have advised drinking plenty of fluids to ‘flush out’ the germs , and drinking cranberry juice. However, there is no evidence this makes any difference. Researchers are also studying the effects of probiotics on preventing cystitis but currently there isn’t enough evidence to know if they are of any use either. Other changes, such as the way you clean yourself and which underwear you wear, have also not been found to make any difference. If recurring cystitis is a problem, you may need to discuss one of the options below with your doctor.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated
You will need to treat a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria and fight an infection. Antibiotics are typically used to treat urinary tract infections. Your healthcare provider will pick a drug that best treats the particular bacteria thats causing your infection. Some commonly used antibiotics can include:
- Quinolones .
Its very important that you follow your healthcare providers directions for taking the medicine. Dont stop taking the antibiotic because your symptoms go away and you start feeling better. If the infection is not treated completely with the full course of antibiotics, it can return.
If you have a history of frequent urinary tract infections, you may be given a prescription for antibiotics that you would take at the first onset of symptoms. Other patients may be given antibiotics to take every day, every other day, or after sexual intercourse to prevent the infection. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best treatment option for you if you have a history of frequent UTIs.
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Preventing Utis With Drugs
At times, antibiotics are used as a preventative measure for those with frequent UTI recurrences. In addition, postmenopausal women can benefit from a different type of a medicinal prevention strategy.
- Antimicrobial Prophylaxis In some cases of urinary tract infection recurrences, a physician may recommend antimicrobial prophylaxis, which is the use of antibiotics to prevent another infection. This has been shown to effectively reduce ones risk of recurrent UTIs in women with two infections over the previous year.
- Postcoital Prophylaxis For those whose UTI recurrences are related to sexual intercourse, taking antibiotics after intercourse may be preferable. Depending on the frequency of intercourse, postcoital prophylaxis likely results in less use than antimicrobial prophylaxis.
- Estrogen for Postmenopausal WomenThe use of a vaginal cream or an estradiol-releasing vaginal ring have both been shown to be an effective strategy for reducing recurrent urinary tract infections in postmenopausal women. In fact, vaginal estrogen has been shown to reduce recurrent UTIs by 36 to 75 percent.
Classification Of Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are classified into 6 categories. The first category is an uncomplicated infection this is when the urinary tract is normal, both structurally and physiologically, and there is no associated disorder that impairs the host defense mechanisms. The second category is an complicated infection this is when infection occurs within an abnormal urinary tract, such as when there is ureteric obstruction, renal calculi, or vesicoureteric reflux. The third category, an isolated infection, is when it is the first episode of UTI, or the episodes are 6 months apart. Isolated infections affect 2540% of young females. The fourth category, an unresolved infection, is when therapy fails because of bacterial resistance or due to infection by two different bacteria with equally limited susceptibilities. The fifth category, reinfection, occurs where there has been no growth after a treated infection, but then the same organism regrows two weeks after therapy, or when a different microorganism grows during any period of time.9,10 This accounts for 95% of RUTIs in women. Bacterial persistence happens when therapy is impaired by the accumulation of bacteria in a location that cannot be reached by antibiotics, such as infected stones, urethral diverticula and infected paraurethral glands. The sixth category, relapse, is when the same microorganism causes a UTI within two weeks of therapy however, it is usually difficult to distinguish a reinfection from a relapse.11
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Utis After Sex Are Worse Than Using The Toilet Around A New Partner
They sometimes refer to UTIs as honeymooners syndrome. Historically women became sexually active on their honeymoons.
There was probably already a mixture of fear and trepidation. Then add the potential embarrassment of showing your new husband that you needed to use the toilet. That may have been enough to leave many new brides with a desperately full bladder and bacterial growth flourishing.
New relationships encounter these same problems too. In this last instance the toilet was next to the bedroom and the door did not close. So I was less than enthusiastic about issuing the powerful jet of urine that might have saved me.
And its not just not peeing after sex that can cause problems. It turns out its about poo too! Constipation is linked to recurrent UTIs, especially in kids.
So if youre also not making regular bowel movements due to the awkwardness of a new relationship, its best to just get over it.
UTIs after sex prevention tip 5: Its important to avoid constipation. Keeping bowel movements regular can help with urinary tract health.
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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs usually happen because bacteria enter the urethra, then make their way up into the bladder and cause an infection. Girls get UTIs much more often than guys, most likely due to differences in the shape and length of the urethra. Girls have shorter urethras than guys, and the opening lies closer to the anus and the vagina, where bacteria are likely to be.
Bacteria can get into the urethra several ways. During sex, for example, bacteria in the vaginal area may be pushed into the urethra and eventually end up in the bladder, where pee provides a good environment for the bacteria to grow. This is why females who are sexually active often get UTIs.
Bacteria may also get into a girls bladder if she wipes from back to front after a bowel movement , which can contaminate the urethral opening. The use of spermicides and diaphragms as contraceptives also may increase the risk of UTIs.
Sexually transmitted diseases may cause UTI-like symptoms, such as pain with peeing. This is due to the inflammation and irritation of the urethra or vagina thats sometimes associated with chlamydia and other STDs. If untreated, STDs can lead to serious long-term problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Unlike UTIs, STDs are contagious.
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