UTIs – What They Really Are & How to Avoid Them

Dec 122017
 

urinary_tract_infectionIf you have a vulva and have heterosexual penetrative sex, chances are you’ve experienced the dreaded UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection.

While that sexual activity is not the only way to get a UTI, it is one of the most common, and in fact, UTIs are an extremely common ailment that will affect most women at least once in their in their lives – though as an added bonus, once you’ve had one, you’re more likely to have one again.

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s dive into exactly what a UTI is, what the symptoms are like, how to treat it, and, importantly, how to take steps to avoid having one.

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection — usually caused by E. Coli or staph saprophyticus — in any part of your urinary system. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract (the bladder and the urethra) but they can also affect your kidneys and ureters.

The reason why women are much more likely to get UTIs than men is because we have a shorter urethra, and due to its proximity to our vagina, the introduction of someone else’s genitals into the equation make it a prime situation for causing these bacterial infections.

What are the Symptoms of a UTI?

Getting your first UTI can be a terrifying experience, and once you’ve had one, you’ll definitely know if you’ve gotten another. The most common symptoms are:

  • A burning sensation or pain with urination
  • A constant urge to pee even when your bladder is empty
  • Difficulty controlling when you urinate
  • Foul smelling and/or cloudy urine

And much more seriously:

  • Blood in your urine
  • Pain in the lower back or pelvis
  • Fever or chills
  • Nausea

Go seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing fever, chills, nausea or vomiting.

How Are Urinary Tract Infections Treated?

Usually UTIs are treated with a short course of antibiotics, though sometimes you may also be prescribed pain medication to help numb the urethra.

No matter how often you feel the urge to urinate, it’s important to go as soon as you have the urge rather than holding it. It’s also helpful to avoid tight clothing, especially anything made of synthetic material and close-fitting underwear like thongs—think loose pants and comfy cotton granny panties.

If you have a urinary tract infection, it’s also important to avoid sex (as this can reintroduce bacteria), and drink a lot of water to help flush out the bacteria. It’s also recommended that you avoid drinks like coffee and alcohol that may irritate your bladder.

The Cranberry Myth

Myth may be a strong word, but despite anecdotal advice, there is yet to be truly conclusive evidence that unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry tablets will help clear up a urinary tract infection though it won’t hurt.

How Can You Avoid Getting a UTI?

While anatomy can be a factor when it comes to how susceptible you are to UTIs, there are some steps you can take to try and avoid getting them:

Do pee before, and especially after, sex to help flush bacteria out of the area

Do use barrier protection for sex such as male condoms

Do always wipe front (vulva) to back (anus)

 

Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.

INTIMINA Holiday Promotion

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday – with 25% Off!

We at Intimina want to wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays the best way we know how – with a discount on all Intimina products! Whether you’re shopping for something to give one of your BFFs who is all about being environmentally-conscious, or you’re making good on your own New Year’s resolution to take better care of [...]

Read more »

Smoking woman's health

Smoke in Your Eyes: How Cigarettes Affect Intimate Health

Despite half a century of public anti-smoking efforts, tobacco remains the primary cause of preventable disease and death globally. Today, female smokers have caught up with their male counterparts as they face the same health consequences and some risks that tobacco has in store only for women. Usually, smoking habit starts in youth. In spite [...]

Read more »

medical_grade_silicone

What Makes Silicone Safe? A Look at What Exactly ‘Medical-Grade’ Means

Do you love your menstrual cup or personal massagers (or both!)? Do you also care about your health and safety? Assuming you answered ‘yes’ both these questions (because really, who wouldn’t?) then it’s time to strap in, because we’re about to talk about something super important that has to do with all of these: silicone. [...]

Read more »

PMS-vs-PMDD

PMS vs PMDD: What You Need to Know for Your Monthly Mental Health

PMS, or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, is one of the most common, medically-recognized issues for menstruating women. In fact, you’ve probably heard any number of female family members gripe about PMS before you even really knew what a period was. Symptoms of PMS usually involve some combination of mood swings, cramps, tenderness of the breasts, and bloating [...]

Read more »

why_do_we_shave

Why Do We Shave? The Surprising History of Women & Hair Removal

It seems like no matter where you are, women are shaving everything from the neck down. But it’s no modern phenomenon–some archaeologists believe that body hair removal was embraced by cavewomen. So how did we get from scraping our body hair off with a sharp rock in a cave to today’s pretty pink shavers and [...]

Read more »

blog_history_birth_control

How Feminist Freedom Fighters Changed the Face of Sexual Health

For a pill the size of a pinhead, hormonal birth control has moved some serious mountains. A historical pillar of women’s sexual freedom and health rights, “the pill” helped shape the face of modern medicine, gender roles, and attitudes toward sex. As easy, affordable access to birth control comes under fire in political circles, we’re [...]

Read more »

myths_about_hymens

Myths About Hymens We’re Ready to Forget Once & For All

Today, we don’t even want to touch the whole concept of virginity (seriously, it’s pretty easy to poke holes into, pun semi-intended) but we do want to address some of the major misconceptions surrounding hymens – what they are, what they do, and why society’s obsession with them is wack. So What is a Hymen? [...]

Read more »

stay_hydrated

Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy: Tips for Upping Your Daily Dose of H2O

Considering that planet Earth’s surface is composed of around 71% water, and the adult human body is made of more than half H2O – 60% to be exact – you’d think it would be a little easier to stay hydrated. In a fast-paced culture of sports drinks, soda, and coffee, water doesn’t exactly have the [...]

Read more »

new_years_resolutions

Cheers to Your Health: New Year’s Resolutions for 2018

There’s nothing that makes you feel like you ought to set some New Year’s resolutions quite like the week between December 25th and 31st – it’s a weird limbo period where no one knows exactly what time it is, but we’re more than happy to eat more turkey leftovers and Christmas chocolate. Many people focus [...]

Read more »

Your Guide to PCOS: What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

If you’ve ever experienced intense cramping, unusually heavy menstrual bleeding or cramps that have been so intense they’ve left you unable to to attend work or school, PCOS – or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may be the culprit. It affects 8-20% of menstruators worldwide and is unfortunately one of the leading causes of infertility if left [...]

Read more »

  • Sign Up. It's Rewarding!
  • Join our newsletter list today.
  • Enjoy 10% off your first order.
  • *Email address
  •  Birthday
  • *Required field
      View our terms and conditions
INTIMINA uses cookies to improve our service to the customer. By continuing to browse our site, you agree to our use of cookies detailed here . ACCEPT