I was 18. I squirmed uncomfortably in the doctor’s chair and listed my symptoms: a constant need to wee, stinky tinkle and pelvic pain. “I see. You have a urinary tract infection, dear. You need antibiotics.” Oh. How did I get this?” The doctor looked me square in the eye and said, “Sex.” Heavens to Betsy. The horror. As my cheeks turned a startling shade of ruby, she added: “Maybe just tone down the foreplay next time, dear.” I nodded clumsily and thought to myself: put me in the bin, I am revolting.
I vowed to never go hammer and tong again, but of course, everyone gets penis fever every now and then and so another UTI came. And then another. And another.
That’s the thing about those tingly sons of bitches: once you get one, you’re prone to get them again and again. Women are more susceptible to UTIs than men because our urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside world) is shorter. This means it’s a smaller distance for bacteria to mosey up into the bladder and make a new home for themselves within our vital goddamn organs. So not only are penises excellent to swing around as faux propellers, they also help dudes keep germs out of their bladders. Unfair!
If you have symptoms of a UTI it’s not enough to change your drink order from a vodka soda to a vodka cranberry – untreated UTIs can lead to complicated kidney infections making you very ill which absolutely sucks willy. You need to see a doctor; you may need antibiotics.
Keep getting the buggers? Preventing UTIs requires a multi-pronged approach and this is what I have learned from my nursing life and personal shenanigans:
- Don’t root a stinky whistle (I feel like this is important which is why it’s going first).
- Urinate shortly after sex (within thirty minutes or less) as this will help flush out any bacteria that shimmied up your wee-hole while you weren’t looking.
- Wipe your bottom front to back (this is sensible, yes? We don’t really want poo heading in any sort of vaginal direction anyway).
- This is uncomfortable for me to say but here I go: wash ya bum! When showering, wash your perineum well (ideally with a washcloth and soap). Most UTIs are caused by E.coli and guess where that microbe comes from? That’s right, friends, from your bottom. E. coli is in our poo and can hang around the one after drop-off so a good spruce-up is essential (especially before sex).
- Ensure your partner washes their hands before sex (you should also wash yours in case you high-five during relations).
- Cranberry supplements have been shown to assist in preventing bacteria adhering to the wall of the urethra so if you have recurring UTIs chat to your GP about this.
- Drink enough water.
UTIs are a massive lady-boner killer so good luck keeping them away, girlfriends.
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