Sex and UTIs
Often known as “honeymoon cystitis,” increased sexual activity is one of the top reasons women contract urinary tract infections (UTIs). In fact, almost 80 percent of premenopausal women with a UTI have had sex within the previous 24 hours. The UTI-sex connection is not clear-cut because sexual activity, itself, does not directly cause a UTI, however, it can increase the introduction of bacteria into the urethra and cause irritation to that area. This, in effect, can increase the chances of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI), particularly among women who are more prone and whose urine stream isn’t typically strong enough to flush the bladder of this increased bacteria.
One common way women get urinary tract infections is by having sex. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from sex to prevent infections.
Using a diaphragm for birth control increases the risk even more, as the location of the diaphragm doesn’t allow the bladder to totally empty itself — allowing urine and bacteria to collect. Using a spermicide also increases the risk of UTI from sex, as does irritation of the genitals from sex.
Ways to Prevent UTIs Associated With Sex:
- Urinate before and promptly after sex. This may lower the risk of UTI by flushing out bacteria that may have gotten into the urinary tract during intercourse.
- Clean your genital and anal areas before and after sex. Keeping these areas clean helps keep bacteria at bay.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of liquids, especially water (recommended 6-8 glasses of water daily) and drink alcohol and caffeinated drinks only in moderation. Drinking water helps dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract before an infection can begin.
- Revaluate your birth control methods. Diaphragms, or unlubricated or spermicide-treated condoms, can all contribute to bacterial growth.
- Use URIEXO® daily. Taken daily, URIEXO® will help flush out bacteria and provide a bacterial defence before UTIs can start.
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