Sex can often cause urinary tract infections for both guys and girls. Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria or fungi get into the urethra and these infections can be uncomfortable or painful. When severe, UTI’s can cause extreme pain, bleeding and the inability to urinate. Here’s how to protect yourself -and your partner – from UTI’s during sex.
Drink Lots Of Water
Make sure you and your partner are drinking enough water every day. The body is about 70% water, so each person requires roughly eight or so glasses of water a day. A glass is about 8 oz. – so it’s safe to say that a lot of people don’t get enough water. Replacing drinking water with drinking soda, sweet tea or any other sugary or caffeinated drink can definitely contribute to a UTI.
Bathe Before And After Sex
This is probably one of the best things you can do to help prevent getting a UTI during sex. Both men and women naturally harbor bacteria all over the body, however, it’s not necessarily the kind of bacteria you want to introduce to your genitals during intercourse. Hot, sweaty sex (the good kind) can definitely create a breeding ground for bacteria and contribute to urinary tract infections. Simply make a shower before sex part of foreplay – and make sure you wash up afterwards as well.
Women: Be Careful What You Use Down There
Scented lotions, sprays and soaps can irritate the delicate tissues of the vagina, which can lead to an infection. Even products that are designed for use in, on or around the genitals – such as douches or feminine deodorant sprays – can irritate the vagina if there are any chemicals, soaps or perfumes in the products. Avoid douching, and stick to using only plain, unscented soap during showers or baths. You may also want to take showers instead of baths, as bacteria and fungus in the bathwater can easily travel up the urethra.
Wear Cotton Underwear
If you or your partner do not wear cotton panties, briefs or boxers, you may want to switch to wearing cotton only. Any time there is heat and moisture around the genitals, it can cause bacteria to breed. Cotton fabric allows moisture to evaporate through the fabric, while other fabrics (such as polyester or lingerie items) can trap moisture near the genitals.
Change Sex Positions
Sex positions where the penis rubs up against the urethra – such as missionary or girl on top sex positions – can also cause urinary tract infections. This is because the friction during sex actually pushes more bacteria up the urethra. Instead, try sex positions that don’t involve the urethra, such as doggy style or reverse cowgirl.
Urinate After Sex
Make sure that along with showering after sex (or having sex in the shower!) that you also urinate immediately after having sex. This will help flush out any bacterial or fungus that was pushed into the urethra during intercourse. While this isn’t going to completely prevent UTI’s from ever happening, it can certainly help reduce the occurrence of a UTI or at least make the UTI less intense and easier to treat if you do get one.
Pay Attention To Your Sensitivities To Condoms And Spermicides
Spermicide and condoms with lube or spermicides can also help contribute to urinary tract infections if you’re a fairly sensitive person. This can happen to both men and women, although, it is more common for women to get UTI’s from intercourse, condoms and spermicides. When you try a new product, make sure you aren’t using anything else new at the time. For example, don’t try out a new lube and a new condom at the same time.
This is because if you find that you have a sensitivity to the product, you’re not going to be able to tell which one it is. Introduce each new item alone and pay attention to your reaction to it. If you’re sensitive to it or get a UTI, try something else until you find something that works with your body chemistry. There are lots of lubes that are available for sensitive skin!
Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
Extra vitamin C will help adjust the pH in your bladder and urethra, making it difficult for bacteria to actually live there and cause an infection. You can do this by taking simple vitamin C supplements, or by drinking more vitamin C rich juices. If you do choose to go the juice route, make sure that you’re not drinking juices that are packed with sugar, as this can actually make UTI’s worse.