August 07, 2017 4 min read 0 Comments

Urinary Tract Infections And Sex

Maybe your friends told you to stock up on cranberry pills for your honeymoon (don’t bother, cranberry doesn’t help!). Or maybe you’ve pre-booked your doctors appointment for when you get back. There’s a reason people have linked honeymoons and urinary tract infections — and why it's more commonly called honeymoon cystitis! Although sex doesn’t cause UTIs, it is a primary risk factor for most women as it can increase the introduction of bacteria into your urinary tract (1).

In fact, almost 80% of premenopausal women with a UTI have had sex within the previous 24-hours (2).

So where there’s sex — there’s a chance of a UTI. And where there’s honeymooning, there’s probably lots of sex (hopefully?).

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Diaphragms don’t help either, as they prevent the bladder from emptying itself entirely (2). Peeing is one of the best ways to get the bacteria back out, so if it’s being held up, so is the bacteria. Spermicides, including those found on condoms, can also increase the risk (2). This appears to be related to the toxic effect of spermicides on the vaginal flora (3), which helps defend against bacteria naturally.

5 best ways to prevent UTIs (associated with sex):

No, you don’t need to stop having sex, don’t worry. But if you’re heading off for your honeymoon or mid-winter-all-inclusive-resort-adventure, consider other preventative measures (2):

  1. Urinate before sex and then right away afterwards. Remember that UTIs are caused by bacteria hooking onto the urinary tract and causing an infection. Peeing helps flush it out!
  2. Clean your private bits before and after sex. Perhaps an obvious one, but keeping the area clean helps keep the bacteria away. Especially if you wildcats are going to dabble in any anal play, make sure to try and keep things from getting contaminated by rinsing after a session or before you are going to have vaginal sex again afterwards. Bottom line - keep it fresh!
  3. Stay hydrated! This one is just some solid life advice for you, but of course, it helps with all the peeing you’ll be doing (double bonus, drink a big glass of MINGO for UTI fighting superpowers & hydration).
  4. Change positions. Remeber that some women are more prone than others to develop urinary infections after sex. This is particularly true with vigorous or frequent sex (yup the good stuff). Or sex with a new partner. This is likely caused by irritation at the opening of the urethra, which sits at the front upper end of the vulva (outer portion or "lips" of a woman's reproductive organs). In these situations, it can be helpful to change sexual positions to reduce that irritation. Pressure on the urethra can occur more with the woman-on-top position, and rear entry can also transmit bacteria to the urethra. 
  5. Avoid diaphragms and spermicides if you can, especially if there’s a chance the regimen you’ve been on has caused UTIs in the past. Maybe consider an alternate form of birth control for your steamy weekend away to help lower the risk of a UTI.
  6. Take a therapeutic dose of D-mannose to prevent the bacteria that does get up there from sticking around. D-mannose is a carbohydrate, similar to glucose, that prevents bacteria from hooking onto the urinary tract. We made (and obviously endorse) MINGO UTI drink mix, which uses a therapeutic dose of d-mannose (2,000 mg) and other simple ingredients to defend against UTIs. You can read more about it here.

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Do I need to stop having sex if I have UTI?

The reality is that the pain might be enough to put you off sex for a while, but either way you and your partner need to understand what’s going on. Remember that this isn’t an STD, it’s not contagious.

You’ve just had irritation and inflammation in the worst place ever and you are at risk of reinfection. Some health professionals recommend that women with a UTI avoid sex until symptoms have been gone for at least two weeks just to be safe and to avoid re-infection (4). Booooo.

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If you’ve identified sex as a key UTI risk factor for you, we recommend drinking one glass of MINGO an hour before “getting it on” and one within 4-6 hours afterwards. The goal is for MINGO to be doing its UTI-fighting thing while you pee after sex. So go get wild girl, but take care of yourself too!

 

nadia kumentas

Questions? Comments? Collaboration ideas?  Let's chat!

 

Sources:

(1) Kodner, Charles, and Emily K. Thomas Gupton. “Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: Diagnosis and Management.” American Family Physician, 15 Sept. 2010.

(2) Rodriguez, Diana. “The Link Between UTIs and Sex.”EverydayHealth.com, 29 Oct. 2010.

(3) MPH, Stephan D. Fihn MD. “Use of Spermicide-Coated Condoms and Other Risk Factors for Urinary Tract Infection Caused by Staphylococcus saprophyticus.”Archives of Internal Medicine, American Medical Association, 9 Feb. 1998.

(4) “Sex with urinary tract infections (UTIs)?”Sex with urinary tract infections (UTIs)? | Go Ask Alice!, goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/sex-urinary-tract-infections-utis.


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