You know the symptoms that come with a urinary tract infection: that super-urgent need to pee and the uncomfortable sensation when you do, but you might be less familiar with the causes of these infections and how to stop them. Get ready for some debunking...
UTI Causes And Cures, All You Need To Know
Myth 1: You only get UTIs from sex
Sex is the most common cause for sure, with close to 80% of infections in women occurring within a day of intercourse. The back-and-forth rhythm can propel bacteria from your vulva, vagina or rectum into your bladder, but there are other triggers too, including wiping incorrectly and masturbation. Outside of those, conditions that block your urinary tract, such as kidney stones or those that affect your immune system, like diabetes, can also make you more susceptible. If you're prone to getting UTIs, but not after sex, let your doctor know.
Myth 2: Cranberry juice is proven to prevent UTIs
There are theories that cranberry juice alters the pH of urine, making it more acidic and therefore less hospitable for germs. But large scale research has concluded that drinking CJ by the bucket-load is no more fruitful in flushing out UTI-causing bacteria than water. And H2O has a much lower sugar content too.
Myth 3: Peeing before or after sex avoid infection
A quick dash to the loo after bedroom time and you're in the clear, right? Unfortunately, there's never been too much medical weight given to this conclusion, in terms of reducing your chances of getting a urinary tract infection. But Docs do recommend peeing after sex, saying it can't hurt the situation, as a steady stream of urine will help to rid your urethra of any unwanteds.
Myth 4: Some sex positions increase the risk
In truth, whether you're standing, sitting or lying down, it doesn't matter. Bacteria are equal opportunity offenders: they'll find their way into your urethra any chance they get. The one thing that does make an impact? Having vaginal intercourse, after anal intercourse is a guaranteed way to introduce some unwanted bacteria into your urinary tract. Too much suction during oral sex can cause issues too – enthusiasm is great and all, but ease up babe, you're not a hoover.
Myth 5: UTIs are contagious
Nope, wrong. While UTIs can be triggered by sex, it's not a case that one partner passes the infection to another. But it's easy to understand where this myth gathered its legs: we often get UTIs when we have sex for the first time in a while, or after hooking up with someone new. New partner, new variables: lengths, widths, moves – everything about the intercourse is different, and as a result, you might find that you're more or less prone to urinary tract infections that with previous bed-fellows.
Most women develop a UTI at some point in their lifetime, but they can often be wrongly diagnosed, sharing similar symptoms to many other conditions. If you think you might have one, talk to your doctor and with treatment (typically a course of antibiotics), you'll feel back to yourself in a few days.