Happy summer! Hope you’re enjoying barbecues, days in the park, late nights when it’s still light out, and fun in the sun! I recently went swimming with some friends, and it was a great time! However, it got me thinking about vaginal health. Did you know that sitting in a wet bathing suit can promote bacteria growth that can cause icky things UTI’s? Yea, not great. So today, let’s talk about UTI’s so that your summer fun isn’t ruined.
UTI- what is it?
UTI stands for Urinary Tract Infection, and it’s just that (an infection in your urinary tract. They’re actually super common, which is why you should never be embarrassed about getting a UTI. You can get UTI’s from a million different things. We’ll talk more about causes in a second, but the reason it’s typically a bigger issue for women as opposed to men is because women’s urethras are shorter and closer to the anus. As if women didn’t already have enough problems to worry about!
What are causes UTI’s?
UTI’s occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract. This could be caused from a million different things, and sometimes it’s a small thing you didn’t think would be a problem. For example, if you hold it in when you need to pee, you are making yourself susceptible to a UTI. When you have sex, you are introducing outside stuff (like bacteria) to your inside stuff, which is why making sure to have CLEAN sex is so important. Never have vaginal penetration after anal penetration without first cleaning very thoroughly.
How can you avoid getting a UTI?
- Wear clean underwear everyday (preferably cotton, and nothing too tight)
- Always wipe front to back when using the toilet
- Don’t sit in damp/wet bottoms
- Avoid using douches to clean. Don’t use anything other than good ol’ water to clean the vagina
- Pee before and after sex! A lot of people will say after, but before is just as good if not better!
- If you have to pee, don’t hold it in for long periods of time
- Drink lots of water and pee often. It helps for you to flush anything icky out of your system
How would you know if you had a UTI?
- Feeling the urge to pee frequently
- Despite needing to pee really badly, not much comes out when you do pee
- Burning sensation or pain when urinating
- Urine is discolored (like cloudy or bloody)
- Low fever (under 101 °F)
- Pain in lower abdomen or groin area (like cramping or achiness)
So you think you have a UTI, now what?
As we said before, UTI’s are super common and can happen to even the most careful people. So don’t sweat it! The sooner they get treated, the less of a big deal they are. Go to a healthcare provider. Pee in a cup. It’s that easy! If you do have a UTI, then they write you a prescription for antibiotics and send you on your way! If you take the antibiotics as instructed, your UTI will be gone in a snap and you’ll be feeling all better! Lots of websites will tell you about home remedies or over the counter drugs, but I promise you, just go a doctor. The home remedies might help, but if the UTI gets further along, it could cause real problems for your health. Don’t mess around. If you think you have a UTI, just get it taken care of the right way.
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