The What’s What on UTIs – urinary tract infections.

By Sophie Dila

Scenario: You’re having a normal day. The sun is shining, and sky is looking particularly beautiful. You’re going about your day when it hits you. The sudden urge to pee. You head to the bathroom, except this time, when you try to pee, you feel a tight burning sensation, and maybe not as much pee comes out as you were expecting. Strange. You go back to your day, but then 10 minutes later, the urge to pee hits again. And the same thing happens again. Burning, not a lot of pee. Now you’re worried. What’s wrong with me? Does this mean I have an STD? Is my vagina going to be OK?

 

Fear not, frisky Beforeplayers! You may have an UTI, or Urinary Tract Infection. UTIs are super common in women, especially if your frisky self has been having a lot of sex. Fellas, you can get UTIs too, so listen up.

 

Common symptoms of UTIs include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Burning when you pee
  • Passing small, frequent amounts of urine
  • Urine that is cloudy or has signs of blood
  • Strong smelling urine
  • Pelvic pain

 

Symptoms of a more severe UTI include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Back pain in kidney area

 

If you think you have a UTI, go visit a health care provider right away (find one near you here). They’ll have you pee in a cup to determine what’s going on. If diagnosed early, UTIs are very easily treated with a simple round of antibiotics. If you skip finding out if you have an UTI and it goes untreated it can spread to the uterus or kidneys. The infection can then become serious and more complicated to treat, sometimes even requiring lengthy hospital stays.

 

Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent ever having to deal with one of these pesky infections.

 

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Pee regularly. When you have to pee, don’t hold it
  • Pee right before you go to bed
  • Pee before and after sex

 

Ever wonder why it’s tough to pee right after sex? After you orgasm, your body releases an anti-diuretic hormone, which explains why you may have trouble urinating directly after sex. Stick with it though – peeing after sex really helps to prevent UTIs.

 

Other pro-tips that help prevent UTIs include drinking natural, sugar-free cranberry juice, wiping from front to back, wearing cotton underwear and avoiding soap that can irritate your vagina. When in doubt, go check it out (at a health clinic) – staying healthy is a priority!