5 Reasons You Keep Getting UTIs
1. You’re not peeing after having sex.
First off, get it, kween. Just make sure to pee afterward though, otherwise your urethra will hate you. “It’s got an adorable medical term: honeymoon cystitis, because people would come home from their honeymoon with a UTI from having frequent sex,” says Maura Quinlan, MD, a Chicago-based OB-GYN. (“Cystitis” means inflammation of the bladder — sexy, right?) P-in-V sex pushes bacteria up into the bladder, where it can flare up into an infection. “Snuggle for a minute, and then get up and go to the bathroom,” Quinlan advises. “That way, you flush any bacteria [out of your system] instead of letting it infect the bladder.”
2. You’re using vag products.
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Feminine sprays, special washes, and douches all promise to make your vulva smell like a flower, but are actually pretty dangerous. (Side note: your vagina smells fine, so let it be already!) “[Feminine products] can kill off the healthy bacteria in the vagina, and keep the [bad] bacteria that’s more likely to go up into the urethra,” causing a UTI, Quinlan warns. “They have fancy labels that make it sound like the products are necessary to be clean, but that’s not true.” In fact, vaginas are, in a way, self-cleaning — messing with balance down there may do more harm than good. the Her best advice: “Treat that area like anywhere else: gentle soap and water, nothing else.” Because throwing your down-there bacteria out of whack is no bueno. Which leads to…
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3. You’re not taking control.
If you do feel a UTI coming on (ugh), get proactive stat. AZO Urinary Tract Defense™ helps control the infection, thanks to an over-the-counter antibacterial called Methenamine*. But remember, Quinlan reminded us, your doctor is your guru when it comes to figuring out which treatments will keep your bladder happiest, so be sure to see one within a few days of when you feel like you may be getting a UTI.
4. The ratio of good and bad bacteria is all off.
Your vulva is sort of like the microbiome in your stomach you keep hearing about — if you kill off the good bacteria, more of the “bad” bacteria exists. The kind that, in this case, creeps up into your bladder and causes infections. In addition to avoiding unnecessary hygiene products that eff up your lady-area, consider taking vag-friendly probiotics. “It’s an oral form of the healthy bacteria normally [found] in the vagina,” Quinlan says. “It restores the good bacteria so that if it’s pushed up into the urinary tract, it’s less likely to set up camp and cause an infection.”
5. You’re dehydrated.
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Peeing is sort of like hosing down the bladder and urethra: It flushes away bacteria . So if you’re forgetting to drink water all day or holding it because you’re afraid your terrifying boss will call while you’re in the restroom, you’re playing with fire. Quinlan’s golden rule: Drink enough water so that you’re going to the bathroom regularly, and your urine is very light-colored, which means you’re hydrated.