To reduce your risk of getting a UTI after sex, follow some simple habits. The first habit to follow is to urinate right after sex. This will wash away the invading bacteria and allow your body to flush them out naturally. Urinating from front to back will also push out bacteria in the urethra. These are all easy habits to follow, but together, they can dramatically reduce your risk of getting a UTI after sex.
Practicing good hygiene
Practicing good hygiene to prevent UTI after sexual activity is essential. Although it is not absolutely necessary to urinate right after sexual activity, it is always a good idea. This action flushes out bacteria that can cause a UTI. Having sex before the symptoms of infection become noticeable increases the risk of re-infection. The bacteria may also get transferred from partner to partner if you have sex before taking antibiotics.
While UTIs are contagious, it is possible to transfer infection-causing bacteria from a partner’s skin to yours. You can also try a variety of general treatments to prevent and treat UTIs, which include taking plenty of water, avoiding tight clothing, and taking a shower or bath. Also, you should empty your bladder as often as you feel the urge, and this is especially important right after sexual activity.
Taking a prescribed antibiotic after sex
Many physicians advise women to take an antibiotic after intercourse to prevent bladder infections. Although there is still no solid scientific evidence to support this practice, many women do take antibiotics to prevent recurrences of urinary tract infections. This is because bacteria enter the urinary tract during intercourse and remain in the urinary tract for 24 hours after sexual intercourse. Antibiotics combat these bacteria and can prevent UTIs. Common antibiotics to prevent UTIs include nitrofurantoin, cephalexin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole.
Before intercourse, women should clean their genitals thoroughly. Drink plenty of water, and be sure to drink an extra glass of water after intercourse. By drinking water, unwanted bacteria can be flushed from the urinary tract. Vaginal lubricant may also help reduce friction during intercourse. Taking a vaginal lubricant before and after intercourse can also reduce the friction of sex. Women who are planning to have intercourse should consider new birth control to reduce the risk of infection. A diaphragm can introduce bacteria into the urethra, resulting in an infection.
Using spermicide-coated condoms
Women who use spermicide-coated condom have a five-fold greater risk of developing a UTI than women who do not use them. Spermicide affects the flora of the vagina in two ways. First, it enhances the growth of E. coli bacteria by making it adhere more strongly to the epithelial cells of the vagina. Second, it enables the bacteria to multiply while waiting for the urethra to open.
The study also examined the impact of spermicide-coated condom use on the risk of UTI. The study included 1299 sexually active young women with acute urinary tract infection. The cases were identified from computerized laboratory files, while the controls were selected from enrollment records of a health plan. In total, 66% of case women and 31% of control women were interviewed. In addition, more than half of the case women had used any type of condoms in the previous year.
Using unscented products
When you have sex, you will likely introduce bacteria from the outside into your body. While this is an inevitable part of intercourse, some products can increase your risk for UTIs because they change the balance of bacteria in your body. If you tend to have UTIs often, you should try to use unscented products to prevent them. You should also use the bathroom after sex, as flushing out bacteria during intercourse is important to getting rid of any harmful bacteria.
While you’re having sex, use unscented products to wash and clean your vagina afterward. Many scented products can cause UTIs because they trigger vaginal inflammation. For this reason, water-based lubricants are a better choice. Wearing breathable cotton underwear is another way to avoid getting an infection. Make sure to wash the area before sex with a gentle cleanser.
Using irritated tissue
A common mistake that many women make when preventing a UTI after sexual activity is using an irritated tissue. Using a tissue that has been soaked in alcohol or cranberry juice may not be effective, but it may help with urinary tract hygiene. Using a non-spermicidal lubricant after sex will also help. In addition, postmenopausal women should clean the opening to their urethra. A tampon or condom will not prevent a UTI, but you should see a urologist if you’re experiencing frequent infections.
While there are many factors that can cause a UTI, certain practices can increase the risk of getting one. While it’s impossible to know the exact incidence of UTI, studies have shown that sexual intercourse and the use of spermicides may increase the risk of developing a UTI. Some women may even want to change their contraceptive regimens if they’re having frequent UTIs.