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This post will apply more to wives, but husbands, you certainly may want to keep reading to better understand something your wife may struggle with regarding sex.
Wives, how many of you have had a urinary tract infection?
No fun, right?!
From the time I was young, I have been prone to urinary tract infections (also known as UTIs). I’m not sure why some gals are more susceptible to these than others, but I know it’s true.
The reason UTIs tend to affect women more than men is because the opening to the urethra, where urine is expelled from the body, is located in close proximity to a woman’s anus. Also, a woman’s entire genital area in general is a moist haven for bacteria.
It’s not that men can’t get urinary tract infections, because certainly they can. But from a percentage standpoint, women encounter them more frequently than men.
While I am not a doctor, I can offer up some basics worth knowing about UTIs. Urinary tract infections primarily happen because of bacteria entering the opening of the urethra. This is why from a young age, girls are taught to wipe front to back, to minimize the likelihood of bacteria from the anus getting into the urethra.
Of course, bacteria also can get into the kidneys and bladder, which can lead to infections as well.
Two common symptoms of a UTI are painful urination and an urgency to urinate frequently, even if very little urine is expelled each time. You may also experience back pain, abdominal pain, bloody or cloudy urine, the inability to urinate, overall achyness and/or fever. It is very important to see a doctor if your symptoms increase or worsen, as a doctor is better equipped to determine if it is a UTI or something else.
I have had UTIs at various times in our marriage, with the worst one being on our honeymoon. We had decided to use a diaphragm for birth control, but because my husband and I had never had sex with each other before our wedding night, we didn’t know that in my case, the diaphragm and spermicide would contribute horribly to a build up of bacteria. We learned rather quickly that a diaphragm was not a good birth control option for us.
UTIs are irritating, painful and downright annoying (said every woman who has ever had one).
During foreplay, oral sex, sexual intercourse and other sexual caressing, a lot is going on in a woman’s vaginal area. And remember what I said about the area being a cozy haven for bacteria.
Obviously, coming to bed freshly showered and clean helps lessen the amount of bacteria in the genital area of both a husband and a wife. But I know that showering before sex is not always realistic, nor is it a desire of many married couples who are anxious to get busy beneath the sheets.
Other than showering, something else that every wife also can do to lessen the likelihood of a UTI from sexual activity is to go to the bathroom immediately before and after sex.
You can decide for yourself what suffices for “immediately.” A convenient time to go to the bathroom prior to sex may be before you and your husband start caressing or before you head to the bedroom. You don’t want to interrupt foreplay, of course, but you want to strive to be having sex with your bladder recently emptied.
As for after sex, I know there is something to be said for basking in the oneness and closeness after you make love, and you may not want to cut this short.
Just make sure you go to the bathroom within a reasonable amount of time, even if you don’t feel like you have to go. Even a little urine coming out the urethra will help clear bacteria out.
Other ways to cut down on urinary tract infections is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This is just a good healthy choice all the way around.
Regardless of sexual activity, if you find you start experiencing pain with urination, a frequent need to urinate or any other symptoms I listed earlier in this post, you should definitely consult with your doctor.
The cause may be a UTI or it may be something else physically on which your doctor can advise you. Some urinary tract infections will not clear up on their own and you may need an antibiotic. But you need to talk to a medical care provider to guide you.
Because there’s nothing sexy about a UTI.
Copyright 2018, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.