The Sex-Ed Guys Try to Explain UTIs...And We're Loving Every Minute Of It
Your favorite crew is back, and this time they’re tackling UTIs. Usually our Sex-Ed Guys are pretty clueless when it comes to women’s health issues. But UTIs affect both men and women, so they should be a bit more knowledgeable about the topic, right? While our panel of dudes did know that men can get UTIs, that was pretty much the extent of their knowledge...which was pure entertainment for us. Sorry, guys!
We hit our panel with the acronym first: What does UTI stand for? While they knew that the “I” stood for “infection,” they stumbled through the bigger picture, guessing “uterine” instead of “urinary” and “track” (um, like the oval running field?) instead of “tract.” We have to give props to the few who nailed “urinary tract infection,” so high fives all around.
How does one actually get a UTI? It happens when harmful bacteria get into the bladder via the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of your body. This can occur during sex. Since women have a shorter urethra, it makes it a lot easier for bacteria from the rectum, like E. coli, to migrate on over to the urethra, travel up to the bladder, and cause an infection.
One of our guys mistakenly believed that you could get a UTI from sitting on the toilet seat. FYI, you also can’t contract an STI from the toilet seat itself—just so we’re all on the same page!
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Symptoms of a UTI can include an urgency to pee, discolored or smelly urine, and pain when you urinate. While we did receive one very false answer about a cottage cheese-like discharge (that guy was definitely thinking of a yeast infection), most of our panel knew that UTIs can be painful as hell. From “really hurts when you pee” to “burns when you pee,” we think our dudes accurately described the feeling.
So, what should you do to kick a UTI? Two men on our panel suggested an old fashioned glass of cranberry juice. Yet before you run to your local grocery store to stock up on this red beverage, drinking cranberry juice to cure a UTI is, sadly, not supported by science. “It can’t really do that and it’s not been shown to be effective,” says one of our medical experts. The best thing to do? Make an appointment to see your doctor, who will prescribe antibiotics to take care of the bacteria that’s causing the infection.
Doctors recommend refraining from sexual intercourse when you have a UTI. A penis or even a sex toy will most likely be painful and could worsen your infection by further irritating your urinary tract when it’s already not feeling so great. Once you’ve completed a course of antibiotics and your UTI symptoms have disappeared, then it is safe to have sex again.
To prevent future UTIs, drink plenty of water on the regular, which will help dilute your urine and ensure that you urinate more frequently, so any bacteria that try to invade will get flushed out. Always wipe front to back after going number 2, which will keep bacteria from your rectum from spreading to the vagina and urethra. Douching or using feminine sprays in or near your vagina are big no-nos, as they can irritate the urethra. And make sure you pee immediately after sex, and then drink a full glass of water to help flush any harmful bugs that may be hanging around down there.