Help! I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections!

If you’ve ever cried in pain while sitting on the toilet, peed “red wine,” or refused to leave your cocoon due to urinary discomfort, this article is for you.

If you think you have a urinary tract infection (UTI) right now and don’t quite understand what’s going on, this article is also for you.

In the last few years, I’ve seen it all when it comes to urinary problems. I ran out of fingers to count the number of times I’ve scoured the Internet for tips and answers about UTIs in the middle of the night while sitting on my cold porcelain throne.

The problem is that I couldn’t find ANYTHING, apart from the age-old recommendation of drinking cranberry juice… Cranberries get credit for a lot of things, I tell you.

After many urine samples, consultations with urologists, a cystoscopy (oooooww!), and two ultrasounds, I FINALLY understood a few things. And, in my opinion, this precious information must be shared, displayed, and shouted for all to hear.

Why a Club Sexu article on this topic? Because UTIs can ruin your sex life, not to mention your quality of life. After all, it affects an important area related to carnal pleasures.

Without further ado, let’s clear up this issue, which too often affects both our bits and our intimacy.

First, what’s a urinary tract infection?

UTIs are any infection affecting one or more parts of the urinary system: the bladder, the kidneys, the urethra, and the ureters.

What you need to know is that we all have bacteria in our urine and that it’s totally normal. We also have some in our mouths, on our skin, in our digestive tract… just about everywhere!

One of the urinary system’s functions is to eliminate bacteria in order to avoid infections. Except that, sometimes, it has a bit more work to do and its defences may be insufficient.

This means that when the amount of bacteria exceeds a certain threshold, you can develop a UTI (again, oooooww!).

The good news is that treatments exist. However, you need to begin them early.

More often than not, UTIs start in the urethra (urethritis) and bladder (cystitis) and can be treated with antibiotics. That said, when the infection is not caught in time, it can reach the kidneys (pyelonephritis) and require hospitalization. Nobody wants to get that far.

A person is said to have recurrent UTIs when they get one twice within a six-month period or three times in a year.

What do UTI symptoms look like?

If this demon infection is a repeat offender, you probably have the answer to this question. That said, the symptoms can vary and you may not know them all. Here are the main ones:

  • Urgent need to pee (like, an “if I can’t find a toilet within a few seconds, I’ll wet my pants” kind of urgency)
  • Painful urination, often getting worse towards the end of the stream (many people say it feels like there’s a razor blade inside their urethra. Fun times.)
  • Rather small amounts of urine come out during urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Pinkish, bright red, or wine-red urine (a sign that it contains blood)
  • Pain in the lower back or in the pelvis
  • Chills and fever
  • (often a sign that the infection has reached the kidneys)
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have one or more of these symptoms, go see a doctor right away, who will be able to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

What causes UTIs?

Fortunately for us, knowing the risk factors can help us avoid them. The main risk factors for UTIs are:

  • Having a vagina (ok, we can’t really do anything about that one)
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Not taking a 💩 every day
  • Not drinking water before and after sex
  • Not peeing after sex

Note that this list is not exhaustive.

Please tell me that they’re preventable

The question we all ask ourselves. And the answer is YES!

You can put the odds in your favour by tackling the last four risk factors by doing the following:

  • drinking at least two litres of water per day
  • taking a 💩 every day (I never thought I’d ever write that)
  • drinking water before and after sex
  • peeing after porking

If you’re perceptive, you’ve probably noticed that emptying your bladder frequently helps A LOT to avoid infections. The more often you pee, the more bacteria gets eliminated. It’s as simple as that.

There are also preventive antibiotic treatments if you get UTIs too often. Ask your doctor!

“I often have urinary discomfort that doesn’t necessarily turn into a UTI. What gives?

In a fit of desperation, I asked this very question to a urologist during a consultation. Had I fallen on my head and was now merely hallucinating those lighter pains? Or was it just a normal part of having a urinary system?

Their answer, although not magical, nevertheless enlightened me.

First off, if you frequently have UTIs, you’ll be more hyper aware of, or in tune with what’s going on down there.

That said, some triggers can over-activate or irritate your bladder and urinary tract without any excess bacteria being involved. These can include dehydration, consuming certain foods (tomatoes, alcohol, coffee, tea, spicy foods, etc.), or increased bladder sensitivity.

Two final tips

Take it or leave it, but I’m closing this article with my own tricks that I’ve acquired during my five years of experience with recurrent UTIs. Think of it as self-care for your urinary system on the days it’s not in top shape.

1. See a specialist

When you have recurrent urinary ailments, it can get scary. You eventually ask yourself: “Do I have a more serious problem that needs to be examined?”, and, while the answer might be yes, don’t panic! You’ve probably been told that reproductive organs come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Well, it turns out it’s the same for all organs.

In my case, a cystoscopy revealed that I had a mini malformation in my urethra… Nothing serious, but it can make it easier for more bacteria to accumulate in my urinary tract, and therefore explains why I am more at risk of developing UTIs. My urologist kindly explained to me how to prevent bacteria from accumulating there, and I found that to be really helpful.

2. Stock up on “life-saver” products

I also just discovered—took me a while!—that there are quite a few products that can be used against this urinary scourge. Hallelujah! Here’s a list of my favourites, just for you:

  • Cystoplus powder to relieve urinary pain (but it doesn’t treat infections)
  • Utiva cranberry concentrate capsules to help prevent UTIs
  • Urimix diuretic drops for prevention
  • Utiva UTI test strips (COVID isn’t the only thing you can test for at home!)

If this article appealed to you, chances are that you’re used to getting UTIs. From the bottom of my ass… uh, from the bottom of my heart, I hope that these tips, info, and advice will help you prevent them in the future. Oh, and I hope it will for me too! 🙂 🙂