We all know that sex has its benefits—if you’re with the right person then you can get in a good workout, have great orgasms and be in better moods because of it. But along with all those awesome perks, come consequences. While having an active sex life, we risk becoming pregnant and STDs. At this point in my life, those two life-changing and body-altering possible outcomes are very high up there on my Things I’m Paranoid Of List (and yes, it does exist). The thought of contracting a disease or becoming pregnant makes me shudder—hence why I go to such lengths to practice safe sex.
Little did I know that I had more to worry about.
This past Saturday morning, I woke up with the sudden urge to pee. When I finally did, I felt a bit uncomfortable as the liquid came out of me but I paid no mind to it. I went to the bathroom several more times that morning feeling the sensation of a full bladder followed by a disappointing small amount of urine. By the time mid-afternoon rolled around, there was more accompanying my pee—a small amount of blood and pain.
When I went to go see Wesley and told him what was going on, he was concerned and immediately sent me to the closest pharmacy to pick up some medicine. When I finally spoke with a pharmacist and explained to her my symptoms: uncomfortable pain during urination, blood that shouldn’t be there, along with the constant need to pee, her response, though somewhat expected, made me cringe and almost cry.
“It sounds like you have a UTI.”
Internally, I was screaming, FML!, FML!, but rather than causing a scene and breaking down in the pharmacy, I grabbed some urinary health medicine and cranberry juice in hopes that it would make me feel better until I could get to my primary doctor. But as life would have it, my body wouldn’t be able to wait until their offices would open on Monday.
In the middle of a hipster-bar in Brooklyn, (I wasn’t drinking, I swear—just water and cranberry juice) the pain became unbearable. I kept going to the bathroom and more blood continued to come out—overwhelmed by the severe discomfort I was experiencing, I began to cry. Hysterically. As a result, I freaked Wesley out who ended up convincing me that I need to go to the emergency room.
We were there till 5 in the morning accompanied by my mom who was convinced it was kidney stones—alas, it was just a terrible Urinary Track Infection. I was prescribed antibiotics and to drink lots of water, and in a matter of a day, the pain subsided and the blood stopped. Thank the heavens!
As I would never wish this upon anyone, here are some tips for my fellow women, on how to prevent UTIs. I wish I had known about them beforehand.
1. Drink lots of water. And Cranberry juice. Your body should be receiving around 8 cups of water on a daily basis and adding a bit of cranberry juice to your diet helps prevent and treat UTIs. They both help you flush your system.
2. Don’t hold it in! Holding in your pee is bad for your bladder and can allow bacteria to expand into a full-fledge infection.
3. Say ‘goodbye’ to baths. I absolutely love taking baths, and although they might be great for my mental state, they’re not so good for my vaginal health. Take a shower instead, it doesn’t allow as much bacteria to enter your urethra.
4. Wear cotton underwear. Cotton allows your nether-regions to breathe, as opposed to many of the sexy lacey, nylon, spandex underwear which traps bacteria down there.
5. Avoid scented products. I avoid them like the plague. Scented pads, pantyliners, tampons and douches can lead to irritation, which can lead to a bacterial infection. Think twice before purchasing something scented.
6. Wipe the right way. After you’ve done a #2, wipe front to back to avoid any spread of bacteria.
7. Wash before and after sexual intercourse. Washing yourself can prevent the spread of bacteria which of course can lead to a UTI.
These tips were recommended to me by my doctor along with this link on how to prevent UTIs. Take care of yourself down there and practice some of these methods to prevent infection and keep your vagina and everything else down there happy and healthy!