UTIs can be frustrating. From the burning sensation when you urinate to the constant feeling that you have to go, these infections can make sex, and all other aspects of life, anything but enjoyable. And for many, UTIs are common occurrences that seem to pop up after sex frequently if not properly prevented.
There are a few things you can do to help prevent a UTI after sex. The most important is to urinate before and after sex. This will help flush out any bacteria that may have been introduced during intercourse. But if this isn’t enough, you can also try some of the other methods listed below.
What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that can occur anywhere along the urinary tract. This includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTIs are usually caused by bacteria, and most often occur when bacteria from the anus or vagina enters the urethra and travels to the bladder.
While UTIs can occur in both men and women, they are much more common in women. This is because the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra, making it easier for bacteria to travel from the vagina or anus to the bladder. Women are also more likely to experience sexual intercourse, which can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract.
Symptoms of UTIs in Men
There are a number of different symptoms that can occur with a UTI. The most common is a burning sensation during urination. Other symptoms can include:
- A constant feeling that you have to urinate
- Urinating more frequently than usual
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Foul-smelling urine
If left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which can be very serious. They can also make you more susceptible to other infections, such as yeast infections. UTIs can also be very painful, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them.
How UTIs Are Related to Sex in Men
For men, sex and UTIs are often related because of the way the male anatomy is designed. The urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through, is located very close to the anus. This proximity makes it easy for bacteria from the anus to travel up the urethra and into the bladder, causing an infection.
Thankfully, the urethra in men is longer than in women, which gives urine a chance to flush out bacteria before it reaches the bladder. But even so, men are still susceptible to UTIs, so it’s important to take preventive measures.
How Are UTIs Treated?
UTIs are usually treated with antibiotics. It’s important to take all of the antibiotics prescribed, even if the symptoms go away. If the infection is not completely cleared, it can come back and may be more difficult to treat.
You can also take steps to treat a UTI at home. These include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids to help flush out the bacteria
- Urinating frequently
- Avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can irritate the bladder
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to relieve pain
- Eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water to boost your immune system
Cranberry juice has long been thought to help treat and prevent UTIs. While there is no scientific evidence to support this, it is generally considered safe and may help to acidic urine, which can make UTIs more difficult to treat.
Ways to Prevent a UTI After Sex For Men
There are a few things men can do to help prevent a UTI after sex. Let's take a look:
1. Peeing Before and After Intercourse
The number one way to prevent a UTI after sex is to urinate before and after intercourse. Why? Well, urinating before sex will help clear the urethra of any bacteria that may be lurking around. And urinating after sex will help flush out any bacteria that may have been introduced during intercourse.
Sex is filled with all sorts of exchanging of bodily fluids. So it's important to make sure you wash up before and after sex. This includes washing your penis (and testicles) with warm water and a delicate soap.
2. Wearing Loose-Fitting Clothing
Another way to prevent a UTI after sex is to wear loose-fitting clothing. This is especially important in the summer months when temperatures are higher and you're more likely to sweat.
Tight-fitting clothing can trap bacteria against the skin and create a warm, moist environment that's ideal for bacteria to grow. So, it's important to wear clothing that breathes and doesn't trap in moisture. Boxers instead of briefs are a good choice, and cotton is always a good fabric to look for.
3. Avoiding Spermicides
Spermicides are chemicals that are added to some condoms and lubricants to help kill sperm. However, they can also irritate the delicate skin of the penis and urethra, making it more susceptible to infection.
If you're using condoms with spermicide, make sure to use a water-based lubricant as well. This will help reduce friction and irritation.
4. Wiping from Front to Back
Another way to prevent a UTI after sex is to make sure you wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom. This helps to prevent bacteria from the anus from spreading to the urethra. The anus is home to all sorts of bacteria, and you don't want that near your urethra! The same goes for when you're wiping after sex. The taint (area between the anus and scrotum) is a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure to wipe that area clean as well.
5. Drinking Plenty of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is always a good idea when it comes to urinary tract health. But it's especially important if you're susceptible to UTIs. Drinking fluids helps to flush out the urinary tract and helps keep bacteria levels low.
So, make sure to drink plenty of water, and avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. These can actually dehydrate you and make UTIs more likely.
6. Practice Good Personal Hygiene
If you have frequent UTIs, it's possible that you're not practicing good personal hygiene. This includes things like washing your hands after using the restroom or before sex. It also includes things like wiping properly after using the restroom, showering daily, and keeping the genital area clean.
Your partner should also be practicing good hygiene. If you're both clean, it's less likely that bacteria will be transferred between you. Showering together before or after sex can be a good way to make sure you're both clean while still keeping things sexy!
7. Talk to Your Doctor
If you've tried all of these tips and you're still getting UTIs after sex, it's time to talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out what's going on and whether there's an underlying medical condition that's causing your UTIs.
Your Sexual Health Starts With You
Staying clear of UTIs starts with good hygiene, no matter your gender. Though women may get UTIs more often than men, men are not immune to them. The best way to prevent UTIs is to practice good hygiene and to urinate before and after sex.
These are just a few of the things men can do to prevent a UTI after sex. By following these tips, you can help keep your urinary tract healthy and free of infection.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.