Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are more common in girls who are sexually active. That’s because the urethra (the tube where the urine comes out of) is very close to the anus (where bowel movements come out of) and bacteria can find their way to the bladder very easily. Girls who have had UTIs before can usually recognize the symptoms of frequent urination, pain especially at the end of peeing, often accompanied by blood in the urine. To try to lessen your chance of UTIs, you may find helpful drinking lots of fluids, peeing at least every two hours and after sex, and talking with your health care provider about cranberry juice or tablets, and whether you should take antibiotics, either to prevent infections or as soon as you get symptoms.
Make sure your symptoms are from a UTI and that you have seen your health care provider. Burning, frequent urination, and pain in the lower belly area, can also be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as Chlamydia. If you are sexually active, you should use condoms 100% of the time to lessen your risk.
- 11 weird things that can happen to your body after sex (that are no big deal)
- But as for these minor symptoms? They’re actually pretty normal.
- 2You’re in some amount of pain.
- 3There’s a little blood.
- 4There’s some “rug burn.”
- 5Things are burning up.
- 6Your cheeks are flushed, and not in a glowy way.
- 7You’re feeling itchy down below.
- 8You’ve GOTTA go.
- 9Things smell a little funky.
- 10You’re leaking semen.
- 11You have all the feels.
- What Causes Frequent Urination in Females?
- 1. Drinking Excess Fluids
- 2. Urinary Tract, Kidney, and Bladder Infections
- 3. Low Estrogen Levels
- 4. Certain Medications
- 5. Vaginitis
- 6. Pregnancy and Post-Childbirth
- 7. Anterior Prolapse
- 8. Bladder Stones
- 9. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- 10. Diabetes
- 11. Bladder Cancer and Radiation Treatment
- 12. Spinal Cord Diseases and Injuries
- What It’s Like To Have A Bruised Cervix, The Sex Injury That No One Talks About
- The horrifying sex injury that can happen to women
- How does cervical bruising happen?
- How the position of your cervix changes during your menstrual cycle:
- How can you tell if your cervix is bruised?
- How to prevent cervical bruising
- How to deal with a bruised cervix
- The Fix
- Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever
- 10 Things Everyone Should Know About the Vagina
- No, women do not pee from their vaginas
- It’s not a black hole
- The vagina and beer are basically the same
- You get twice the vagina during sex
- But you can also just have two vaginas
- Women are equipped with a vaginal alert system
- Vaginas are like… sweat socks?
- That white stuff is actually normal
- The amount of wetness doesn’t only depend on her arousal level
- Vaginas have their own orgasm
11 weird things that can happen to your body after sex (that are no big deal)
In the first blissful moments right after sex, you’re probably not thinking about what’s going on with your body in that exact moment (except maybe how amazing you feel). After all, thinking about the possibility of a UTI after sex is probably the least sexy place your mind could wander, right? But even in those immediate post-coital moments, you may feel like some weird things are going on with your body, especially if you’re in a little pain and wondering why sex might hurt or give you some other strange reaction.
It’s important to remember that sex, no matter how you do it, is a physical act involving your entire body, so your body might react in weird ways, such as your skin flushing or there being a slight burning when you pee. Don’t freak out! We’re here to tell you about some of the common things that can happen to your body post-sex, and why they’re mostly NBD.
Of course, we *must* point out that if you’re having any kind of recurring physical reaction to sex, you should see your doctor to make sure everything is OK and to put your mind at ease.
But as for these minor symptoms? They’re actually pretty normal.
“One of my favorite questions I get asked is: “Why do I pass gas/fart from my vagina after sex?” says Dr. Michele C. Reed of MS Family Medicine Health Care and Fit Doc.
She explains,”During the thrusting of the penis into the vagina at a fast rate, gas and air builds up due to the activity, and after a female experiences climax she may have ‘vaginal farts.’”
2You’re in some amount of pain.
The umbrella term for painful sex is dyspareunia, which covers genital pain that may occur just before, during, or after intercourse. It’s surprisingly common and can feel like anything from a dull ache to cramping. Board-certified ob-gyn and cohost of The Doctors Jennifer Ashton, MD, told Prevention.com in 2016 that this often happens due to the release of the hormone oxytocin during sex, which can cause uterine contractions. If it only happens occasionally or the pain is mild, it’s really NBD, but if the pain is persistent, you should schedule an appointment with your gyno to rule out any larger health concerns.
3There’s a little blood.
If you’re not on your period and you see a little blood after sex, it might worry you, but chances are, it’s nothing to be concerned about. Of course, if there is a sizable amount of blood, you will absolutely want to let your doctor know, but a few spots here and there are nothing to panic about. It can be caused by inflammation of the cervix, or tiny tears in the vagina after a particularly rough romp. It can also happen if you’re with a new partner who is on the *ahem* larger side. However, if there’s frequently blood after sex, you’ll want to get checked for sexually transmitted infections or other health concerns down south.
4There’s some “rug burn.”
When you’re bumpin’ and grindin’ with your boo, it’s easy to see how all that skin-on-skin contact could cause some irritation or friction. This can especially happen when one or both partners has pubic hair or facial hair, and it can show up in the form of a rash or raw skin irritation. It’s usually nothing to freak out about, but if it doesn’t go away, check with your MD.
5Things are burning up.
If you feel a little burning or stinging when you pee right after sex (and you are always peeing right after sex, right?), your first instinct might be that you have a urinary tract or sexually transmitted infection. But actually, minor burning and stinging is pretty common, provided that it goes away within a few hours.
“Women that experience the sensation of a urinary tract infection, but without the presence of an actual infection, are also typically experiencing the burning or urinary urgency and frequency due to an overactive pelvic floor,” explains Heather Jeffcoat, pelvic floor physical therapist and author of Sex Without Pain: A Self-Treatment Guide to the Sex Life You Deserve.
It also can be caused by the engorgement of vaginal tissues, which, because of their proximity to the urethra, can cause temporary burning or stinging when you try and urinate directly after sex.
It’s easier to prevent this by making sure you’re fully lubricated and prepared for intercourse, and, of course, urinating just before and after sexual activity.
6Your cheeks are flushed, and not in a glowy way.
We’ll spare you the nonsense about sex being this blissful, wonderful experience that leaves both partners radiating with pleasure, because sometimes, your skin gets a little flush, and it’s not from your post-O glow. Jonathan Schaffir, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State University explained the “sex flush” to Bustle, saying, “Many women experience a ‘sex flush’ during arousal. Relaxation of blood vessels can cause a noticeable, red discoloration of the skin of the neck and chest that may go unnoticed with the lights off.”
7You’re feeling itchy down below.
If you’re experiencing some kind of skin reaction on the outer part of the vulva, or near your thighs or abdomen, it may be a reaction to the lubrication, the condom, or even a sex toy, especially if you’re trying out a new product or brand. If you haven’t used any new products, it’s possible that you have developed a semen allergy, which can arise at any time with a new or current partner. Yikes.
If your symptoms are minor, it may be a one-time reaction, but if you’re experiencing hives, swelling, or any other strong physical reaction, you’ll want to seek medical attention ASAP. But minor itchies are usually NBD and can go away on their own. Whew.
8You’ve GOTTA go.
We’ve already expressed the importance of peeing before and after sex, but what happens when you feel a sudden strong urge to pee following P in V? It could be a number of relatively harmless things, but it’s more than likely due to those uterine contractions we told you about earlier, or bladder spasms, which are not dangerous and are usually temporary.
9Things smell a little funky.
Let’s be real: Sex involves a lot of physical activity, which means things could get a little sweaty. Plus, when your unique body odors are mixing with someone else’s, you may create a bit of a stink. It’s usually no big deal, although if you ever have a persistent fishy or otherwise foul odor, you’ll want to check with your doctor.
10You’re leaking semen.
If you’re trying to get pregnant (or using a form of birth control other than condoms), you might be surprised when some semen leaks out of you post-sex. This is totally normal and makes perfect sense. After all, your body isn’t absorbing the semen, so there’s really nowhere else for it to go. You can clear this up by washing thoroughly after intercourse, and go about your day as normal.
11You have all the feels.
If you experience any kind of strong emotion after sex, whether it’s feeling suddenly depressed, angry, or agitated (known as postcoital dysphoria, or “post-sex blues”) or an intense feeling of euphoria, blame it on the flood of hormones released when you’re getting down and dirty. If you’re feeling suddenly gloomy, it may be because of the drop of dopamine levels that can happen after an orgasm, resulting in the worst physical reaction to the best physical moment ever.
On the flip side, if you experience an elevated mood, it’s likely due to the rush of oxytocin giving you that happy, smiley feeling.
“After sex, it is normal for a female to feel an intense rush of genuine emotion,” says Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist. “For example, she may feel teary, cry for joy and feel extraordinarily emotional. This is normal and her partner can use this as an opportunity for intimacy, support, empathy, and compassion.”
Both reactions are totally normal, unless they’re interfering with your sexual encounters in a way you’re concerned about. In that case, as always, check in with your doc to make sure all is well in the loooove department.
- By Arielle Tschinkel
What Causes Frequent Urination in Females?
There are many different causes of frequent urination in females, but here we will highlight and describe some of the most common causes. We’ll start with some low-risk causes that are very treatable and work up to more high-risk causes for which frequent urination is a symptom of a serious disease.
1. Drinking Excess Fluids
The simplest explanation for frequent urination is often the correct one. It makes perfect sense that the more fluids that you put in your body, the more fluids will need to come out. This is especially true if you are drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages of alcohol. Also, if you add artificial sweeteners to your drinks, frequent urination symptoms may worsen. The standard advice for daily fluid intake is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses, but some people require more or less than this depending on their level of activity, medications taken, and existing health conditions.
2. Urinary Tract, Kidney, and Bladder Infections
One of the most common causes of frequent urination is a urinary tract infection, or UTI. More than half of women experience one or more UTIs in their lifetimes, many of which occur by a woman’s early 20s. UTIs are commonly caused by bacteria getting into the urinary tract from sexual intercourse or improper wiping while using the toilet. However, the frequent burning urination associated with a UTI can also occur during pregnancy, in women with immune system disorders, and from simply holding the bladder for a prolonged period of time. A specific type of UTI is a kidney infection that develops in the bladder or urethra and moves to the kidneys. If you are taking antibiotics for a UTI but your symptoms are not improving, you may have a kidney infection. Accompanying symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine. Most bladder infections are caused by bacteria, and these are a type of UTI. Bacteria can enter the bladder through stool and from other areas of skin through the urethra. Because women’s urethras are shorter than men’s, females are more prone to bladder infections and experience frequent urination.
3. Low Estrogen Levels
A woman’s estrogen levels can be lower than normal for a variety of reasons, including genetics, hormone imbalances, eating disorders, chronic kidney disease, menopause, and excessive exercise. Women with low estrogen levels are also more prone to UTIs because of the thinning of their urethras. Once a woman stops getting her period, her body stops making estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that helps to line the bladder. When it is no longer being produced, menopausal women may experience more urgency and frequency in their urination. This is also a common cause of frequent urination in women at night. Vaginal atrophy is a condition where a woman loses vaginal tissue and estrogen. This can occur due to age or if the ovaries are surgically removed. This is also an example of a condition that is not directly related to the bladder but that affects the bladder nonetheless.
4. Certain Medications
Few medications come without a risk of side effects, and frequent urination is a common side effect that women experience. Medications that can have this effect include muscle relaxants, sedatives, and diuretics. Diuretics, for example, are water retention relievers that are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure. These medications are designed to get rid of excess water in the body. Therefore, they commonly make women need to urinate more often. If frequent urination becomes too much of an issue in your daily life, it may be time to speak with your doctor about changing your medications or their dosages.
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that is another one of the reasons for excessive urination in women. Types of vaginitis are yeast infections, trichomoniasis, and bacteria vaginosis. Women often experience an unusual odor, itching, and discharge with this condition as well. To diagnose vaginitis, a physician will conduct a physical examination, note the characteristics of vaginal discharge, and have the pH of vaginal secretions tested. This condition is most common among women between the ages of 15 and 44, and the typical treatment is antibiotic medications.
6. Pregnancy and Post-Childbirth
Women who are pregnant also tend to need to urinate more often. This is because the babies they are carrying cause the uterus to expand and put extra pressure on the bladder. Frequent urination during pregnancy is very common and typically not a cause for concern unless accompanied by other unexplained symptoms. Even after a baby is born, frequent urinate symptoms may continue. Women who have given birth vaginally in the past are at a greater risk of frequent urination. Giving birth in this way is known to make the pelvic floor weaker, and the pelvic floor is the body part that holds the bladder up and in place. This affects some women with children more than others.
7. Anterior Prolapse
This condition occurs when the tissue between the vaginal wall and bladder stretches and weakens causing the bladder to extend into the vagina. Chronic constipation, excessive coughing, and heavy lifting can all lead to this. In addition to frequent urination, women with this condition may feel like they can never fully empty their bladders or have urinary leakage during sex. Also known as a cystocele, treatment for this condition may involve implanting a supportive device into the vagina, estrogen therapy, or surgery to lift the prolapsed bladder back up into place.
8. Bladder Stones
Masses of minerals that form in the bladder are bladder stones, which can form when a woman can’t empty her bladder. Frequent burning urination, lower abdominal pain, and blood in the urine is common with this condition. You may be able to pass some small bladder stones naturally with some pain, but larger stones may require surgery.
9. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Many people mistake frequent urination caused by an STD with a common UTI. Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea are common STDs that can cause women to urinate more often than normal. Oftentimes, people don’t associate frequent urination with their sexual health. However, many STDs are asymptomatic in the beginning, which means that a change in urination may be the only early warning sign. The best way to rule out STDs as a cause for urination issues is to get tested regularly, especially after having unprotected sex or having a new partner. Untreated STDs can cause major long-term complications, but many types are highly treatable in the early stages.
Frequent urination in women can be caused by both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is most associated with frequent urination in high volumes. This symptom occurs because an excess of sugar causes additional fluids to move through the kidneys when the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels properly. This symptom typically subsides when you get your blood sugar under control. In addition to frequent urination, diabetes patients often experience loss of bladder control and urinary tract infections. If diabetic neuropathy develops and causes nerve damage in the body, the effects may be noticed in the kidneys as well and affect urination.
11. Bladder Cancer and Radiation Treatment
While urine containing blood is a more common symptom of bladder cancer, some women with this condition also feel the need to urinate more often. If a tumor is present in the bladder, it takes up space that could otherwise be filled with urine, thereby leading to an increased need to pee frequently. Not only can cancer cause more frequent urination, but the treatments for cancer can cause this as well. For example, radiation is often used to treat cancer and can cause the side effect of frequent urination. This is especially true if the radiation therapy is targeted at the pelvic area.
12. Spinal Cord Diseases and Injuries
Bladder problems are common among multiple sclerosis patients and include urgency of urination, an overactive bladder, and a bladder that does not fully empty. Diet modifications and nerve stimulation procedures may be able to help patients control these issues. Other neurological conditions are closely associated with frequent urination in women too, especially if a spinal cord injury is involved. In healthy women, messages are sent from the bladder to the brain when the bladder is full. But with a spinal cord disease or injury, these messages may not be sent or received.
What It’s Like To Have A Bruised Cervix, The Sex Injury That No One Talks About
Ever wonder what a bruised cervix feels like? The first time I had a bruised cervix, I thought I was dying. I woke up and felt cramps that were worse than any period cramps I’d experienced in my life, even though I was weeks away from my period. It was like someone was stabbing me with a red-hot fire poker, deep down in my gut, over and over again. I knew that something was wrong — the pain was so bad that I broke out in sweats and threw up — but I had no idea what it could be. Food poisoning? The worst hangover of my life? I didn’t even consider that I could be bruised inside my body. Sound like a horror story? It sure as hell felt like one.
It actually took me a couple more times of having sex with an, ahem, particularly well-endowed man to figure out that the pain I sometimes felt after sex was a bruised cervix, a sex injury that I hadn’t even heard of before. A little internet research opened my eyes to the need to take extra precautions and also revealed some things that I didn’t even know about my body. Now, trust me: If you haven’t had a bruised cervix, you never, ever want to experience it. Let me guide you through what you need to do to protect that tender spot from getting banged up when you’re getting it on.
First of all, the cervix is the opening between your uterus and your vaginal canal. It’s basically what separates where you’re having intercourse and where a fetus grows if you get pregnant. If you’re not on hormonal birth control, your cervix moves during your cycle. When you’re ovulating (which is when you’re most fertile), your cervix is softer and located higher up the vaginal canal. On the opposite end of the spectrum, your cervix is lower and harder on either side of your period and while you’re bleeding. Even if you are on hormonal birth control, however, your vaginal canal grows based on how turned on you are.
Just like a penis gets bigger when a person with penis is turned on, your vagina also gets bigger. So if you’re not super turned on but you have intercourse, your cervix is going to be lower. On the other hand, if you’re hella worked up, you’ll not only be wetter, but your vagina will also be longer. That means there’s more room in there for penetration. Also, just like there are different size penises, vaginas are different sizes, so you might have a particularly long or particularly short vaginal canal.
The reason I’m getting all technical about how the inside of your body works is because if your cervix is lower and harder, it’s easier to bruise. So, say you go to bed with someone who has a large penis and have particularly vigorous sex. If your partner is not careful with their thrusting — and you’re not turned on enough or it’s the part of your cycle when you’re closer to your period — they could bump right up against the cervix.
“The cervix can sometimes get bumped during sexual activity,” Rachel Gelman, the Bay Area Regional Director of the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center, tells Bustle. “Sometimes changing positions which can alter the depth of penetration can be a way to avoid this from happening. There are also products out on the market that can limit the depth of penetration. One example is the Ohnut and it can be helpful for anyone experiencing pain with sex. “
A bruised cervix isn’t always as bad as what I experienced: a lesser injury may feel like mild cramps or just tenderness in the lower abdomen. However, is that a chance you really want to take? (Even thinking about it is making me hunch over my lap like guys do whenever anyone talks about getting hit in the balls. Ugh!) Luckily, the solution to avoiding a bruised cervix is simple: make sure that you’re sufficiently turned on before you start having intercourse, especially on either end of your cycle.
If your partner has a large penis, though, you’ll have to take extra precautions. Make sure they know that they can’t just go in there cold, thrusting as hard as they’d like and let them know if, during intercourse, they accidentally bump up against it.
You can also track your cycle and let your partner know when your cervix is at its highest, softest point (usually around 12 to 14 days after your period starts) so that they can be a little more vigorous during that time. Just make sure to use protection: that’s also when you’re most likely to get pregnant. Of course, there are other conditions with similar symptoms so if you’re unsure, your best bet is always to ask your doctor.
This article was originally published on October 23, 2015. It was updated on March 15, 2018 and August 29, 2019.
The horrifying sex injury that can happen to women
Sex is supposed to be a pleasurable experience for all parties involved but sometimes it goes horribly, horribly wrong.
You may have heard that a man can fracture his penis, but did you know a passionate romp can also leave a woman with a bruised cervix?
Now, you may be thinking that it’s not as bad as a man tearing a muscle in his member — so get prepared to cross your legs.
A bruised cervix can cause a woman intense pain, bleeding, cramps, abdominal pain and discomfort during sex.
And the symptoms can last as long as a week.
Pain in the abdomen and cramps may begin within 24 to 48 hours after the initial bruising took place, while the bleeding can happen almost instantly.
The bleeding should only be light spotting between your periods, so if you experience anything heavier than that you should see a doctor straight away.
It can actually be caused by quite a few different things, including giving birth — which is already painful enough — or a baby kicking the cervix of an expectant mom.
But the most common way women end up with a bruised cervix is during sex, namely because their partner’s penis hits it too hard.
Don’t start high-fiving yourselves, though, boys, it isn’t all down to size.
While a large penis is obviously going to be a big (no pun intended) factor in this sex injury, the angle and force at which a penis is thrust in can also cause some damage.
Some women even have a condition called cervical ectropion, caused when glandular cells usually found on the inside of the cervix are found on the outside, which can make sex more painful.
And, of course, a sex toy can do the same.
It all sounds painful enough to put you off having sex ever again, but there is one simple thing you can do to avoid such an awkward injury.
You should always make sure you are aroused and ready to have sex before you do, according to sex therapist Louise Mazanti.
“Many women experience intense pain when it is suddenly hit by deep penetration,” she told the Sun Online.
“If the cervix is relaxed and aroused it is open, which means you can actually penetrate the cervix.
“If a woman wants to experience pleasure and wants to experience an orgasm she really needs to aroused.”
So just how does being turned on protect your cervix from being bruised?
The answer is simple: Being turned on makes the tissue inside your vagina more supple.
“When a woman is fully turned on she gets wet and the tissue fills with blood,” Louise added.
“So the tissue opens and relaxes and our nerves become more sensitive.
“Hard, clenched and contracted tissue is much easier to bruise and feel painful than soft tissue.
“Don’t even attempt penetration before you are fully ready, it is painful at the worst or just not pleasurable.”
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)
Cervical bruising. Doesn’t sound pleasant, huh?
Bumping your cervix and making it sore as a result is actually a pretty common sex-related injury – if you have a cervix, you’ve probably experienced it to some degree.
It’s just that because most of us don’t know where exactly our cervix is, what it feels like, and where exactly we’d feel pain were it to be bruised, that you may be unaware of ever having hurt your cervix. You might not even know that cervical bruising is a risk you take whenever you get sexual.
With that in mind, let’s learn about the wonders of the bruised cervix – so we’re all aware of why it happens, the risks associated with this common sex injury, how to spot it, and how to nurse your cervix back to health.
How does cervical bruising happen?
Just as different people have different sized penises, some people have shorter vaginas than others. Add in the way that the cervix can shift around during your hormonal cycle and when aroused, and it starts to make sense that someone could misjudge the depth of your vag and slam into your cervix.
How the position of your cervix changes during your menstrual cycle:
During your period, your cervix tends to be low and hard, with its opening closed
As you’re about to ovulate your cervix rises to the top of the vagina and becomes softer.
At the height of ovulation the cervix opens to allow sperm to enter inside.
After ovulation the cervix will drop lower and become firm again.
That’s when cervical bruising occurs – when the penis bumps repeatedly against the cervix wall and causes some superficial damage.
For some people this can be pleasurable – there are people who report experiencing cervical orgasms – and for others it won’t feel painful when it’s happening, only afterwards.
Imagine it as your partner’s penis or strap-on hitting the back wall of a cave – one that occasionally moves forwards and backwards, and is sensitive to touch. That’s a basic visualisation of how cervical bruising occurs. It’s more likely to happen when it’s lower, harder, and more sensitive, or if you happen to have a shorter vaginal passage.
The cervix also changes position and sensitivity depending on arousal. When you’re aroused your cervix grows in size and becomes softer, making it less painful if it’s knocked. When you’re not aroused it remains small, hard, and more likely to bruise. It also sits lower, making it easier for a penis to give it a knock.
How can you tell if your cervix is bruised?
Symptoms of a bruised cervix are soreness after sex, cramping, and bleeding.
You’ll likely feel your cervix being tapped as it happens, but you may not experience pain until afterwards.
The good news is that your vagina and cervix are pretty great at taking care of themselves, so will recover in a few days time – you’ll just want to keep sex fairly gentle while you wait to feel a little better.
How to prevent cervical bruising
First off, it’s worth being aware of your own vagina and how it’s shaped. If you happen to have a shorter vagina or a partner with a long penis (you’ll know if your cervix gets a bashing every time you have sex), it’s wise to choose positions that reduce depth of penetration – a spooning style tends to work well.
It’s also crucial to be aroused before you go forth with penetration. That’s essential regardless of cervical bruising, as foreplay is a key part of sexual pleasure during penetrative sex, but it’s especially important if you’re prone to soreness after sex.
Spend time building anticipation and getting lubricated to soften the cervix and make it less sensitive should any tapping occur.
It’s also worth chatting with your partner if their thrusts are forceful enough to be causing your cervix damage. Explain that a gentler touch will work a lot better.
How to deal with a bruised cervix
Your cervix will recover in a day or so, but it’s wise to avoid prodding it in the meantime.
Skip penetration for a bit until you don’t feel any soreness, then go about your business as normal.
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Other causes for premenopausal women are:
- spermacide use (either with condoms, diaphragms or cervical caps),
- high peak blood sugar levels,
- recent antibiotic use (for any reason, including skin or sinus infections).
- urine holding (not voiding regularly during the day, not drinking enough water),
Unfortunately, women who have had a UTI in the past are more likely to have another, either because their anatomy favors UTI formation, or because their natural bacterial defenses are already disrupted. While you can’t change past infections or personal anatomy, you can take advantage of strategies which prevent future infections from occuring.
Post-menopausal women have a few additional UTI-promoting issues to consider:
- urine trapping (prolapsed internal organs, overweight which causes organs to slump in pelvis)
- urinary incontinence (involuntary loss, either from stress–coughing/sneezing/laughing, or urge–sudden contraction of the bladder),
- use of prescription estrogen supplementation (see data from the Women’s Health Initiative Study for more information).
Anyone can contract a UTI, but it is especially likely when a woman has penetrative sex with lots of pressure against the urethra after not having it for a while, or when she has thin vulvar skin as a result of postmenopausal atrophy.
Suggestions for reducing the likelihood of UTIs related to sexual activity:
1. Consider perineal massage before penetration. The perineum (space between the vaginal and anal opening) needs flexibility to allow for comfortable penetration without putting pressure against the urethra. Some women massage themselves, while others have their partners massage the whole vulva, before penetration. Consider focusing on increasing your overall arousal before any thought of penetration arises. The more aroused you are, the more flexible your vulva will be, and the maximal amount of lubricant will be present prior to penetration.
2. Change your position for sexual penetration such that rubbing against the urethra is less likely. These positions include:
- Penetration from behind.
- Sitting up face-to-face (also called lotus position).
- Spooning (partners lie side by side, with receptive partner in front).
- Partners are positioned at a ninety degree angle. The penetrating partner is on his or her side, while the receptive partner puts her legs over the other person’s hip.
Some women find that lowering the frequency of vaginal penetration (to 2 or less episodes/week) in favor of other activities reduces the recurrentce of UTIs. Pleasure yourself without penetration, and enjoy cuddling, kissing, whispering and other enjoyable play. You’ll be enhancing your sexual repetoire at the same time.
3. Change your sexual lubricant:
- Look at the ingredients for sexual lubricants, and avoid those with glycerin, honey, sugar, xylitol, or any other type of sweetener/carbohydrate. These products act as food for bacteria and yeast, and can cause harm to your natural protective vaginal biome.
- Use a lubricant with an acidic (lower) pH. Water based, moisturizing lubricants might be a good choice, but their acidity varies so be sure to check. Silicone lubes may also work, since these all have an acidic pH and will form a longer lasting slippery barrier to reduce friction against the skin. Visit our Sexual Wellness Store for a selection of both types.
4. Change your behaviors and diet:
- Drink water, coffee or tea, and urinate evey couple of hours. I know you’re busy, but it just isn’t good for your bladder to hold it for so long.
- Get your fasting blood sugar checked by your health care provider. When your blood is high in sugar/glucose, your secretions are too, and this sugar is eaten by bacteria that can overgrow and cause infections. This can be an important heads-up warning that your lifestyle and diet are unhealthy for you in many other ways.
- For those women who struggle with chronic UTIs: it is advisable to add live-culture, unsweetened yogurt to the diet on a daily basis, which helps add beneficial bacteria back to your body systems everywhere.
- Take cranberry capsules or drink cranberry juice (though most juices have a lot of sugar themselves, and can cause weight gain). Cranberry and blueberry juices have components which help protect the lining of the bladder and urethra from bacterial invasion. Because this effect can be overwhelmed, juices are less effective options for full blown infections.
- Make it a habit to always urinate after penetrative sex. Women who are the most consistent at post-coital urination have the lowest risk of UTIs.
5. Other things to consider include:
- Post-sex antibiotics. For some women, this is a last-effort solution. Talk to your health care provider about which type of bacteria you seem to be having trouble with, and if there is any type of antibiotic that would be advisable for you to have on hand. It isn’t the best choice, but when all else fails, it is a choice.
- Reduce your contact with semen. Because semen has a high chemical pH, semen itself can change the healthy vaginal environment into a less healthy one for some women. Try using non-spermacide male condoms, or even better, using female condoms with a lubricant of your choice. Female condoms completely prevent the semen from contacting your skin/vulva/vagina while giving your partner the warmth, contact and slippery slide they want.
- Some like oils for vaginal penetration, but they are not good for use by women who get UTIs. Even though they seem slippery, oils cause increased friction over what sexual lubricants can prevent, and bacteria and yeast eat them as food. We advise against using oils for vaginal penetration.
- Address pelvic floor dysfunction. Consider making an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist for an evaluation.
- Address postmenopausal vaginal atrophy with the Vaginal Renewal Program®, rather than using supplemental estrogen. Increasing the tone, health and blood flow of your vulva and vagina is just another way of boosting your defenses against pathogenic bacteria.
With a new boyfriend and a newly found hunger for sex, I find I’m getting more UTIs and yeast infections. I’m trying to use all the advice I’ve researched and recommendations from my doc, like peeing after sex. Please give me some insight. I’ve even read that certain sex positions could be the cause of UTIs.
It’s not uncommon for sex, especially sex with a new partner, to cause problems like yeast infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Although they’re relatively easy to treat, they can be incredibly irritating and/or painful.
UTIs are caused when bacteria enter the urethra and make their way up to the bladder. Since the urethra is in between the clitoris and the vaginal opening in female-bodied people, it’s in prime position to come into contact with bacteria during sex. Women get UTIs more frequently than men, because their urethras are shorter, but men can get UTIs as well, and there are some studies that suggest that unprotected insertive anal sex can increase the risk of UTIs for men. The most common symptoms of UTIs are a frequent urge to urinate, pain during urination and sometimes blood in the urine.
Peeing right after sex flushes bacteria out of the urethra and prevents them from settling in the bladder, which is why post-coital urination is recommended to prevent UTIs. Spermicides, which are found on some condoms and in contraceptive methods like the Today sponge and diaphragms, also increase the risk of UTIs, so if you are using a contraceptive method with spermicide, switch to something else (condoms without spermicide are just as effective at preventing pregnancy). Some people do find that a particular sex position seems to lead to UTIs, so paying attention to what you were doing before a UTI emerges can help pinpoint positions that you might want to avoid. Sexual activities that increase the chance of introducing bacteria from the anus to the urethra can cause UTIs, so be careful when switching from anal sex to vaginal sex or from rimming to cunnilingus and so on. Use new latex barriers for each activity and/or avoid moving from the anus to the vagina.
Yeast infections are a different beast; they are caused when the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina is thrown out of whack, leading to an overgrowth of yeast that can cause itching, burning and thick, white discharge. Men can get yeast infections on the penis as well, especially if they aren’t circumcised, and it’s possible to pass yeast infections back and forth between partners, so both partners should get checked out and treated if necessary.
The bacterial balance in your vagina can be disrupted by a number of things: using a lubricant that contains glycerin or sugar, douching, taking antibiotics, using birth control methods containing estrogen, and even oral sex (cunnilingus). Sometimes any type of vaginal sex can cause a yeast infection. If you get yeast infections frequently, I’d suggest making sure your partner doesn’t have one, using a lubricant that is sugar- and glycerin-free, and possibly using barriers like condoms or dams during vaginal sexual activities. Do NOT use vaginal douches (they are not necessary for vaginal health and cause more harm than good), and talk with your health care provider if you’re using a hormonal birth control method to see if you can switch to one with a lower estrogen level.
UTIs and yeast infections are something that almost every female-bodied person will experience in their lifetime, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious. If you have recurring yeast infections or UTIs, don’t be afraid to talk to your health care provider about them to see if they have more intensive treatments to suggest. Diet can impact yeast infections too.
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Laura Anne Stuart owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than fifteen years. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXPress? Send them to [email protected] Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.
Why has my vagina been burning for over a week after 2 hour sex? is it normal? did he do it to hard? was it the wrong hole? how many holes do I have?
It’s normal for your vagina to feel irritated after having sex for a longer time than you’re used to, especially if you’re not using any kind of lube. But sometimes irritation can be a sign of a yeast infection or other kind of vaginitis, or even an STD. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor or nurse about what you’re feeling.
Here’s some info about your body and its openings. If you have a vagina, you most likely have two other holes near it — the urethra and the anus.
The urethra is the closest to the front. It’s the hole that you pee out of, and it’s not possible to insert a penis into it because it’s too small.
The vagina is the middle opening. It connects to the cervix and your womb. It’s the part of the body that blood comes out of when you get your period, and where you would give birth out of if you ever do that. It lubricates itself when you’re turned on, but many people find that using water or silicone-based lube helps make vaginal sex feel more comfortable, especially if you’re going to have sex for a couple hours.
The anus is the one furthest back, where poop comes out. Some people find touching or inserting things into the anus can be pleasurable. Most people need lubrication (like a water or silicone-based lube that you can buy at the drugstore) to enjoy anal sex, so if your boyfriend put his penis in your anus it would make sense that you would feel some irritation a week later.
Read more about your vagina and vulva.
-Emily at Planned Parenthood
Tags: anal sex, anus, bodies, condoms, lube, painful sex, urethra, vagina, vulva
Pooja Parikh Traveled Across The World For The HS Diagnosis That Changed Her Life Forever
Where is the pee hole? This is a recurring discussion I’ve been having with many a grown woman of late. And no one seems to know where it is, at least not for sure.
Basically, women have three holes: a butt hole, a vagina hole and a pee hole. We know this much for sure. Although I once had a gay roommate who had never actually seen lady-bits in the flesh, and as such thought we only had two holes. When he told me this I gasped indignantly and said, “So what, you just thought we piss all over our babies?” (Side note: we can totally pee while having sex.)
Now level with me for a second; we’ve all seen our vagina hole, whether out of curiosity (a woman who hasn’t sat spread eagled in front of a mirror treating her body like a science experiment is like a child who, upon discovering a sea anemone in a tide pool, does not put their finger in it), or necessity (think along the lines of “first tampon”), and likewise most of us have seen our butt holes (go back to the spread-eagle-mirror scenario but just think of it backwards). These are easy holes to see; blatant holes, if you will, in that they don’t take much more than a simple spreading of skin to reveal.
But as I’ve discovered recently, most women have never seen their pee hole. It’s not like a dude’s pee hole; that thing is basically staring at you like a cycloptic yet sightless worm, and like the Mona Lisa it’s impossible to escape its vacant, unwavering gaze, especially once it’s excited and waving all about of its own accord.
No, I have never seen my pee hole, and I’ve never even really thought to look for it (until now, that is).
Why haven’t any of us (or at least “any of us” who I know and have spoken to), taken the time to find the pee hole? Undoubtedly the hole we use the most (I think I pee at least 17 times a day, whereas I only poop about four, and on a lucky day I’ll only have sex three to five times), the pee hole, essentially, is a ghost hole. It’s there; we know that much because it squirts out warm yellow liquid from between our legs on a regular basis. But none of us have ever actually seen it for real.
The vast majority of us aren’t stupid; we know vaguely where the pee comes from. But it’s all sort of… swathed in flaps. I assume this is why they give you a cup with such a wide circumference at the rim when you go to the doctor — because when you’re peeing in a cup, placing it is just a process of estimation, because no one really knows where the pee comes from. We just sort of know the approximate area.
This, incidentally, is probably why I always end up peeing on my hands at the doctor’s.
The enigma of the pee hole is a little bodily mystery that I quite like. It’s the Loch Ness Monster of orifices; its legend is pervasive, and we occasionally catch a glimpse, but if you ask around you’ll learn that none can tell you for certain exactly where you can find it.
10 Things Everyone Should Know About the Vagina
The vagina is many things: the birth canal, the uterus; direct line to the outside world, the actual portal making intercourse possible… and yet, few people (even those with the body part) know much about it.
We do know people get a little skittish about things they don’t understand; and the vagina is no exception. For aeons we’ve tolerated the vagina being portrayed with dangerously sharp teeth; watched hack doctors place pleasant scents near the vaginal opening to cure hysteria caused by the mythical wandering womb; even borne witness to the assumption that vaginal spasms merely “interfere with penetration.”
Yeah… so none of those things are actually real. And although in recent years we’ve spent some more time as a culture giving this special body part its deserved respect, we’re long overdue for a little refresher course on everyone’s favorite, warmest place on Earth.
No, women do not pee from their vaginas
Let’s start with Anatomy 101. Do you know how many holes there are in a woman’s nether regions? If you believe the hole babies come out of is the same hole used for urination, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, women have three portals: a urethra, vagina, and anus. Don’t laugh — a shocking number of people don’t know this.
It’s not a black hole
Vaginas can expand, but nothing can actually get lost up there. This is great for women who want to use their vagina as a coin purse, because unless a penny, a tube of lipstick, or anything else that could comfortably fit in there was the size of a sperm and could slip through the cervix, there is nothing to fear.
The vagina and beer are basically the same
At least when it comes to pH level. The vagina’s pH level is typically between 3.5 and 4.5 — just about right on point with beer.
You get twice the vagina during sex
Everyone has heard someone refer to a vagina as “loose,” implying it’s spacious, worn, and/or overused. Vaginas are about 3 or 4in deep, but they actually expand about twice their size to accommodate varying penis (or toy!) sizes. So, when a man penetrates the vagina, it will feel longer and wider than it would during periods of non-arousal. Vaginas can become loose, but it is often a result of old age or childbirth.
But you can also just have two vaginas
Yes, there are some women who have two vaginas. This rare condition is known as uterus didelphys, and to this date, doctors are still unsure as to how this is caused. Fortunately, women with this condition can still have a normal sex life and carry and deliver their children with no problem.
Women are equipped with a vaginal alert system
A vagina can reveal a number of things about a woman: when she’s horny, sick, and even when she’s ovulating. This is actually something that comes in handy when trying to conceive. At the time of ovulation, the cervical mucus will be clear and stretchy unlike the usual thick, white mucus that is experienced when a woman is not ovulating.
Vaginas are like… sweat socks?
This is possibly the best, but most ridiculous, way to describe what a vagina looks like. With nothing in it, the organ’s muscles lie flat — and there’s even a top; presumably to keep anything from getting lost. What goes in will, eventually, find its way back out.
That white stuff is actually normal
All women have vaginal discharge, but all make different amounts. It is a combination of tubal fluids, cervical mucus, oil, sweat, cells, and fluid from the vagina’s walls. Throughout the month, the amount, color, and consistency of the discharge may change. There may also be an abnormal change experienced when a female has vaginitis or even an STI.
The amount of wetness doesn’t only depend on her arousal level
I totally get that it might seem like if a woman’s wet, you’re doing something right. Well… make that half right. While it’s true the vagina gets wet when a woman is aroused, the actual amount of wetness can also have a lot to do with where she is in her cycle.
Vaginas have their own orgasm
Guys can only have one type of orgasm, but women actually get FOUR. With the vagina having so many areas that are sensitive and can feel pleasure, there’s actually a specific vaginal orgasm — as well clitoral, blended, and (your favorite and mine) multiple orgasms.
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