Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be misery for anyone – and for cam models, they may also mean a benching from work.
A UTI can knock your off your game for days and nobody can afford to sit out in recovery, not to mention how crappy it makes you feel in general. Here’s some UTI signs, evasive techniques and holistic tips — because you just don’t have time for that noise!
What is a UTI anyway?
It’s hard to miss a UTI.
UTI is a broad term used to cover an infection in any part of your urinary system. This includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Though, most infections occur in the bladder and urethra, different types of UTIs occur in different areas. For example, cystitis occurs in the bladder, while urethritis in the urethra. Pyelonephritis is a form of kidney infection.
The symptoms of a UTI are loud and clear — common ones include a strong and frequent urge to urinate; cloudy, bloody or pungent urine; pain or burning during urination; and nausea, vomiting, aches and abdominal pains — and are often accompanied by a general feeling of sickness.
Although UTIs can affect anyone, women are more prone to this type of infection. A female urethra is shorter than a male’s and is located closer to the anus. This makes it a fast track route for bacteria to enter the bladder.
There are many other factors that may increase the likelihood of UTIs. These include: sexual activity, poor hygiene, incomplete bladder emptying, poor sex toy materials, some forms of contraception and some lubes, spermicides and tampons. Pregnancy and menopause, diabetes and kidney stones can also have an impact.
Minimize the risk
It’s impossible to avoid all these factors, so how can you minimize the risk? There are some very simple steps you can take which reduce the chance of a UTI developing.
Drink Water — The most important tip is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water ensures regular urination, which aids flushing bacteria out of your bladder. Also avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol intake. We all love our coffee, but this can irritate your bladder.
Post-sex Care — Urinate after sex. This flushes out bacteria introduced into the urinary system during play.
General Hygiene — Practice good personal hygiene to manage bacteria present. Wipe front to back after going to the toilet. Try to shower rather than submersive bathing, and avoid using heavily perfumed or oiled products. Sitting in baths full of heavily scented bubbles feels great at the time, but you may regret it when it brings on a UTI.
Contraception – If you can, find a method other than a diaphragm or spermicide.
Don’t hold it! — Go when you need to. Ignoring the urge to urinate allows bacteria the chance to multiply in your urinary tract.
Clothing — Wear loose fitting cotton underwear day to day. This keeps the area around the urethral opening dry and prevents growth of bacteria. Swap your post-workout undies for a fresh pair.
Lubes and Toys — Check the ingredients lists of lube and sensation gels. There are lots of chemicals present in many lubes, which can lead to infections and irritation. Avoid using rubber, jelly or porous sex toys. It’s impossible to clean these, and bacteria will still be present when you go to re-use the toy.
Check out our lube ingredients guide: “Yeasty Burnt Vagina: Lube Ingredients to Avoid“
Also, check out this sex toy materials guide: “Melty, Porous Dildos: How to Avoid Sex Toy Toxicity“
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When your evasive tactics fail: Doctors and holistics
If you notice the symptoms of a UTI, don’t despair. Once treated, they usually clear up within a few days. You may need antibiotics depending on the severity of the infection. Make sure you see a doctor if you think you have a UTI, as they can develop into complicated infections, especially if you suffer recurrent episodes.
There are some holistic remedies you can use to help get the infection on its way. The simplest way to ease the symptoms and flush the infection through is to increase your fluid intake. Drinking more water dilutes the burning sensation and reduces the infection time — take care to make sure you fully empty your bladder each time though!
Another much touted remedy for UTIs is cranberry juice, however this is a myth. Cranberries can help to prevent an infection from developing in the first place and may aid symptoms once you’re suffering, but they don’t cure infection.
Taking probiotics can help prevent UTIs developing and may be effective in treating them as well. When suffering a UTI your bacterial balance is skewed towards the bad bacteria, probiotics replace these with healthy bacteria and reduce symptoms.
Increase your Vitamin C intake in general. Vitamin C improves your immunity and helps you to fight infection. Taking Vitamin C supplements can also reduce your chances of getting infected in the first place.
Parsley Tea is considered a good herbal treatment for UTIs as it’s believed to cleanse the urinary tract. It’s recommended to drink four cups a day for seven days to see results, so it could well be this is just an “increase in fluid intake” solution but there does seem to be anecdotal evidence of it reducing symptoms and infection time.
Get back in the game!
Incorporating some of these simple suggestions can help keep the misery of UTIs at bay and get you back on cam as soon as possible.
Editor’s note: We are not doctors. Make sure to check with a licensed healthcare professional for all health-related issues.
Katy Seymour is a super-sex-positive writer in the U.K. who believes kink is life. Email her at email@example.com.
Image via Raven3k.