What's Causing My bladder Infections?

What's causing my bladder infections ebook
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This page is designed as a support page for the "What's Causing My bladder infections?" booklet.

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Business Time Notes:



Do you pee straight after sex?

Things can get pretty mushed around during sex which means its pretty easy for any lurking bacteria to have gotten... everywhere. If they have managed to get into your peehole, the best way to prevent them from staying is to pee them out. Not only does the act of urinating wash them away, the urine itself is a good deterrent for the bacteria. The sooner after the deed you can go for a pee the better.




Do you wash before and after sex?

Being dirty, sweaty or not having showered for a while is a great way to let bacteria thrive. If there is bacteria on your body, during sex it is pretty easy to transfer it somewhere you don't want it to be.. Like your peehole causing a bladder infection.

A simple solution is to shower before you have sex so there are less bacteria around to be spread. For just normal everyday, a shower doesn't have to be immediately before sex. Within a few hours is fine. But if you have been sweating a lot or you are particularly prone to bladder infections, it is best to have a shower right before sex just to be on the safe side.

Showering after sex is a great way to make sure any bacteria that may have gotten where the sun don't shine, will be washed away. It's all good to get rid of any sweat or juices that may have gotten around during sex too.





Is your partner washing before sex?

It doesn't matter how crystal clean and bacteria free you are if your sexual partner is covered in them. It takes two to tango but only one person with bacteria to share it. Get your partner to make sure they have showered recently before sex. If that is a bit of a difficult point suggest having a shower together and be sure to reiterate that peeing razor blades is not a good way to get you to sleep with them again.





Do both you and your partner wash your hands before sex?

Hands are great bacteria gatherers. Whatever we touch is during the day is ripe for picking up bacteria: toilets, phones, door handles. And bacteria on your hands is easily transferred to your more intimate areas during sex. Simple solution is that both you and your partner wash your hands before sex using warm water and soap.





Do you wash your hands before masturbating?

Bacteria is all around us in our environment, it is easy to pick up things you can't see with your hands. Your hands aren't so affected by bacteria, but other areas of your body are far more open to infection. Wash your hands before touching your self downstairs and you'll be at much less risk of getting bacteria somewhere you don't want it.





Anal sex

The most common bacteria for causing bladder infections is E coli, and the most common place to find E coli in the human system is from poop. The digestive system is full of E coli, where it doesn't cause too many issues but when it is transferred to the peehole and into the urinary tract it can cause bladder infections.

The opening to the digestive system is the bumhole and because of this is loaded with E coli.

If you are having anal sex, you will need to be particularly aware of sex hygiene. Make sure that the bumhole and surrounding area has been washed with warm soapy water and rinsed. A lot of people even recommend to wash up inside the bumhole as well.

It is recommended using condoms if you having anal sex. Don't swap from anal sex to vaginal sex without changing condoms in between.





Dryness

Lack of lubrication during sex, can contribute to extra friction and irritation. The sensitive the whole area becomes the more susceptible to infections of any kind. A little bit of slipperiness down there can go along way to avoiding an infection and having more fun. During different stages of your life and different times of your life, there may be less lubrication than at other times.

Using a store bought lubrication can be a great idea but be aware that for some people, they may experience some sensitivities or allergies to these too. Make sure you find the least fragranced one you can and experiment to see if it is working. Saliva is also a great lubricant and there are other natural alternatives too.





How long sex goes on for

While having mammothly long sex sessions is often seen as the ideal, for people who are prone to bladder infections this idea may not be what you want to strive for. Finding a happy medium between getting the outcome you both desire and not rubbing yourselves raw can take a bit of communication, ingenuity and experimentation. Be aware that sometimes more isn't always more.

If you are prone to bladder infections and making changes in other areas isn't working for you, this may be something to address. You still both want to be enjoying and getting what you want out of it, but perhaps shorten the length of time doing the parts that create friction on your peehole area, instead working up to that after lots of other things you can do to start with to build anticipation.

Practice makes perfect and remember to follow all the other areas of sex hygiene to minimise the need for this.





Rough Sex

Be aware that your sexy time bits are a sensitive area of your body. This means they can are sensitive to great pleasure but also very easily hurt. Have fun and do what works for both you and your partner together but if you are getting repeated bladder infections this may be something to think about.

If your sex sessions are a bit more "Crash and bash" than "bump and grind" just be wary of how it may be influencing your body. Maybe mix it up so not every time is this way and pay particular care to other areas of sex hygiene to give yourself the best chance of avoiding bladder infections.





Sex Toys

If you are using sex toys, including vibrators, be sure to follow the care instructions that come with them for cleaning and disinfecting them. They are potentially a great carrier of bacteria which can be spread places you don't want, causing bladder infections.

If toys are your thing, make sure to use something designed for the purpose that doesn't have too many nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide and thrive using found objects that are not designed for that purpose is a great way to spread bacteria.

Also be aware of where you are putting the toys. If the toy goes anywhere near the back entrance where there is more chance of getting E coli on it, make sure that it is thoroughly disinfected before it heads anywhere near your peehole or vagina. Having different toys for different purposes may be the best way to go.





Contraceptives





Condoms

Having minor allergies to condoms is more common than many people realise. Both the latex they are made from and the spermicidal lubrication used on them can cause irritation especially with the repeated sex motions. How you deal with this will depend largely on the relationship you are in.

Condoms are still the most reliable method for preventing the transfer of sexually transmitted infections. While a bladder infection may be painful and uncomfortable, it is a lot less permanent than some of the other things you can catch by not using one.

Whether you choose to continue using a condom or another method of contraception will be a decision only you can make depending on your own circumstances. If in any doubt, use a condom and follow the other areas of sex hygiene and healthy practices as much as you can. Try to buy unflavoured, unscented low irritant condoms.





The Contraceptive Pill

The contraceptive pill is used by many women, not just a way to prevent pregnancy but also regulate periods and balance hormones. However for many women, the contraceptive pill can cause your hormones to change the Ph levels in different parts of your body. This can affect the pH levels in your vagina, which can in turn contribute to a sensitivity to bladder infections. There is also anecdotal evidence that the contraceptive pill can also have a longer term effect on the overall health





Are you peeing when you need to? (i.e. Not holding it in)

Holding on from peeing when you feel the urge has a few different issues with it. It causes the bladder to expand a lot weakening the walls. It forces the urine to become more concentrated and it also allows more time for bacteria to thrive in between getting flushed away. All of these have serious consequences and can definitely lead to bladder infections. It is common for us to hold on without realising it. Waiting for a toilet to become available, not wanting to use public toilets, etc. Make it a habit to pee when you need to or before.

For further information see this article





Are you pooping when you need to?

Holding off from doing number 2's is pretty common, especially when you are out in public. Just because it is common doesn't mean it's a good thing to do though. Bladder infections are pretty common too!

Holding on whether by choice or through constipation is not great for your bowel health and not great if you are trying to avoid a bladder infection.

For more information see this article





Do you wipe from front to back?

E coli, is the bacteria most commonly associated with bladder infections. E coli occurs in the digestive system without much problem and is present in poo. The aim of the game is the avoid getting E coli from the poop to the urethra where you pee from. For women it is vital to always wipe from the front (near the pee hole) to the back (past the bumhole). This is goes for whether you have gone for a poop or even if you have just urinated, make it a habit to always wipe in the same direction. This will minimise the chance of spreading bacteria from near the bumhole forwards to the pee hole As a side note, make sure to use clean toilet paper for each wipe, so you are not spreading the invisible bacteria that could be lurking.

Do you get skid marks in your underwear?

If you are getting brown marks in your undies, it is a clear signal that bacteria could easily be getting to your urethra. There are many different kinds of bacteria in your poop and they can cause bladder infections if they get a chance to come in contact with your pee hole Don't let them get that opportunity!

Allow yourself some time to go to the toilet. Make sure you are finished doing what you need and then wipe. Use a fresh piece of toilet paper for each wipe and make sure to wipe from front of your body to the back, so you don't spread bacteria to your urethra. Don't stop wiping until you can look at the toilet paper and it is coming away completely clean.





Do you wipe until there is no more poop left?

The number one bacteria associated with bladder infections is E coli, which is often comes from your digestive system. The easiest way for bacteria from your digestive system to cause a bladder infection is through poo.

Making sure that all traces are wiped after after going for a poo, is an important step for preventing bladder infections. Wipe from front to back and use a clean, fresh piece of toilet paper for each wipe until you can check it and there is no more traces of poo left on the paper. Even going back for a wipe or two after this just to be safe is a good idea.





Do you use a bidet?

Bidets, are common in some parts of the world. They are low basin's designed to clean your downstairs area after going to the toilet.

If you use a bidet and are getting repeated bladder infections, it may be a good idea to stop using it for a while and see if this makes a difference. While using water sounds like it should clean you very well, if you can't direct exactly where they water is pushing everything it could have the opposite effect.

It is very important to ensure that no bacteria come in contact with the opening to the bladder. If bacteria from further back towards the bumhole get washed forwards to the pee hole with the water, you are exposing yourself to a bladder infection. Try to avoid using a bidet.





Do you use scented toilet paper?

Our bodies are actually much more sensitive than we often give them credit for. We routinely give them a lot of chemicals and toxins that they just weren't designed to handle. Having a sensitivity to fragrances is pretty common and irritation caused by sensitivities can leave you more susceptible to infections.

Wiping an area that is sensitive as the genitals are, with scented paper can irritate it and throw off your natural balance. Where ever possible I recommend the most low tech toilet paper you can find. Un-perfumed, un-bleached, etc. The less chemicals you expose your bits to, the better.





Do you ever suffer from I.B.S (Irritable bowel syndrome?)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome has a huge range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, and changes in bowel habits. If I.B.S is something you suffer from, be aware that it may be having an impact on contributing to bladder infections also. Both constipation and diarrhoea, often associated with I.B.S can share in causing a bladder infection, mainly through the spread of bacteria found in bowel movements.

People who are suffering from I.B.S often find that it has an effect on their overall health and stress levels also. Keeping as healthy as possible is important if you are suffering from recurrent bladder infections, as a healthy body is more able to fight off any lingering bacteria and prevent infection.

If I.B.S is something you are currently dealing with, be especially careful to watch your toilet hygiene habits and to stay hydrated.

From my personal experience, after being told I had I.B.S, I found that changing some of my eating habits had a huge effect on my symptoms. In fact I didn't have I.B.S at all, simply an intolerance to many of the foods I was consuming on a daily basis. I may be the exception in that case, but if you are dealing with this and not getting any answers, I would recommend assessing your diet for sensitivities.





Are you hovering above the toilet instead of sitting on it?

For many of us when out in public, and for some people even at home, they hover in a squat above the toilet seat instead of sitting on it. While this may seem like a good idea to prevent the spread of germs, it can in fact be contributing to your bladder infections. The angle at which you squat can prevent you from fully emptying your bladder. Retained urine, is one of the things that contributes to bladder infections, so obviously this is not a good idea.

Make sure you sit on the toilet seat when you can. If you are in public and worried about what you may catch from the seat, lay some toilet paper on the seat and sit on that. If you are out and about and you can't do the toilet paper trick, then hovering is better than not going at all. However try to get as much out as you can, changing angles if you need to and don't make it a habit.





Are you completely emptying yourself when you go?

For many people, bladder infections can be contributed to by not fully emptying themselves of urine when they go to the toilet. The urine stays in the bladder and bacteria get the chance to multiply.

Things like hovering above the bowl, being in a hurry and even shifts in the anatomy as we age can contribute to not completely emptying. Make sure you take the time to get it all out and avoid hovering where ever possible. Things like prolapse and changes to the bladder can mean for some people that emptying is particularly difficult. Try positioning your body in a few different angles each time to make sure that there is no residual urine left.





Are your bits touching the bowl?

The shape of the toilet can play more of a difference than you might expect. For some guys, when they sit down their penis can be in pretty close proximity to the front of the bowl.

E coli is the number one cause of bladder infections. E coli is healthy and normal to have in your digestive tract and in your poop but when it gets in somewhere it shouldn't be (like your pee hole) it can cause some pretty unpleasant side effects, like bladder infections. It would be pretty easy to pick up E coli in your pee hole if you are making physical contact with the bowl, so obviously the more you can avoid touching your bits and pieces touching it the better. 

Also making a conscious effort to clean both the toilet and your self well. The toilet at least once a week. And your penis at least once a day. Clean it like you were taught with warm soapy water and if you are uncircumcised make sure to pull back your foreskin and clean that area well also.





Diarrhoea

The bacteria most commonly known for causing bladder infection is E coli, and the most common way for it to transmit to your bladder is from your digestive system. If you are suffering from diarrhoea, it is very important to keep yourself clean down there, to stop spreading bacteria from your poop to your pee hole where it can enter your urinary tract and set up camp.

If you are suffering from diarrhoea, be sure to keep up your liquid intake. Plenty of water and some electrolytes will help you to stop getting dehydrated. If your diarrhoea is severe, it important that you don't just drink water as it may lead to electrolyte imbalance making you feel weak and pretty gross. Coconut water, sea salt dissolved in water or lemon juice squeezed in water is good for some people to replace electrolytes but be careful as it could potentially make the diarrhoea worse. Being dehydrated definitely contributes to the likely hood of getting a bladder infection.

Make sure to wipe yourself well and that there is no poop getting anywhere near your pee hole It may be worthwhile showering more often while you are sick to make sure that the bumhole area is clean and dry and not able to contaminate your urethra.

If you are getting diarrhoea, often it is a good idea to search for some possible causes for this too. Being sick is not pleasant and often there can be things in our everyday diet or lifestyle which contribute and which we are unaware are affecting us.





Constipation

Being constipated can contribute to causing bladder infections in a number of ways.

  • sign of overall ill health (sick bodies don't fight infection well)
  • E coli from anus getting to urethra
  • Dehydration – known cause of bladder infections
  • Pressure build up in your gut from constipation affecting the urinary tract

Avoiding constipation is the best way to avoid an associated bladder infection. If you are regularly getting constipated and regularly getting bladder infections, there may be a connection. Either through the constipation itself or something else you are doing that may be causing both of these symptoms.

If you are constipated the best way to avoid a bladder infection is:

  • Still make sure to keep your bum clean and dry.
  • (You still need to wipe from front to back and wipe your bum even if you haven't pooped. Invisible bacteria can still get out even if you haven't been able to poop.

  • Make sure to wash your bum area in the shower with soap and rinse well.
  • Drink plenty of water – don't get dehydrated
  • Start the day with a glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice in it.
  • For people who become constipated only rarely, here are some of the key things you can do to avoid it:

    • Regular exercise, like walking gets thing moving.
    • Staying hydrated
    • Eating a healthy whole foods diet
    • Avoid eating foods in excess which are binding – like breads and pasta for example

    For regular constipation sufferers, I would recommend analysing some of your eating, drinking and lifestyle factors. Keeping a detailed diary can be a good way to picking up on long term patterns, if you cannot find a solution yourself, I would highly recommend seeing a health care provider, like a naturopath or nutritionist to get to the bottom of it!

    Sorry Bad pun – I couldn't help myself.