In case you needed something else to worry about today, some UTIs are becoming untreatable. No, really. According to the World Health Organization, E. Coli (one of the leading causes of urinary tract infections) is becoming resistant to some antibiotics.
If you have a vagina, chances are good you have had a UTI. Indeed, almost half of all vagina-havers experience a UTI at least once in their lifetime. (Non-vagina-havers can experience them too, of course, although they're less likely to do so.) Aside from turning your pee into a stream of burning hellfire, other common signs of a UTI are stomach and back pain, discoloration in your urine, and the constant feeling of having to pee but nothing comes out. To put it scientifically, UTIs suck.
They extra suck because if untreated, a UTI can lead to more serious problems like kidney infection and sepsis, which can be fatal. UTIs are usually easy to treat with typical antibiotics, which is why this newfound resistance is cause for concern.
Some scientists are also looking into IV injections of the antibiotic colistin as more serious option to treating UTIs. However, there are already strains of E. Coli showing resistance to colistin in India and China. (Researchers think flies are to blame for this growing resistance. And I mean, what aren’t flies to blame for, you know?)
It’s important to note that you’re more likely to get a UTI if you’ve had already one in the past. Between 20 and 40 percent of women experience recurring UTIs. Before you think people with penises are entirely off the hook, men can also get UTIs. While significantly less common than in vagina-havers, one in five penis-havers will experience a UTI. No one’s genitalia is 100 percent safe.
At least there are some easy ways to prevent UTIs (although unfortunately, drinking cranberry juice is not one of them). Here are a few ways to keep your bits from turning into UTI Party Central:
- Drink plenty of water
- Wiping front to back
- Pee when you gotta go pee
- Take ibuprofen, as some recent studies suggest.
- Pee after sex
If there is any wisdom I can impart onto you, it is that peeing after sex is important if you have a vagina. It helps flush out bacteria and protect your body from infection. It may not seem sexy, but oh well, who cares.
Stay safe out there. Stay hydrated. And for the love of god, pee after sex.