Let’s be honest. This is embarrassing. Nobody likes to talk about the dreaded UTI, but it’s real, and it affects 1 in 5 women in their lifetime. Men get them, too, but much less frequently than women. It’s easier for bacteria to get to our parts, and we have a shorter urethra than men. I happen to be an expert on the Urinary Tract Infection, which is not a title I enjoy having. However, my experience with UTI’s makes me want to pass on my knowledge of how to survive one with others because…they are HORRIBLE. THEY SUCK BIG DONKEY BALLS. If I can help anyone get through a UTI as quickly and painlessly as possible, then at least I can say my experiences have led to some good. So let me drop some knowledge on ya.
First off, the name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s an infection of the urinary tract. So if you have an infection anywhere along your urinary tract, i.e. kidneys, urethra, bladder, ureters, then you have a UTI. Yay!
How do you know that you have a UTI? You fucking know. There’s no way to not know. There’s some shit going down. I mean peeing with a UTI is incredibly painful. You feel like no matter how many times you pee, you still have to go. You not only have to go, you have to go right god damn NOW. Like…the worst you’ve ever had to pee and also it hurts really badly. Isn’t that fun? So that’s basically the gist of a UTI, but other symptoms can include cloudy/bloody/smelly urine, low fever, aches in your abdomen or lower back. Now when I get a UTI it’s usually just painful urination + strong need to urinate.
Why, you may ask, am I an expert? I have suffered from chronic UTI’s pretty much since 2009. I had 7 UTI’s in 2010 and then 4 at the beginning of 2011. It’s embarrassing to say that, but there it is. It sucked so much ass. I felt dirty and gross and stupid because I kept getting them. I mean, WT fuck?! Why God, why do I continue to get these fucking horrible infections that ruin life?
I was incredibly paranoid about cleanliness, constantly worried about getting anything even remotely dirty near my poonanny. My boyfriend LOVED that, let me tell ya.
Me: When was the last time you washed your penis?
So I had been going to a Minor Medial clinic for my UTI’s because when you have one, you want it treated urgently. You don’t want to make an appointment and wait. So after treating me for my last UTI, they finally suggested that I see a specialist. So that’s what I did. I made an appointment with a urologist and she discussed with me what usually causes a UTI. UTIs result from bacteria entering your urethra. Having sex, not wiping properly, not peeing after sex, etc, etc. But I was doing EVERYTHING right. I was majorly paranoid about avoiding bacteria causing stuff…so what was the deal? Well, apparently some people are just lucky that way! My doctor informed me that they don’t know a lot about what causes people to suffer from UTI’s over and over when there are no other issues (like diabetes, STD’s), but they think it has something to do with genetics. Some people are just more prone to getting them, and that includes me. Also, my mother as I later learned. Most likely it has something to do with the way my junk is shaped. It’s easier for bacteria to get up in there. Thanks mom!
So on to the important stuff: How do I get through a UTI? What should you do?
1. The second you get one, you will know. Most likely you will go to the bathroom, and peeing will hurt like a mother. After you finish peeing, you’ll still feel like you have to pee. The most important thing at this point is to be calm.
2. Get you some drugs. Drugs drugs drugs. You need medicine to treat the pain. AZO Extra Strength is usually what I go for. In fact I recommend that you just keep a stash in your house always. Like advil, everyone will need it at some point. So if you don’t have any at hand, then I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. You’re gonna have to go to the drug store. Get some, take immediately. Hopefully you’ve got a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/mom handy to go get that shit for you. Cause what you’ll wanna be doing is…
3. Sit on the toilet. Just sit there. Wait for the AZO to kick in. Have someone bring you some water or juice. Drink ALL of it. Keep drinking constantly. I find that sitting on the toilet is helpful because you’re just going to keep running back and forth to the bathroom anyway. Apologize to your family or roommates, and just sit on the toilet…crying if you must.
It’s okay to cry. It’s not baseball.
4. Once the AZO kicks in (and thank GOD), you will know. It’ll take the pain and urgency away. Your urine will also be orange or blue depending on what medicine you use.
5. Go to the doctor. You have to. It’s not a virus, and it won’t just run its course. It’s an infection that has to be treated with antibiotics. Otherwise the infection will spread from your urethra to your bladder and then your ureters and finally your kidneys. Kidney infections are bad. BAD. Chills, fatigue, high fever, confusion, abdominal pain, bloody urine, nausea, vomiting…it’s serious. Go to the doctor before all that happens. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will have you pee in a cup.
6. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. When peeing in the cup, you will most likely see some directions somewhere in the bathroom. FOLLOW the directions. Don’t touch the inside of the cup or the rim. Don’t touch the inside of the cap on the cup. Wash your hands before you touch the cup. Use the sanitary wipes to wipe your hooha. Wipe it really well – front to back. Pee in the cup without touching the rim to your hooha. You must do this exactly BECAUSE if they don’t get a good sample from you then they might catheterize you in order to get a pure sample. And as anyone who has ever had a plastic tube shoved up your urethra knows, you’re gonna want to avoid that at all costs.
7. If you indeed have a urinary tract infection (you could have an STD, which is why you have to see a doctor), then your doctor will prescribe you an antibiotic and probably some heavy duty pain medication.
8. Go fill prescriptions immediately. Now, the last time they prescribed me heavy duty pain medicine, the copay was like $80. So I said fuck it and just stuck with the AZO. Works just as well, but use your own judgment.
9. Take the antibiotic as directed. You have to take ALL of it. Even after you start to feel better. The antibiotic will probably make all of your symptoms disappear in 2 or 3 days. So after that you can stop taking medicine for the pain but you have to continue with the antibiotic until it’s all gone. Otherwise the infection will not totally leave your body, and you’ll be back at the doctor with another UTI within 2 weeks.
For the chronic UTI sufferer (like me), you will be prescribed a suppressant. Basically it’s just a low dose of an antibiotic that you would take to treat a UTI. So whenever I start to feel symptoms coming along, I just pop one of those pills. If I have symptoms more than 3 days in a row while taking the suppressant then I have to go to the doctor. But I gotta tell you, I haven’t had symptoms for more than a day since they gave me the suppressant. It rules. It kicks all the ass.
I’ve also got some handy tips for preventing UTI’s in the future.
-Drink water. Drink a LOT of water. You know you’re drinking the right amount of water when your urine is almost clear. Drinking water means that you pee more frequently. When you’re peeing more frequently, then your urinary tract is flushed of all the bacteria more often. Also avoid alcohol and caffeinated stuff. It tends to dehydrate you, leading to less pee. Less pee is bad.
-Don’t hold your pee. Pee freely people! Let it flow. Holding your urine for long periods of time makes it difficult to pee all of your pee out. It sounds silly, but it just happens. When you don’t totally empty your bladder, then bacteria gathers, causing ruin and destruction. It’s especially important to totally empty your bladder before you go to sleep at night. Don’t want that staying in for 8 hours.
-Eat right. The reason you’re told to drink cranberry juice when you have a UTI is because cranberries have a lot of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is acidic and destroys bacteria. So if you’ve got all the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in your system, especially Vitamin C, then you’ll prevent bacteria from screwing up your life.
-Wipe front to back. I mean…you know that.
-Pee after sex. No one had told me this before I first started having sex, but it’s a must. I also now usually wash with soap and water before and after sex, too. Washing before is extra important. We all get busy, and maybe you haven’t showered in a couple of days. Avoid the sexy until you clean up. Better safe than sorry. Peeing and washing get rid of the bacteria that’s around your sassy friend down there. Clean it up so that it won’t enter your urethra while having sex. There’s a lot of sweat and friction and grossness going on….ew. Clean it up.
-Showers are better than baths if you suffer from UTIs frequently.
-Some people say to go with pads instead of tampons. I’ve never found that tampons are a problem really. Just make sure that you wash your hands before handling a tampon. Don’t like do some farming and then immediately put a tampon in. That’s silly.
So remember that you’re in good company. 1 in 5 women, people. You’re going to get through it. Go to the doctor, follow these rules, feel better.