Dear Aunt Vadge,

Hope you are doing well! 

I started having sex in 2014. I notice I am easily affected by UTIs, at least twice a year. I occasionally share my concerns with my doctor, but after medication for my UTI, I soon recover. I want to know why a UTI happens to me at least twice a year? This concerns me a lot. 

Second, recently in March 2016, sudden soreness appeared in my vagina while having sex. It  but it doesn’t hurt when I go to the toilet. Just a scratched/sore feeling. 

Then, within a same month after a vigorous sex, a small cut happened in the upper attachment of clitoris. I took medicine after consulting with a doctor and it recovered. I want to know the reason why this cut happened on my clitoris? And why I have been affected by UTIs, soreness, and a cut within two months? I feel like if I have sex in future, again something will happen. 

And, yes with the same partner. I sometimes have sex without protection. 

Best Regards,
Concerned

_____

Dear Concerned,

Sex is a dirty, rough business. Penetration can cause irritation of the urethra, allowing bacteria already residing in there to proliferate, and bacteria can spread easily from the anus to the vagina. Yeasts and other microbes cause issues in the vaginal tissue, quite often, but if you are getting frequent infections and cuts, something needs adjusting.

Only have penetrative sex when your vagina is turned-on enough

Some infections arise because the urethra is irritated, so make sure you are well warmed up (horny and wet) before sex. The vagina should be lubed up and ready to be penetrated. You’ll find you have more infections when you are having sex when your vagina isn’t fully ready, so just avoid this – it’s no good anyway, but it does result in more frequent infections.

Bacteria and your urethra

Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by E.coli bacteria from the rectum, and so it’s important to make sure you are practicing good sexual hygiene. This means urinating after sex every single time, rinsing off with a shower too, and making sure you are both reasonably clean before having sex. His butt bacteria can infect you too.

A short perineum

I know it sounds a bit grim, that bacteria from your anus (or his) is getting into your urethra, but this actually happens all the time due to proximity of the vagina to the anus. Some women have a very short perineum, and these women are very prone to UTIs, because even as a penis pushes into the vagina, the perineum can be pulled so that the anus is very, very close to the vagina. You should get a mirror and see how short or long your perineum is, and see if you can find any structural thing that could be contributing to your more frequent infections.

Your intestines need work

A common cause of more frequent UTIs is that your (or his) gut bacteria is out of whack, and that is causing the rest of your body to become more prone to infection. So, for example a lot of antibiotics or a bout of gastro, poor diet or a lot of unhealthy food and lifestyle choices can lead to your bad bacteria (pathogens) becoming more numerous in your (or his) gut. That means that the chances of getting infections increases, since there are simply more pathogens floating around your system. You might have even developed biofilms in your intestines that mean good bacteria find it really hard to survive.

A good way to try to combat this is to increase your intake of fermented food and drinks, and if you wanted, a probiotic capsule each day once or twice. You can even try an enzyme product designed to kill biofilms in the gut.

The first thing I would be looking at is your gut bacteria – both of you. Having a plethora of good bacteria around in your urethra, vagina and bowel means more good bacteria to fight off the bad, and (fingers crossed) less infections as a result. It works for all parts of your body, not just your vagina or urethra, since these bacteria keep pathogens in check. You want this for all of your body systems. It also means less strange cuts and tears, since your flesh will be strong and healthy. It doesn’t mean you will never get sex wounds, but it means your skin will be strong and resistant to being damaged.

Hygiene

The next thing is to make sure you are being hygienic in your sex practices. No fingers, penises or toys in the butt then the vagina, pee after sex, use condoms if it helps avoid infections, and be aware of how short (or long) your perineum is, since you may need to adjust your sexual practices and positions to account for this in future. UTIs are horrible and taking antibiotics all the time is not good for your good gut bacterial colonies, and can possibly leave you open to more infections later on by depleting your army of good bacteria and allowing the development of pathogenic biofilms.

Your partner’s semen

Another issue could relate to your partner’s semen, though this is still being investigated. If he has changed his diet or has become less healthy since you’ve known him, this could impact on his semen, which could then in turn have started to affect your body. It’s not impossible, so keep it in mind. It could pay to do an experiment and use condoms for a while and see if it helps.

There are a lot of things to think about regarding UTIs, so see our UTI page for some tips on how to treat them at home by yourself – you can. Read the warnings though.

Your cut

The cut you describe sounds like the attachment from the clitoral hood to the inner labia (labia minora), and this can be due to a lack of lubrication, but only you know this. Cuts can happen quite easily if you do the wrong thing – our vaginal and vulvar tissue is really delicate, despite its durability. It heals quickly and doesn’t leave scars, but practice is the only way you know how you got cut, and how long they take to heal.

Buy some good-quality silicone lubricant, and before sex smooth some around your whole vulva. Sex involves the whole vulva, not just the vagina, since your bodies push up against each other, and pubic hair and skin can be quite abrasive with pressure behind it. Also make sure you are always turned on before your lover touches your vagina or vulva. It matters.

Write anytime!

Warmest regards,
Aunt Vadge

 

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