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Interstitial Cystitis, UTIs, and Sexual Intercourse

Any woman who has ever had a bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) knows the importance of urinating after intimacy and sexual intercourse. Because a woman’s urethra is very short in length, it is easy for germs or bacteria to enter the bladder during sex. And it doesn’t take long before a few germs create very unpleasant symptoms.   Using the bathroom immediately after intercourse empties the bladder, clears the urethra, and helps prevent infection. It only takes the misery of one UTI for a woman to realize just how important this rule is… and it’s not an experience anyone would want to repeat.

Unfortunately, there are many women, millions in fact, who have undiagnosed Interstitial Cystitis– and they feel like they’re getting a UTI every time they have intercourse. Their day is going completely normal, but after intercourse they suddenly experience pressure, pain, urgency, frequency, and sometimes burning or stinging, too. They think they might be getting a UTI, so they rush over to the doctor’s office. The doctor does a lab analysis which, of course, finds nothing abnormal. A few hours later, the woman starts feeling better. The next few times she has intercourse, the same things happen: burning, stinging, frequency, urgency. Sooner or later, she begins to avoid intercourse because the aftermath is so uncomfortable.  With Interstitial Cystitis, common triggers like intercourse can mean hours of discomfort.

In my practice, I see plenty of women just like this. Many of these women may have an occasional UTI, but many are suffering from Interstitial Cystitis. The reason it does not show up in a urinalysis is because the condition is not caused from bacteria. Interstitial Cystitis flare-ups can be caused by acidic foods and beverages (like coffee, soda, or citrus fruit), but intercourse can be just as triggering.

Fortunately, there are several treatments I regularly do in my office that can offer significant improvements to these women’s lives. If the above situation sounds like you, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Treatment is available!

Posted in Diseases and Conditions, Interstitial Cystitis, Treatments, Urinary Tract Infection

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