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Bladder infection after sex – what’s the best way to prevent it?

Sex can be beautiful. Less sexy, however, is the bladder infection that many women often suffer from afterwards. But how does this unpleasant after-effect come about? And can women possibly prevent it? Tikbow asked a gynecologist.

Unfortunately, bladder infections generally affect women much more often than men. "This is because the urinary tract is quite short in women", says Dr. med. Mandy Mangler, head of gynecology and obstetrics at the Vivantes Auguste-Viktoria-Klinikum in Berlin. Bacteria that cause disease can quickly enter the bladder and cause an infection there. Sex can contribute to this for a variety of reasons.

Too little sex can cause bladder infections.

During sex, you not only exchange body fluids, but also cells, tissues, and bacteria. If these are not dangerous carriers of STDs, this is not normally a problem. Bladder infections often occur when you haven’t had sex for a long time and suddenly you have a lot,” explains Mandy Mangler, MD. The phenomenon is also called honeymoon cystitis, which translates as bladder inflammation during the honeymoon.

"If you haven’t had much sex before, the vaginal microbiome isn’t used to it", the gynecologist explains. "By microbiome is meant the good bacterial layer in the vagina, which serves as a protective shield. If she has to deal with too many unknown bacteria and germs, the microbiome can become confused." Bacteria can then find their way unhindered into the urinary tract and bladder.

Conversely, too much sex can increase the risk für too much bacteria. "So the ideal would be to have a steadily equal frequency of sex", says Mangler.

Be careful during anal sex!

The bacterium Escherichia coli, also called coli bacteria, is found in the intestine. These bacteria can pass from the anus into the urinary tract and bladder quite quickly and cause cystitis,"the specialist explains. You should therefore urgently avoid switching to vaginal sex after anal sex. Otherwise, the E. coli bacteria will be carried into the vagina, increasing the risk that they will also enter the urinary tract." The gynecologist advises to use two different condoms for anal sex and vaginal sex or to remove the condom after anal sex before having vaginal sex.

Go to the toilet after sex

You can prevent bladder infections by going to the toilet tactically. "The important thing is to urinate after sex" says Mandy Mangler, MD. "This flushes out the bacteria in the front part of the urinary tract. There are good studies that show that this helps." The gynecologist recommends also going to the toilet before sex: "Then less fluid is in the urinary tract and bladder and the bacteria can spread less easily."