UTI's and yeast infections
First off, I wanna say, and I can’t stress this enough – UTI’s and yeast infections ARE NOT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS. UTI’s (urinary tract infections) and yeast infections occur naturally in the body, and though sex can help speed the process along, they are not STI’s; or anything dirty or gross or unclean. Because it is estimated that roughly 75% of women will experience them in their life and I myself have had multiple. So trust me when I say they are painful and they suck, but I do have some tips and tricks to try and help you through.
So, I can’t really be bothered going into all the scientific shit that I was gonna say – but basically UTI’s and yeast infections are bacteria-related infections that occur naturally in the body and can affect both men and women, but women way more commonly. This is mainly due to the way our systems work, ours is predominately internal and requires a complex system that is constantly moderating and controlling our down-there environment, while males have an external system and have lesser chances of bacteria build-up.
A UTI is a bacterial infection in the urinary system that starts off in the urethra and works its way up into the bladder and eventually the kidneys. If it makes it to the kidneys, this is when it can get pretty serious and lead to hospitalisation if you do nothing about it – so girls, please don’t just ignore it! UTI symptoms include painful peeing (predominately a burning sensation), feeling as if you need to go all the time but nothing comes out, cloudy pee, pelvic/abdominal pain and in more serious cases blood when peeing, back pain, fever, shaking, chills and vomiting.
A yeast infection on the other hand is a fungal infection that occurs when there is a build-up of naturally occurring yeast within the vagina which leads to infection of the deeper vaginal cell layers. Symptoms include itching and irritation down there, painful sex, redness and swelling, vaginal pain, and the most important indicator is thick, white discharge (it’s super gross and looks like cottage cheese but yknow what? it isss what it issss). The discharge itself is the main way to distinguish between having a yeast infection vs a UTI, and I find the pain is different as well. A UTI is a persistent, deep, internal pain, and peeing feels like a stabbing, with liquid razor blades coming out of your vagina; a yeast infection is much milder, it feels like a slight irritation and burning sensation focused more on the vulva (external area of the vagina) that can generally be ignored, it’s just uncomfortable, and it doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much when peeing.
Both are caused by a build-up of naturally occurring bacteria in the vaginal system and have a lot of common causes for the occurrence of this infection. For instance not drinking enough water, wearing tight underwear/clothing that doesn’t breathe, wiping the wrong way (ladies front to back always), hormone changes (a lot of women get yeast infections before their period), smoking, caffeine, over-cleaning your vagina (it’s a thing), off-balance pH, unhealthy eating habits, drinking too much and antibiotics. If you think about it, vaginas are a delicate eco-system, they move through phases of ovulation and menstruation and have different bacteria, hormones and living cultures inside to regulate all of this. We have discharge that is wet and slippery when we’re ovulating and barely there when we’re closer to our periods. We have a whole little living system with different good bugs and bad bugs inside of us, and on top of that, varying from organ to organ (uterus, urethra, vagina (the actual tube where the dick goes), bladder etc.) each with their own pH balance and specific system. So of course we as females have higher chances of developing different internal and sexual-related infections because of that.
And as for my own story of UTI’s and yeast infections – I have had probably over 30 UTI’s in my life (big fkn woo *heavy sarcasm right there*), and about 3 or 4 yeast infections (so like a usual amount but still not fun). I got my first UTI in high school, year 11 or 12 and freaked out thinking I had an STI lol – went to the drs and got my first prescription for antibiotics. Now instantly here I wanna say, like don’t get me wrong antibiotics are great and definitely needed when they are, but because I used antibiotics too many times, I developed a resistance to all antibiotics and gave myself a recurrent UTI that lasted for about 12 months. It didn’t just happen out of nowhere, it was a slow process from the moment of my first UTI whereby I was getting them on a regular basis, probably every few months or so and continuously going back to the doctor to get tested, get a new dose of antibiotics and be on my way again. My mum was also susceptible to UTI’s and gets them all the time as well, so my genetics predisposed me to this awesome trait, as well as regular horse riding that didn’t help me out at allll.
On a more spiritual note, I do believe that our vaginas tell us when we should/shouldn’t be having sex with someone, our bodies know – and at this point mine knew and I was NOT listening. For instance, if we’re horny we get wet, if we’re repulsed or turned off our legs physically want to close, or cross our legs, or close up. And those are just the instant responses that come when we are around someone. For me, I was in a relationship and it was amazing and beautiful and he could get me soooo wet (like baby ooft u dripping), but towards the end of it I developed a UTI that just wouldn’t go away. Which is just such a coinky-dink because towards the end of it was when we started to get bad, where I became co-dependent on him, and where he started to become distant and emotionally not there, where we started fighting all the time and we started becoming an on and off couple. But my body knew that something was off, my body was trying to tell me something, my pH balance was thrown out of whack by a dick that didn’t have an emotional connection with me anymore – my vagina was just the first to notice.
And so about 4 years ago I got a UTI that just wouldn’t go away. I tried everything, I tried natural remedies (cause antibiotics fucked me over), I drank litres of water, I skulled urals (I hate the taste so pro tip, pour a sachet out into a shots worth of water and just throw that shit back),peed after sex every time, drank cranberry juice, cut down on sugar and took so many natural vitamins and shit! The pain was fucking ridiculous too, the only thing I could do to get through the pain was rotate through heat packs on my belly and constant hot showers. It got so bad once I was shaking and shivering in the bed, with cold sweats and a pale face and I luckily took an urgent course of antibiotics that managed to sort me out before I had to go to the hospital. After that I went to a urinary system specialist and she put me on a low dose of antibiotics for about a month to kick it in the guys, because it had developed a resistance to all other antibiotics and was sitting in my system in a low, but constant state. After the month dose my body FINALLY sorted itself out but damn it was a painful process.
And THAT my friends, is my own story with UTI’s and yeast infections, and my own little tips and tricks I found worked for me to helped deal with it all. So to all girls and female-identifying people, I say good luck to you, you will most likely develop one of them, or both, within your life so know the signs, know what works to help ease the pain, and please only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary. But apart from that, go out and slay my ph-balanced, vagina-owning friends!