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Lubes, Vaginas, and UTIs

I’m curious about lubes, especially those pesky water-based ones containing glycerin. It seems common enough knowledge that the glycerin can induce yeast infections if you’re prone to them; but no one seems to know whether there’s an increased risk of urinary tract infections.

So, can water-based, glycerin-housing lube give me a UTI?

Oh, and while I’m here maybe you can solve another puzzle: how long can I keep a bottle of lube before it becomes more of a threat to vagina than a friend?

If you squirt, should you still pee after sex? If I recall the mechanics of the two, squirting and peeing *should* be functionally the same . . . or are they? Does it matter?

Those are some great questions!
As any good baker knows, yeast likes to eat up sugar, so using a lube with sugar in it (or something that can be converted into sugars – like glycerin) can increase the frequency of yeast infections – especially in women prone to them.

However, UTIs are a little different – they are caused by bacterial migration: generally it’s bacteria like E. Coli from your bum migrating up to your vag. This can happen when a woman wipes back to front after peeing, or it can happen during sex/masturbation, when things are being moved around and everything is slick with juices/lube. This is why experts (including me) suggest that women try to pee after sex/masturbation to clear out any bacteria that may have taken this opportunity to migrate during the chaos and penetration.

SO, will a sweet lube increase your likelihood of contracting a UTI? No, I don’t think it should.

Because of how the infection occurs (the bacterial migration), the sugar/glycerin in a lube shouldn’t really make a difference. The fact that there is lube present COULD plausibly increase the likelihood of bacterial migration I guess (because things are more slippery), but not much more than normal, I’m sure.

That said, one of the things that can increase your chances of getting a UTI is if your urethra is irritated by something – So, if the yummy flavoured lube you’re using irritates your skin (or just your urethra), then it could definitely increase your chances of contracting a UTI.

Some companies make lubes that include an antibacterial agent or are bio-static to try to discourage bacteria from using it as a slip and slide during sex.  Or you could try using a silicone-based lube instead.

As for your other questions:

Check for an expiry date on your lube; if there isn’t one you might want to throw it away once it’s a year old, just to be safe. (A year is totally my own guess work here though.)  Generally lubes have a pretty good shelf life because, like I said above, a lot of manufacturers design them to resist bacteria – however, it’s still a good idea to only buy a bottle as big as you think you can use up in a year.  You’ll also want to store it in a cool/dry place and, if it’s been a while, check to make sure it still smells and looks as good as when you bought it.

If you squirt should you still pee after sex? Sure, why not? Theoretically if the fluid you’re squirting is passing through your urethra then it would work to flush out any migrating bacteria; but personally, I would still go pee afterward anyway, because UTI’s suck so hard that I wouldn’t want to take any chances.

I hope that answers your questions. ^_^

This might not be the BEST way to use up the last of your lube

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