You wake up one fine Saturday morning. The sun is shining, the air is clear and you think to yourself, “Today is going to be a great day.”
You head to the bathroom to take your morning pee and suddenly it hits you. The fiery gates of hell have descended upon your lady bits. You try to stop the stream of urine, bargaining with yourself that you really didn’t need to pee anyway, but that only adds coal to the boiler that is your urethra.
Finally the ordeal is over with and you figure you were just dehydrated from the few bottles of wine you and your friends consumed the night before while watching “Dance Moms.”
You go on with your life, until 20 minutes later when you have the urge to pee again, even though you just went.
Back to the bathroom you go, except this time nothing comes out. Suddenly a sinking feeling comes over you. An STI. Your mind flashes back to all the nasty pictures shown to you in health class as you simultaneously try to remember if you had any recent exposures: nothing you can think of.
What you are facing is not the immaculate STI, but rather a urinary tract infection, or UTI for short. UTIs occur when bacteria is introduced to the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
While men can get UTIs, women are more prone to them, as our urethras are shorter and closer to our anuses.
It is estimated 50 percent of women will contract a UTI in their lifetimes, with repeat infection common, according to Our Bodies Ourselves.
Remember when you were learning how to use the “big girl bathroom,” and your parents told you to wipe from front to back? This, my friends, is why. UTIs can also occur from sex, especially when switching from anal sex to vaginal sex or using spermicides.
The most common symptoms of a UTI are pain or burning when urinating and/or cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling urine.
As the infection progresses towards your kidneys, common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and abdominal pain.
Before you run out to the grocery and purchase a gallon of cranberry juice, know while cranberry juice is deliciously refreshing, it won’t do much for your UTI.
The active ingredient in cranberries, proanthocyanidins, that prevents E. Coli from bonding to the bladder wall is not concentrated enough in cranberry juices and supplements to aid in treating a UTI, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
UTIs are very easy to treat with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. If you can’t get to a doctor but want to extinguish the not-so-disco inferno in your fanny, try Phenazopyridine.
This bladder pain reliever can be purchased over the counter and will relieve symptoms fast. And on the brightside, it will turn your piss a beautiful shade of sunset orange to spice up an otherwise boring trip to the loo.
The best way to prevent a UTI is good hygiene. While super cute, thongs aren’t the most hygienic, so try to to alternate them with full coverage undies.
As Smokey the Bear once said, “Only you can prevent fanny fires!”
Or something like that.