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This episode of Sexplanations is sponsored by Uqora. They create UTI relief products and are widely known for their proactive urinary tract health supplements, tailored to your needs and sent directly to your mailbox. Uqora was created by chronic UTI sufferer Jenna Ryan and her partner Spencer. After Jenna had 8 UTIs in one year and was told there was little she could do about it, they built Uqora with the help of physicians and urologists. My kind of problem-solvers.

There are three main products: a drink powder that flushes your urinary tract, pills that cleanse the microfilm along the tract, which can harbor microbes, and pills to rebalance your vaginal microbiome. My kit also comes with pH balanced wipes. I look at all of this and think, "That's a lot of swallowing," but, if you're someone who's concerned about their urinary health and looking for a proactive approach, this is gold. Bathroom bliss. Think about that pain-free urethra of yours while I go through this list of 20 UTI facts.

Fact 20: UTI stands for urinary tract infection, meaning some or all of the six organs in the urinary tract has harmful bacteria flourishing in it. Fact 19: A midstream clean catch is the terminology for collecting urine to test for a UTI, ideally pulling back the folds of the vulva or foreskin of a penis, wiping down the area from front to back, then around the meatus, the urethral opening, urinating a little into the toilet so that the contaminants are all flushed out, and then holding the cup up to catch enough for a sample. After you do that, you urinate the rest into the toilet. Midstream clean catch.

Fact 18: Urinary tract infections have probably been around since urine, but they were first documented in ancient Egypt circa 1550 BCE. Fact 17: 1000 years later, a belief attributed to Hippocrates is that UTIs were caused by disharmony of the four humors. Four humors? Black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood. Essentially, if these four body fluids are balanced in proportion and strength, then you're gonna have ease, or eukrasia. If not, the imbalance, or dyscrasia, leads to disease. 

Fact 16: UTIs are caused by pathogens, germs that get into the tract and then multiply. The most common is a bacteria called Escherichia coli. How does it get in there and then make a mess? Fact 15: sex is one of the main risk factors for UTIs. Sex can move E. coli from the anus to the urethra or close enough that an infection occurs. 

Fact 14: The shorter the urethra, the higher the risk. On a vulva, everything is already closer together than on penis anatomy. The anus, the meatus, the urethral opening, they're all within inches of each other, and even closer if sex moves this fluid around. The meatus on a penis is a shaft and a ballsack away from the anus so, if E. coli were to get up in the tip, let's say through anal sex, it still has a lot further to travel to get into the urinary tract infection, like way up in there, than it would for a vulva. And with sex, there's often ejaculation, which helps to flush the pathogens out. 

Fact 13: Researchers estimate that more than 60% of people with vulvas and 12% of people with penises will have at least one UTI in their lifetimes. Fact 12: In nearly 25% of these cases, the infection returns within six months.

This seems like a really good time to try this pink lemonade flavor. Go in there, powder face. Kinda smells like cupcakes. [gasps] Smells so good. Oh, yeah, so good. Oh, my gosh. I don't know how this could be good for you and it tastes so yummy.

Fact 11: UTIs are one of the leading causes of disease and healthcare costs in the world. Billions spent on 8.3 million office visits and 1 million hospitalizations. For UTIs! Fact 10: Before treatments like antibiotics, people tried all sorts of UTI remedies, including, but not limited to, bed rest, diet changes, hospitalization, medical dressings, like, "Lay the bandages on the crotch!", narcotics, herbal enemas, rinsing out the butthole, douching, bloodletting, like leeches and cupping, surgery, and chemotherapy. 

Fact 9: I wasn't able to find where cranberries originated as a treatment. You know, like, "Drink cranberry juice to end UTIs!" But I did find this video of a teacher showing her students how to wipe front to back. One of the reasons people get UTIs is from wiping fecal matter from the anus forward across the vagina and meatus. Learn from the teacher; wipe front to back.

Fact 8: Holding in your urine for long periods of time can lead to UTIs. Fact 7: Birth control can also lead to UTIs, specifically diaphragms, cervical caps, and spermicide. Try not to stress about this, because, fact 6: Stress can lead to UTIs, too, not that stress causes them, but that stress releases cortisol, which reduces the strength of the immune system to fight the pathogens off.

Fact 5: Some immune systems can fight off UTIs on their own. The University of Washington School of Medicine published a study in 2019 that found how the immune system molecule TNF-alpha responds to infections greatly affects the recurrence and severity of future UTIs. If there's too much TNF-alpha for too long, the body is actually worse off than if the immune system response is shorter and more efficient.

Fact 4: Scientists are studying TNF-alpha and uromodulin filaments, which shut down the pathogens, there's also talk of a vaccine for UTIs so that we never have to experience them. There are people who care about solving this problem. Fact: Mari, a Brazilian model, singer Etta James, and Pope Paul II all died from UTIs. As if we didn't already have enough to worry about, add UTIs.

Fact 2: Symptoms usually include a frequent urge to pee even though not a lot comes out, urine that's cloudy, reddish, or strong-smelling, and then pain around the pubic bone. And, for older adults, a sudden, unexplained change in behavior that looks like dementia. If an elderly friend is acting delirious, confused, and agitated, it could be a UTI.

Fact 1, the last one: There isn't strong evidence to support that going to the bathroom after sex will actually prevent UTIs, but urologists and other medical professionals encourage it. I do, too. I recommend peeing before sex and after sex, because, ultimately, it does help flush out the urinary tract. I also recommend showering before and after, if you choose, to remove pathogens from even more of the body, because I want you to feel good, be well, and stay curious.

Uqora was created by a chronic UTI sufferer, so this brand really gets it when it comes to urinary health. Uqora has been able to help more than 100,000 people stay healthy. Its flagship urinary tract health supplements have over 6000 five-star reviews. Get 20% off your first order at Uqora.com/Sexplanations.

Miz one packet of Uqora Target in eight ounces of water, and then you drink it after sex or any time you feel like you need extra support. For some this might mean after exercise, when you're traveling, holding your bladder for long periods. Uqora Control cleanses biofilm daily, which can build up in the urinary tract. It's packed with ingredients shown to clean biofilm, which is key to staying healthy on a day-to-day basis.

Uqora Promote balances your vaginal microbiome. It has three strains of lactobacillus, which live naturally in a healthy vagina, all to provide relief and proactively manage UTIs. There's a link for more information in the description. Remember, 20% off your first order at Uqora.com/Sexplanations. 

[calm, bright music]