Aunt Vadge: why do I have a sudden urge to pee all the time?

Hi Aunt Vadge,

About a year ago I went to my doctor. I had to used the restroom again and again. Literally minutes apart. After a lot of ultrasounds and urine tests, it was concluded that I was perfectly fine.

I recently lost my virginity. Now I have to use the restroom again and again. I get this sudden urge to pee minutes after I use the restroom. And when I actually go back again, I don’t really pee. I am so afraid that I might pee while having sex even though I use the restroom before. Because of this I don’t even enjoy it.

Do I have an infection? If yes, then how do I treat it at home?

I have PCOS and get regular ultrasounds because of this. Is it possible to detect the fact that I am not a virgin anymore through ultrasounds?

Best,
Confused
Age: 21
Country: India

Dear Confused,

You sound like you are getting urinary tract infections, but caused by a microbe (at least the last time, not sure this time) that is not being detected by culture alone. A culture is where the lab grows a sample of your urine in a petri dish to see what grows over 24-48 hours. Sometimes microbes don’t grow well this way or grow very slowly, and remain undetected. That’s where the ‘you’re fine!’ comes from, however you are still experiencing symptoms.

Urethral syndrome

Not all urinary tract symptoms are caused by infections, but many are, so it’s important to rule out whether your urine has white blood cells (which make your urine appear cloudy), red blood cells, and any unusual infection-related bits and pieces.

If your doctor has cleared all of these signs of infection, you may have urethral syndrome, which can be caused by irritation. This could be condoms, printed toilet paper, douches or creams or other things you put on your vulva or in your vagina, wipes, or a sensitivity to the laundry detergent you use for your underwear. It’s important to rule these things out, as they can rub your urethra and vulva the wrong way, causing irritation.

PCR testing for UTI microbes

You can get a better test (PCR testing), which detects DNA in dead and alive microbes, and is a much more specific test for those unculturable microbes that can cause urinary tract infections. It’s good to get a test, because then you know what you are dealing with.

Urinary tract infections

Most UTIs are caused by E. coli, however that would have been prime suspect number one, and can be cultured. This means your UTIs are likely to be caused by some other bacteria. You can treat these at home, however it’s important not to let them go on for too long if your treatments are unsuccessful, and see your doctor. UTI bacteria can travel up to your kidneys and bladder, where they can cause damage.

We’ve outlined how to treat a UTI at home, but if you get any blood in your urine or pain in your kidney area (lower back) or any pain at all besides the burning and urge to urinate, please see your doctor or emergency room.

What to do now

It’s best that when you have urinary problems that you don’t have any more sex until it’s healed up and you can pee without feeling anything unusual. If you feel even a tiny twinge, you need to keep going with your treatments until it’s all gone.

When you have sex, you need to follow some basic sexual hygiene rules. This means making sure your anus is clean, there is no touching of your anus with the same body part or toy that touches your vagina (where most E. coli and other bacteria come from), and that you urinate immediately after sex to clear any debris and bacteria out of your urinary tract.

You should also be using condoms, to make sure that your partner isn’t transferring bacteria from his penis into your vagina, at least while you treat your UTI and learn about how your body responds. If you suspect you are reacting to latex condoms, use a non-latex variety. There are now many. Also make sure any lube is high quality and doesn’t contain any irritants.

These rules are really important, especially if you are prone to UTIs. Get your special pack of UTI things, and if you go away from home, take them with you. UTIs come on usually about 24-48 hours after the bacteria is transferred to your urinary tract, so you may think you’re ok, and then in the middle of the night a UTI strikes. You want to perfect the reflexology treatments, so you can solve your problems at home, by yourself, without needing antibiotics.

You’ll want a stash of a good-quality women’s probiotic or home-fermented milk kefir, high-dose cranberry tablets, D-mannose, and anything else that seems to help you. You can find all this information on the UTI page – we’ve outlined it pretty thoroughly there. You’ll get a handle on it, but you will have to pay more attention to your urinary tract from now on and figure out what triggers you. It’s great to learn how to manage this without antibiotic use, because you can end up back at the doctors time and time again, with fast resolution, but antibiotic resistance developing in your microbes. This means stronger and stronger antibiotics.

Virginity under ultrasound

As for whether anyone can detect that you are not a virgin via ultrasound – no. There is no way to detect if you are or are not a virgin, even if the doctor examines you. This is because most women, by age 21, no longer have a visible hymen. Many lose the hymen in childhood. Nobody can tell!

Best,
Aunt Vadge