I have written on the topic of ‘Why sex causes UTI’ as well as ‘Why condoms cause UTI’ (post 1 and post 2). Let’s take a closer look at the sex toys and how to stay safe and prevent UTI infections if you are using them.
Sex toys, especially the ones for anal play are naturally mingling with all the bacteria that lives in your vagina and in your gut. You don’t want to give bacteria a chance to grow, and while you have nothing to worry about if you properly care for your toys, you should know how to minimize your risks. Here are some tips to get you started.
Choose toys made of non-porous materials
It will be much easier for bacteria to hide, live and prosper on your toys if they are made from cheap vinyl, latex, wood or jelly. If this happens to be the case, cover them with a condom before each use! If you are shopping around, consider the non-porous materials such as silicone, ABS plastic, metal and glass.
Remember about the lube!
Some lubricants can damage sex toys, creating little pores in non-porous materials and giving bacteria a chance to grow.
Never use silicone lube with silicone sex toys, as the silicone will quickly break down into a gummy mess. Also oil-based lubricants can damage many toys, and they’re not safe for vaginal use. Water based lubricants (such as highly reviewed Shibari Premium Intimate Lubricant, Ultra-Smooth, Water Based, 8oz Bottle) is your best option. However, if you are using any lubricants regularly make sure to help your good vaginal bacteria with potent probiotics (my favorite ones are still RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement, 30-Count Capsules).
Sanitize your toys after each use
Well, this sounds like a pretty straightforward thing but still it’s the most important. Sanitize after each use, sanitize before using on your partner, sanitize before switching from anal to vaginal play. Don’t let your genitals contact any anal toy until you sanitize it or you are pretty much guaranteed a UTI.
When it comes to sanitizing, there are special cleaning products (Anti-Bacterial Toy Cleaner, 4 Ounce Bottle) that are rough on bacteria but gentle on your toys. Buy them in the same store where you shop for your sex toys. However, if your toy is made of glass or metal you may be able to sanitize it by bleaching or boiling for several minutes. Check your toy’s user manual for cleaning instructions. Before you store your toys, wipe them with a clean towel and make sure they are completely dry since water can attract bacteria.
Store in a clean and safe place
Make sure your toys do not touch each other and are stored in a cool, dry place. If you haven’t used a toy in a while, give it a quick cleaning before using it again. Check carefully for cracks and deep scratches, and if your toy is damaged, don’t use it.