Do condoms cause urinary tract infections (UTIs)? If so, why? Let’s take a look at several clinical research papers to better understand the link between condom use and UTIs.
First of all, sex increases your risk of developing a UTI. Period. Regardless whether you use condoms or not.
Read next: Why Sex Causes UTI.
However, if you are using condoms with spermicide you are increasing the risk significantly. Let’s see why.
Healthy vaginal flora as the first line of defense
UTI happens in a bladder, so why condoms cause UTI? And why vaginal flora is important?
It appears that more than 80% of all UTIs worldwide caused by E. coli bacteria that leave in your gut and sometimes make their way to your vagina.
Frankly, it doesn’t take much for bacteria to make their way from your anus area toward your vagina, even with perfect hygiene.
Thankfully, healthy vaginal flora is not suitable for E. coli. Basically, if vaginal flora is balanced, the invaders will be “kicked out”. On a contrary, if vaginal flora is compromised, harmful bacteria will thrive.
Almost every time during sex some of the vaginal secret would be spread toward the urethra (unfortunately, the urethra is right next to clitoris). Therefore, if your “vaginal juices” are full of harmful bacteria, the chances to contract a UTI skyrocket.
Therefore, healthy vagina works as a natural defense mechanism against recurrent UTIs. And now we are getting closer to solve the mystery of how condoms cause UTI.
#1 This is not about condoms, this is about spermicide!
First of all, good news: not all condoms increase your chances to contract a UTI. Look for condoms without spermicide.
A group of scientists conducted an experiment and concluded that spermicide coated condoms were responsible for 42% of UTI cases.
using condoms with SPERMICIDE increases your RISK OF uti
If a woman used a condom with spermicide five times within two weeks, her risk of contracting a UTI was five times higher (!) than a woman using other forms of contraception.
Therefore, this is spermicide that you should avoid, not condoms. What’s so bad about spermicide coated condoms?
#2 Spermicide coated condoms help E. coli
Unfortunately, spermicide on the condoms facilitates the growth of E. coli. and enhances it’s adherence to epithelial cells in vagina. And as we discussed earlier, you do not want E. coli growing in your vagina.
This means that E. coli bacteria that made their way to your vagina will be able to thrive an multiply and wait for the next opportunity to get closer to your urethra.
If you are using spermicide coated condoms, you are basically helping your own enemy.
#3 Nonoxynol-9 negatively impacts your vaginal health
But wait, there is more!
The spermicide (Nonoxynol-9) suppresses growth of healthy vaginal flora (lactobacilli), the beneficial bacteria that live in your vagina. Compromised vaginal flora means that E. coli have better living conditions, and that leads to increased risk of UTIs.
If you have to use spermicide coated condoms, make sure to restore your “good bacteria” with special probiotics, such as RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement, 30-Count Capsules.
- Avoid using products with Nonoxynol-9
- Nonoxynol-9 helps bad bacteria to grow
- Nonoxynol-9 hurts your good bacteria
- Help your vaginal flora to stay strong with special probiotics.
What else you should avoid? Certain type of lube. Yes, lubricant can also cause UTIs.
If you personally noticed a change when switching to a different brand of condoms or spermicide, drop a comment here for me and your fellow UTI sufferers.