Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “He Hates Wearing a Condom”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years, and we have had recurring problems with our sex life because of my personal health problems and sexual abuse in the past. When we were first together, it was casual, and we would, of course, always use condoms. I was also off the pill for three months when we met, but otherwise I have regularly used the pill since I was 16. Once we became exclusive and talked about it, we stopped using condoms and relied on my pill as our primary form of birth control. However, I began getting recurring UTI’s and other health problems due to sex — we’re talking 5+ UTI’s in the span of a year. My doctor told me to always use condoms to help prevent as much friction/skin-on-skin action as possible (I also take cranberry pills).

Now we’ve been regularly using condoms for a few months and my boyfriend is always huffy and argumentative about it. We had a huge fight a few days ago about how he doesn’t like using condoms because we’re in love and exclusive and he hates the limited sensation and says sex is not the same with them. While I don’t love them either, I really really don’t love rushing to the doctor in agony with a UTI every month.

Am I missing something? I feel like he’s being completely unreasonable. Using condoms isn’t that big of a deal, considering the excruciating pain it saves me. I don’t know how to resolve this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. — Tired of UTIs

340 comments… add one
  • GertietheDino

    GertietheDino December 12, 2011, 12:07 pm

    Your health and comfort are a top priority and he has to understand that. Ask him how he would feel if you could prevent this type of illness and pain for him.

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    Vicki December 12, 2011, 12:08 pm

    He’s clearly thinking of his own needs/desires over your health and comfort. Not a good sign in a lover and long-term companion, in my opinion. MOA!

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    rangerchic December 12, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Another option is to shower together before sex and make sure you are both clean. This might help since UTI’s are caused by bacteria. Maybe do a little of both – condoms sometimes and shower others. Maybe he’ll compromise. But I agree he’s being a little selfish about it.

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    • avatar

      Brandi December 12, 2011, 2:42 pm

      I get a UTI automatically if I don’t follow these rules. But as long as I do I find that I am always safe: Pee before if you can, ALWAYS pee afterwards (it flushes the bacteria out), possibly shower, cranberry pills, and maybe even some cranberry juice which will force me to pee again 🙂 Anyway these have really helped me! I hope this works for you too. I will say I don’t like condoms either, frankly I can’t feel a darn thing. So I can understand your boyfriends perspective but I also know the horrific pain of a UTI.

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie December 12, 2011, 10:00 pm

      He’s being way more then a LITTLE selfish even though it’s understandable that using a condom puts him off. Nobody likes using them but when her health’s at risk there’s no option. His Xmas stocking gets lumps of coal this year and put on the naughty list.

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    • avatar

      TheGirl December 13, 2011, 9:19 am

      I totally agree that he’s being selfish and obnoxious, but, that said – shower (or at least clean up with a washcloth) first and pee immediately afterwards. Great rules to live by with or without the condoms.

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  • avatar

    titian December 12, 2011, 12:13 pm

    He is being completely unreasonable. If he would rather you be in pain then to try and work with you to have better sex while still using condoms then it doesn’t seem like he is worth your time.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant December 12, 2011, 12:14 pm

    You are not being unreasonable at all. UTIs are painful. Explain to him exactly what they feel like and why you want to avoid getting them (get as graphic as you can to get the point across). If he continues to get pissy about wearing a condom, give him the option of not wearing one. By not having sex. Usually given the choice, guys will suck it up and put one on.

    Hopefully you guys are somewhat young, and he will grow up and mature. However, if he continues to prioritize his personal sense of pleasure over your health – even after you continue to explain how terrible UTIs feel – then maybe you need to evaluate if he’s a good guy to be with. It may seem like a small thing, but if he can’t even handle wearing a condom to keep you healthy, it may be indicative of a much deeper trend of selfishness.

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    • avatar

      John Rohan December 12, 2011, 12:21 pm

      As soon as I read this letter, I had a feeling that the women here would jump all over this guy. There’s a problem with your reasoning. Given the choice, men will prefer to wear a condom over no sex at all for awhile. But no guy is going to want to use them for the rest of their lives!

      So given that choice, this guy will probably move on. But as I point out below, the LW will still have this problem.

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      • avatar

        Beckaleigh December 12, 2011, 12:27 pm

        If this guy would MOA because his girlfriend asks him to use condoms so that she can avoid being in excrutiating pain from an UTI, then you know what, GOOD FOR HER! She doesn’t deserve to be with someone who would totally discount the reasons behind her request to use condoms. And there are plenty of guys out there that would use condoms so that their partner can be healthy and pain-free.

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      • avatar

        Carolynasaurus December 12, 2011, 12:29 pm

        I get that, but there’s a difference between wearing condoms to prevent pregnancy and STDs versus for your partner’s health.

        This guy is just being a like prick. If he doesn’t want to wear a condom, there are other things you could be doing (assuming your both clean of STDs) where condoms aren’t necessary. He just thinks he’s entitled to it because she’s done it for him before.

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      • avatar

        Renee December 12, 2011, 2:06 pm

        As some who practices fertility awareness for her family planning, even those who refrain from contraception for personal/medical/moral/religious reasons understands this exception. If I had the LW’s medical condition, my husband would use a condom, just during my nonfertile phases, and abstain during fertile phases. We’ve been married over a decade though.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant December 12, 2011, 12:29 pm

        Ultimately I agree. Its not a long term solution (and I mostly said it jokingly). Really, she should try to explain to him what it feels like to live with these things, and try to get him to understand.

        However, I don’t think this guy (or you) has any idea HOW PAINFUL UTIs are. I can’t even imagine having to deal with getting them constantly. I understand using condoms isn’t ideal for this guy (and in general, most people), but if he doesn’t care that not using one will put her in EXCRUCIATING pain, him moving on wouldn’t be such a bad thing. I’m sorry, loss of sensation (but still the ability to enjoy sex) and loss of spontaneity do not equal blinding pain every time she needs to take a piss.

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      • avatar

        cporoski December 12, 2011, 12:35 pm

        John, I totally agree. Is she going to make him cover it for the rest of thier lives together? It isn’t one or the other, there are options. One is peeing right after you are done with the deed. That will help flush out the nasty stuff. Also, as another person said, make sure that both of you are keeping that area super clean…this is gross but wiping front to back instead of back to front. read about it online because most of the time it isn’t the act but fecal matter getting into the uritha (sp?). if you both commit to being clean, it should work fine.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant December 12, 2011, 12:44 pm

        I believe earlier said this already, but young women seem especially prone to UTI. There is a good chance she will get less as she gets older. So potentially, no, he won’t have to cover it up forever.

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      • avatar

        cporoski December 12, 2011, 1:06 pm

        right, but usually it is younger because the events are more acrobatic. I used to get them and then the doctor laid it out for me. Regardless, I don’t believe she has exhausted all options. saying condoms or nothing isn’t fair. you can work together so that you are both happy.

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      • avatar

        AllisonExclaims December 12, 2011, 2:52 pm

        Women are much more prone to UTI’s due to having a shorter urethra & less mucous layer as guys. Urethra’s in males are roughly 12 in (laugh away!) where a female is roughly 6 in (if I remember correctly)
        Urinating after sex is helpful more for males because the urethra is within the penis where all the action is happening. Women’s urethra’s aren’t within their vagina so the urinating after sex won’t do the equivalent of flushing the toilet to her vagina. Does that make sense?
        If the LW writer is saying that her doc told her to use condoms to help reduce friction (irritation) than perhaps she should invest in some water based lube. She definitely needs to talk to her doctor about other recommendations for options. However if both LW & boyfriend aren’t interested in compromising, they both need to MOA.

        Just my 2 cents!

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      • avatar

        Wendy (not Wendy) December 13, 2011, 7:27 pm

        Your anatomy is off. It doesn’t matter that women’s urethras aren’t within the vagina, because UTIs do not occur in the vagina: they occur in the urinary tract. It’s the bacteria in the urethra, not the vagina, that matters.

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      • avatar

        amber December 12, 2011, 12:46 pm

        there are some people who no matter how clean, etc are just more prone to UTIs. and peeing right after is great, but once again if your body is more prone to UTIs that’s not going to prevent them. and covering it the majority of the time is an option and many men will opt to do that. however, it doesn’t rule out the occassional spontaneous sex without a condom. just the majority of the time wearing one.

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      • GertietheDino

        GertietheDino December 12, 2011, 1:09 pm

        Because if various health issues, my husband has to wear a condom for the rest of his life, and he is happy to do it. It keeps me healthy, happy and us child-free. Some guys are willing to put their own slight discomfort aside (because let’s face it, they are still getting to have sex) for their partner. The LW’s man isn’t and therefore she should MOA.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan December 12, 2011, 1:46 pm

        I doubt that he’s “happy to do it”, after all there is still the cost factor, if nothing else. But then again, some men enjoy having their wives beat them too… lol

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      • avatar

        callmehobo December 12, 2011, 1:49 pm

        OK, I just have to say physical abuse of a spouse IS NOT the same as asking the spouse to wear a condom. That is absolutely ridiculous.

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      • Budj

        Budj December 12, 2011, 3:52 pm

        Perhaps he was referring to cuckolding.

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      • avatar

        lk December 12, 2011, 11:02 pm

        lol

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      • avatar

        the other guy December 12, 2011, 8:40 pm

        Condom are horrible, guys use them if they absolutely have to. For the women posting here who say that their ‘better half’ use condoms I hope you appreciate what he is giving up.

        For the females just think how you would like sex if it was 50% (or more) less enjoyable. Guys use them as 50% less enjoyment is still better than no enjoyment.

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      • avatar

        hhr December 12, 2011, 9:06 pm

        If you’re a female, it’s already at least 50% less enjoyable, amiright?

        seriously though.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 10:03 pm

        Seriously? He’s giving up not having me on the phone panicking every single month because I’m three days late. He’s giving up more risk that we will have to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. He’s giving up my being completely able to enjoy myself (which, given that he actually thinks about these things, improves it for him as well) during sex because I’m adding up the days in my head to figure out if it was the worst idea ever to have sex tonight and panicking in the middle of everything.

        He’s giving up twenty minutes of his dick being unencumbered – and it’s, what, a thousandth of an inch thick? – versus the past four years that the pill has messed with my hormones to the point of depression, convinced me I’m pregnant, made me bleed for three weeks straight three months in a row, and a number of other things. Which, by the way, were all enumerated by my boyfriend during one of our BC conversations. All of which, btw, I gladly do because I love him and don’t want questionable birth control to add to our stress.

        Next time I need to know what my boyfriend is giving up to have sex with me, I’ll ask him, k?

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      • avatar

        hhr December 12, 2011, 10:11 pm

        YES! Thank you. BC fucks with your body and mind in the most screwed up ways that some women have to endure 24/7. I wish I could thumbs up you X1000000, because…seriously?:

        “Condom are horrible… I hope you appreciate what he is giving up.”

        What a little bitch.

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      • avatar

        hhr December 12, 2011, 10:27 pm

        Beb, I know you’re compromising your physical, mental, and emotional health by taking birth control and it makes you bleed for 3 weeks straight and break out and gain weight and become depressed and have mood swings and loss of libido and bloating and can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis, but……………. when I used a condom it took me FOUR MINUTES instead of my usual two to come. I HOPE YOU APPRECIATED THAT. Where’s my trophy.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 10:36 pm

        HAHAHA! It reminds me of those doucheapotami in high school and early college who tried to convince you to have sex when you had specifically already taken it off the table because blue balls would cripple his bidness for life. “You gotta do it, baby! What if I never have kids? That’s totally a thing! Do you want that on your conscience?”

        Seriously, I was completely unaware that this was a conversation grown-ups still had.

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      • avatar

        Splash December 13, 2011, 10:36 am

        I love your post. Seriously. =) You’re awesome

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 13, 2011, 12:05 pm

        Aw, thanks, Splash 🙂

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      • avatar

        kali December 13, 2011, 1:43 pm

        And don’t forget the COST (in dollars) of birth control too.

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 10:38 pm

        i get that they make sex less enjoyable, but my god, can you realize what your saying?

        you are saying, in the context of this letter, that one partner’s sexual pleasure (not essentail to life) trumps the others health and pain-free life (essentail to life).

        if that makes even remote sense to you, i really hope you can find some help

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      • avatar

        ele4phant December 13, 2011, 1:52 am

        You know what makes life 50 percent less enjoyable? A relentless feeling of needing to pee, coupled with burning agony when you actually DO pee, to say nothing of potential complications such as permanent scarring or major kidney infections. Sooooo…while I can appreciate that condoms may make sex less enjoyable, if using them is keeping her from getting UTI, the guy needs to back off.

        P.S. Using condoms DOES reduce the enjoyment of sex for most women too.

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      • avatar

        GertietheDino December 13, 2011, 11:39 am

        Oh, John. $10-$20 every few weeks (shared cost) compared to a lifetime of child rearing…the man is very happy to do it!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 13, 2011, 7:44 pm

        Seriously, John. Your posts amuse me if nothing else. Dreaded foil cuts? The inability to find condoms in the dark because you simply are too dense to figure out any one of a myriad of potential solutions… And now wearing a condom = being beaten. Seriously, dude. Be happy you don’t have any REAL problems…

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      • avatar

        sparkplug December 12, 2011, 2:03 pm

        Totally disagree John. I can’t take birth ccontrol because it gives me depression, although I’ve tried many times and many brands. My bf suggested that I stop because seeing me depressed all the time wasn’t worth the marginal sensation from nit using a condom. That’s what a good bf does…

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      • avatar

        Jay December 12, 2011, 6:28 pm

        My thoughts exactly and I’m a girl.
        It is a delicate problem, of course, but having a better hygiene will definitely change the situation. Both of them should consider it.

        Besides, urinating after sex and driking cranberry juice, you might as well consider the underwear and clothes that you’re wearing (cotton is always the best choice, but especially when you’re out for hours and don’t have the time to change and tight clothing can lead as well to UTIs). Also consider the soap you’re using and how you use it.

        Good luck!

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    • avatar

      atraditionalist December 12, 2011, 7:15 pm

      While I know the LW is asking if she is being unreasonable in asking her bf to wear a condom I don’t think being unreasonable or not will accomplish anything. Your bf doesn’t want to wear condoms for the near future and I do not think that is unreasonable. You want him to wear condoms because of the pain caused by UTIs and I don’t think that’s unreasonable either. At the end of the day you guys are either going to have to compromise or he’s going to walk and you will need a man that doesn’t mind wearing a condom all the time. This one clearly does.

      Either way something needs to go. Either the condom or the boyfriend. I think you could find a bf that would wear condoms but I hope you have tried every other alternative because to be honest even as a female always having to put on condoms and not have spontaneity would be a pain

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  • avatar

    John Rohan December 12, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Speaking as a man, using condoms IS a big deal beyond the loss of sensation for several reasons that I don’t want to go into detail here. It also takes away a hell of a lot of spontenaity. Wearing condoms is something you do with someone you just met. I think he’s cringing at the thought of using them throughout decades of your future life together. Of course it’s very much a big deal to get urinary tract infections too. However, his feelings should not be simply dismissed, so he’s not necessarily being unreasonable, but neither are you.

    Bottom line is, there’s no easy way out of this. If you two can’t find a compromise that you can live with, then you will just have to go your separate ways, unless some medical solution can be found.

    However, even if you go your separate ways, you still have to deal with this issue, because there are few men out there that are willing to use condoms through married life for 50+ years!

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    • avatar

      Carolynasaurus December 12, 2011, 12:34 pm

      You know what? I gonna call bullshit on this. You don’t think women can feel the difference between a condom versus no condom? I can, and I can clearly tell you I like it better without. But with limited other options, it’s what works for me. I can’t handle hormonal birth control so it leaves me with condom or a copper IUD and we choose condoms. Probably for the next 5-10 years. And you know what? My husband, the good person that he is, doesn’t care. He has NEVER been a whiny little prick (like this LW’s boyfriend) because he knows it’s what’s going to work best for now for everyone.

      And you don’t have to use condoms for 50+ years. We only plan to use them for the next couple of years until we’ve had all the kids we want and then it’s snip-snip time!

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      • avatar

        Jess December 12, 2011, 12:41 pm

        you are totally missing his point. this isn’t about you and how you’re using condoms until your husbands vasectomy.

        The LW’s current plan is to use condoms for *the rest of her life*. Personally, as a female, i hate condoms. My boyfriend hates condoms- we couldn’t wait to stop using them. Saying that most people prefer not using them is *not* bullshit.

        He’s saying, this probably is not a good long term solution for her, and she needs to explore other options. I agree.

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        Carolynasaurus December 12, 2011, 12:48 pm

        I’m not calling bullshit on that. I’m calling bullshit on exactly what you backed me up on: this whole notion that only men don’t like condoms. That only men can feel a difference.

        And I do agree with you, the whole vasectomy option probably won’t help in this situation, but from what I understand, this UTI problem probably won’t be an issue 50 years from now. As many of the other commentors have pointed out, there are ways that she may be able to get the problem under control.

        HOWEVER, the only solution she has gotten to work right now is condoms and the fact that her boyfriend puts his pleasure ahead of her pain does, in fact, make him a prick.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan December 12, 2011, 1:33 pm

        I’m curious why people are “liking” your statements here. I never said that only men don’t like condoms.

        Also, if you think a vasectomy will solve the problem here, then you don’t understand what the letter is about. She’s already on the pill, after all. UTI = urinary tract infections.

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        Carolynasaurus December 12, 2011, 1:56 pm

        People are “liking” my statements here because you implied that, as a man, condoms are more of an issue because of things like loss of sensation and spontaneity. I just said that those are issues for women too, but you’d be a lot harder pressed to find a woman who whines about having to use a condom than a man.

        Additionally, I clarified my vasectomy statement in the comment you actually replied to because of Jess’s comment. She was right in her comment about how a vasectomy wouldn’t solve anything in this case, but I just brought it up to demonstrate that people’s bodies and methods of birth control will probably change over time and if this guy was in it for the long haul, he would probably have to worry about condoms for the next 10 years, not 50.

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 December 12, 2011, 1:57 pm

        I think you missed this part of what she was saying

        “And I do agree with you, the whole vasectomy option probably won’t help in this situation”

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      • avatar

        Jess December 12, 2011, 2:47 pm

        he never said that

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      • avatar

        Ktfran December 12, 2011, 12:42 pm

        I agree with you C. I didn’t want to actually all bs on J.R., but I’ve been in relationships with men who didn’t mind wearing condoms.

        I also am not good with hormonal birth control. I don’t like what it does to my body. So, in my last relationship, we used condoms only. Once in a while, the bf would say he wished I were on bith control so we could have sex anytime, anywhere. But he understood why I wasn’t on it and he accepted that. And we had sex a lot. That was actually the best part of our relationship.

        What I’m trying to say, LW,is that if you’re with the right person, he’ll respect your choices. Expecially if it’s for a medical reason.

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      amber December 12, 2011, 12:42 pm

      I’m actually going to disagree with your last line. There are many men who will use condoms for the right person. She’s asking him to use condoms for a very valid reason. If he got a UTI once a month and the cure was wearing a condom I’m sure he would be more than willing to wear one. And it’s more than a big deal to get UTIs. They can cause cause kidney damage and scarring. Personally saving my loved one from potential complications from medical issues would make wearing a condom worth it. And unlike this guy there are others who will also think that way and be more than willing to wear condoms. It’s also unfair to say it rules out all spontaneous sex, as I’m sure occassionally having sex without a condom is not out of the question. It’s never using one that is the issue.

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      ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 12:43 pm

      I’m sorry but if you feel like way I feel bad for anyone you date. Like the poster above, girls can tell the difference too, and i’m sure most women would agree that no condom is best. But she has a FUCKING MEDICAL REASON to not want to wear them. Sorry that I don’t think a guys slight loss is sensation (it’s not like he doesn’t enjoy sex AT ALL, just less) should be put above her health concerns…. he probably isn’t mature enough for a relationship. This is just one compromise of many that will have to be made in their relationship.

      I just hope he doesn’t get cancer…and when he is too sick from chemo to put out she leaves him because well…she can’t imagine dealing with his impotence for the forseeable future.

      Disgusting.

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        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 12:47 pm

        Woah sorry I don’t know what just happened there. Apparently I am very passionate about this. Anyway sorry John… i’m sure you’re an extremely compassionate individual… I didn’t mean to make it personal.

        But I stand by everything else I said…I think the boyfriend’s reaction is disgusting.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan December 12, 2011, 1:37 pm

        But read the letter again. He isn’t refusing to use condoms He’s been using them for months!

        What he’s frustrated about is he’s wondering when this is going to end. So he’s not allowed to be upset about this at all?

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 1:51 pm

        Oh sure he’s allowed to be upset about it…but that still makes him an immature inconsiderate boyfriend. To put the guilt about having to wear the condoms on her is selfish. She also probably wouldn’t get as many UTI’s if she didn’t have sex at all. So the way I see it they are both compromising here….she is having sex with a condom even though that is a risk to her health and he is agreeing to wear condoms.

        By the way have you ever had a UTI? Just curious. Imagine urinating fire battons for a couple days straight…to the point where you are afraid to go to the bathroom and then afraid to drink any liquids that might make you have to go to the bathroom. And having your doctor tell you you need to drink lots of liquids to get the infection out.

        It’s MISERABLE. This isn’t just like a slight discomfort. So if his sexual satisfaction (again, it’s not like he doesn’t enjoy sex…he just enjoys it slightly less)r anks above her health concerns, maybe this just isn’t the right relationship for him

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        demoiselle December 12, 2011, 10:16 pm

        And for me, if I get a UTI it doesn’t go away until I take antibiotics daily for three months. I have a strange biology that runs in my family. And doctors DON’T BELIEVE ME, meaning that whenever I get a UTI, I get given a seven day or four day treatment of antibiotics, against all protests, take them, get better for a week, get the infection again, go back to the doctor, get given seven more days, get better for a week, get sick again, and thus it is usually 6 months before I find a doctor who believes me when I explain my biology.

        (Actually, the LW might want to look into whether this is the real problem: the doctors have not sufficiently treated her infection from the beginning. I still can show symptoms of a UTI (and be suffering) even when standard medical tests show no infection. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there and about to go out of control again.)

        BF is being a jerk. He does not comprehend the agony of this kind of infection.

        Generally, women get less sensitive to UTIs over time. I hope the same happens for this LW.

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        Addie Pray December 12, 2011, 6:09 pm

        Well said, ForeverYoung! I’m late to this party but man, what a dick. Slight loss of sensation v. agonizing pain requiring medical attention ….. is this REALLY a close call???!

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    • rawkmys0cks

      Sarah December 12, 2011, 12:52 pm

      I have to agree with John here, and offer up a suggestion for compromise.

      Let me first say that I have been in your position before, LW, where I was getting UTIs several times per year, and I have never heard of condoms being used to prevent UTIs. The most important thing you can do to prevent a UTI caused by sexual activity is to urinate before AND after sex. Urine is sterile and it is very successful at clearing the area of harmful bacteria. I think you and your boyfriend may be able to compromise on this. I also think he’s pretty immature for instigating fights about this issues, but let’s be honest, condoms are really not so ideal (in a lot of ways) when you are in a committed monogamous relationship. I would be at least a little upset (albeit in a most constructive manner) if my partner insisted on using condoms forever and always. Perhaps try to find other ways to prevent UTIs, and make sure he is being hygenic as well–bare penises are not supposed to cause infection!! I think people are too quick on this site to suggest that one “MOA.”

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      • avatar

        bad tempered sparrow December 12, 2011, 3:02 pm

        I have never heard of condoms being used to prevent UTIs. Has anyone else?

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        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 3:09 pm

        UTI’s are *generally* caused from bacteria. Avoiding mixing his bacteria with her bacteria is one way to prevent them. Every girl is different and they can be caused by different things for different people, and there are different solutions for different people as well. It could completely prevent them for her, but not another person.

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      • avatar

        Turtledove December 12, 2011, 3:42 pm

        I used to be extremely prone to UTIs and was getting them at least twice a month. My doctor sent me to a urologist. Not once did my urologist suggest using condoms as a way to decrease the frequency of my UTIs. Instead he did a barrage of exams and a few tests to figure out exactly why I was getting them which led to figuring out how to get rid of them. I haven’t had one in years. Most doctors don’t even culture the urine to find out what type of bacteria is giving her the infection so he really can’t do more than guess about where it’s coming from.

        So actually that would be my advice for the LW– get thee to a urologist. Figure out exactly why you’re getting UTIs and then figure out what to do about them. That’s the road to compromise for both the LW and the boyfriend, they agree to keep using condoms while she goes and gets a second opinion and a few tests done. Boyfriend sees light at the end of the tunnel and that she’s at least willing to see if something more can be done and she gets her health protected at the same time. Everyone wins.

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      • avatar

        Betty Boop December 12, 2011, 7:59 pm

        Yep. I know a couple people with urethral openings further back than usual and the only way to avoid UTI’s and bladder infections are to use condoms for intercourse and even to use latex gloves for foreplay.

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    • katie

      katie December 12, 2011, 8:38 pm

      so your saying that if someone told your wife/girlfiend that she was going to have to go through immense pains multiple times a year unless you do something slightly uncomfortable and little inconvinent….. like, say, switching from boxers to briefs, you would whine about it?

      i thought that physical pain was pretty high on the list of “things i dont want to happen to my significant other”…. but i guess not when it comes to boys and their sex…

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    • avatar

      Allison December 12, 2011, 10:40 pm

      Three of my close friends can’t use hormonal contraceptives for various reasons. All three are married to men they’ve been with for several years already who are willing to wear condoms. I’m not sure why you’re on this mission to scare the LW into giving up condoms. I think you’re ignoring the fact that when you have a UTI, you’re not supposed to have sex until it goes away. So, the boyfriend can have all the condom-free sex he wants until she gets a UTI, and then it’s abstinence for him for a while. Yes, he’ll experience some loss of sensation (on what scale is that compared to the pain of a UTI or the risk of developing a more severe kidney infection?), but it’s not the end of the world, like you’re acting like it is.

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      • avatar

        Riefer December 13, 2011, 2:30 pm

        I’ve been with my now-husband for 6 years and we’ve always used condoms. That’s what we started out with, and neither of us really wants to change. I don’t want to use any kind of hormones because I don’t want to mess around with my levels, and also I don’t feel there is enough knowledge about long-term effects. I am open to other forms of birth control, but none are as good as condoms. I did ask my doctor about an IUD, but she doesn’t recommend them for women who have never had children, because inserting and removing them can scratch the vaginal walls and cause scarring and infections. I guess once you’ve had a child there’s not as much danger since things have been stretched. Also shortly after I talked to my doctor, one of my friends got pregnant using the IUD, so it kind of lost its lustre for me. 🙂

        Anyway, point being, my husband is totally satisfied, and has never even suggested that I look into the pill so that he can stop using condoms.

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    • avatar

      Adaas December 19, 2011, 1:17 am

      Sex is already so much easier for men anyway. It takes a LOT more for sex to be even GOOD for women…men can just stick their dick in something, move a couple of times and get off. So seriously, sorry if I DON’T feel bad for any man “oh boohoo I have to wear condoms for 50+ years! Whatever will I do?!” Grow the hell up. UTI’s are SO painful I can’t imagine wanting someone you care about to go through that often just so you can not have to lose a bit of sensation.
      And yes, condoms make it less pleasurable for women too. So it’s not like she’s in some win/win situation while her boyfriend only loses. More like the other way around.
      And my guess is, if he’s selfish enough to sacrifice her health, he’s crappy in bed too. So the sex probably isn’t that great for her anyway.

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      • avatar

        Really? January 2, 2012, 11:36 pm

        Really? That’s all sex is for men? I’m glad I’m not dating YOU.

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  • EscapeHatches

    EscapeHatches December 12, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Something to keep in mind: If you’re taking antibiotics to clear up the UTI – your risk for pregnancy goes up and condoms should go on…

    I thought it was an old wive’s tale, but I ended up in the gyn’s office for unexplained bleeding (which turned out to be a 4 week along) miscarriage after being on antibiotics for 6 weeks. The gyn/ob confirmed, many antibiotics are contraindicated with birth control.

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  • avatar

    Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Um, here’s how to resolve it: tell him you aren’t having sex with him unless he’s using a condom. End of story. He can use the money he’s saving on condoms on some really nice lube. Somehow I bet sex with a condom and all that decreased sensation is infinitely preferable to no sex at all.

    If that seems too severe, tell him you’ll forego condoms if every time you come down with a UTI, he’ll agree to get one of those procedures where they put a little camera up his urethra. That way he has a little taste of what you’re going through.

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  • avatar

    Beckaleigh December 12, 2011, 12:24 pm

    I don’t buy the whole “we’re exclusive and in love so we don’t need to use condoms” bullshit. I’ve been married for over 8 years and we still use condoms. He’s being a jerk about it and I agree with what someone said above – explain to him as graphically as possible how your UTIs feel!

    I used to get UTIs pretty frequently when I was younger, so I know what you’re going through. Has your doctor told you that you should urinate after sex? That helps to clear things out down there. The showering before hand is also great advice.

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  • avatar

    redessa December 12, 2011, 12:29 pm

    So, this might not work, but what if he wears the condom but you cut a couple inches off the end? That way the condom is still there higher up, where it’s most likely to rub against the area of your urethra, but he’ll still gets full feeling in his most sensitive area.

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    • MissRemy

      Ally December 12, 2011, 5:40 pm

      Just like footless tights! But for a penis…

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    • avatar

      Lydia December 13, 2011, 3:05 am

      That will probably just make the condom roll up during sex – not a good feeling for either of them, I think.

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  • avatar

    Alecia December 12, 2011, 12:29 pm

    Your health (physically, emotionally, mentally) comes first and if he can’t do something that simple to make you more comfortable and healthy, then I think you should think about MOA. If he can’t compromise on something as simple as this, then maybe that’s a sign for your possible future together.

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  • avatar

    honeybeenicki December 12, 2011, 12:35 pm

    This is a really tough situation for all of the reasons already mentioned above. I agree with a lot of the suggestions, but I’m also wondering if you have tried different kinds of condoms. Its been a long time since I’ve used them, but I know they’ve come a long way in making them thinner and more pleasurable. I’m sure a lot of those will be more expensive, but if they are effective in giving him the sensation and keeping you healthy, they might be worth a try.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey December 12, 2011, 12:40 pm

    You know what, this really pisses me off.

    I too had a series of recurring UTIs with both serious boyfriends that I’ve had. We’re talking 4 in the span of four MONTHS. They’re painful as hell, and if you don’t have immediate access to a doctor and antibiodics, the wait can be torturous. I, too, decided that condoms would be best for my health because they greatly decrease the bacteria that’s introduced into your system. With condoms and some preventative measures like going to the bathroom immediately after, I haven’t had a UTI in almost 2 years.

    And you know what? Both of my boyfriends were extremely supportive of my health concerns. In fact, they both felt extremely guilty that I suffered through UTIs all of the time because of our sex life. Of course condoms aren’t the favorite choice for most men, nor most women, but my both of my boyfriends were glad to suck it up for the benefit of my health AND not getting pregnant – as another commenter mentioned, the antibiodics associated with UTIs can decrease the effectiveness of BC pills.

    My concern here isn’t that your boyfriend dislikes condoms. That’s understood. It’s that he doesn’t seem to have concern for or care much about your health. He shouldn’t want you to have to go through that kind of pain once every two months! What if the roles were reversed? Would he suffer through painful infections 5 times a year for YOU? His lack of understanding and maturity regarding this really makes me mad. Don’t just tell him that it’s condoms or nothing – tell him that unless he starts caring a bit more about your welfare, you’re GONE.

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    • avatar

      amber December 12, 2011, 12:50 pm

      also as i mentioned above repeatedly getting UTIs can lead to further kidney damage. anyone who is willing to subject you to potential major organ damage isn’t worth it in my opinion. i also think anyone who hasn’t had a UTI can’t begin to understand the pain. i’ve only had one, i can’t imagine getting them repeatedly.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey December 12, 2011, 12:53 pm

        I think her best bet is to try, as silverdragongirl mentioned below, bringing this up in a neutral setting and explaining ALL about UTIs – the causes, the pain, the potential damage, etc. Maybe if he could picture his penis is that kind of pain, he’d see the light. But if not, I’d highly recommend for her to MOA. There are guys who will take your health seriously and who wouldn’t be quite so selfish.

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      ele4phant December 12, 2011, 12:50 pm

      I agree. It would be understandable if he made a passing comment about missing condom free sex, but understanding her health was most important. Heck, it sounds like the LW misses them too.

      However, this guy is trying to pressure and guilt her into not using condoms despite the fact that he knows what that means for her urinary tract. Very very selfish.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey December 12, 2011, 1:00 pm

      And just as a personal aside – with our without the UTIs, I ALWAYS use two forms of birth control. I went through a period where I relied on solely my BC pills and I was a nervous wreck every month. I constantly thought “Did I remember to take my pill on time?? What if I missed one?? OMG am I pregnant?!” The mental stressing wasn’t worth it. Using two forms reassured me that even if one failed, I was still OK. Though I’m single and not gettin’ it on with anyone at the moment, any boyfriend of mine will need to understand that I need two forms for my own peace of mind. I don’t think that’s too much for any person to ask for!

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      • mandalee

        mandalee December 12, 2011, 1:27 pm

        Ahhh, not to freak you out or anything, but nothing is ever 100% with birth controls and condoms. I wouldn’t be born if that were the case. It definitely decreases the chances by a lot, but there’s always room for error.

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        ReginaRey December 12, 2011, 1:29 pm

        Oh, I know. But hey – if I get pregnant after using 2 forms of BC, then so be it. I tried my best! Haha.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee December 12, 2011, 2:12 pm

        Yeah, I agree! That just always scared me, that I still freak out every month regardless. lol

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        Gwen Soul December 12, 2011, 1:33 pm

        I am the same way! Often (right or wrong) I would not bother to even tell guys I was on the pill since they had no choice but to wear a condom anway.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 1:55 pm

        I totally agree RR. I’m not sure why he is making such a big deal out of it. I personally don’t like condoms, and i’m married now with an IUD so I don’t use them…but trust me if I started getting UTI’s my husband wouldn’t be thinking about his comfort in the situation as it’s not really his health up for stake. Granted he has had prostititus which apparently is kind of like the guy version of a UTI so he completely understands the pain, but still.

        I am shocked this is even an issue.

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    • avatar

      Mel December 12, 2011, 2:16 pm

      “My concern here isn’t that your boyfriend dislikes condoms. That’s understood. It’s that he doesn’t seem to have concern for or care much about your health. He shouldn’t want you to have to go through that kind of pain once every two months!”

      Thisthisthisthis.

      I’m a girl. I like it better with the condom off. I don’t know how big a difference a man might feel. I *do* know it can’t be worse than an UTI. And that’s why he’s a prick.

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    • avatar

      demoiselle December 13, 2011, 9:15 am

      Yes, it can be torturous. I have spent time in the ER in NYC, Edinburgh, and Istanbul due to this problem. Now I have antibiotics I carry with me if I am traveling for a long time, just in case one comes on. An understanding doctor proscribed for me before a long-term study-abroad. Don’t know what I’ll do when I don’t have them anymore.

      A condom is a small thing. His attitude towards a condom is a big thing. And even if she only *thought* that the condom was the solution, and it didn’t *really, medically* make a difference, he should be ready to oblige. I count the bouts of UTIs and the bad medical treatment I’ve gotten as among the more traumatic experiences of my life.

      So much so that if I get an anxiety attack, I start to feel a UTI coming on (this time, psychosomatic) because its one of the most terrifying medical prospects I can think of.

      Any guy who wouldn’t wear a condom in this circumstance–even long term–is being a selfish jerk. It doesn’t reduce the fun by THAT much.

      Finally, if he’s showing any attitude like “pride” that his sexual prowess is sending you to the doctor, run (::shivers at memory of abusive ex gloating slightly that he’d sexed me up so good I’d ended up in the hospital::).

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      • avatar

        demoiselle December 13, 2011, 9:19 am

        Mmm… how can I remove my photo from my profile and stick a picture of my cat there instead? I added it to my own blog, and now its showing up here, too. I’d prefer not to have my face next to my description of UTI hell and my abusive ex-boyfriend’s gloating. Perhaps I could stick a picture of a naughty kitten there instead?

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl December 12, 2011, 12:46 pm

    One of my best friends has a similar-sounding problem with chronic UTIs. She also has to use condoms with her husband (she has an IUD as well), take cranberry, and she had some sort of pill she took on days she had sex for a while, but I don’t remember what it was. Anyway, the thing is, you’re not the only one with this problem, and if your bf wants to be with you long-term (and I’m assuming since it’s been two years already neither of you want to see your relationship end over this, or anything else), he’s probably just going to have to suck it up at some point.

    That being said, you should try to understand that from his perspective (a selfish one, yes, but still his) things probably look different. He probably feels like he’s being punished for your health problem, which isn’t his fault, while also feeling guilty that he’s contributing to it, and rejected because you’ve been without condoms for so long and how he has to go back to using them.

    Have you sat down and discussed this, outside of the bedroom? If you’ve only talked about it right before/during/after sex, those are times when he’s more likely to feel frustrated about it. Try bringing it up sometime in a neutral setting. You might even bring him with you to your next doctor’s appointment, if you’re comfortable with that, so he can hear it straight from the expert. Explain that you don’t like wearing condoms either, but you can’t spend the rest of your life in pain for days on end with a UTI. That’s unfair to you. After that, what you do is up to you. If he’s not willing to wear condoms and you’re not willing to suffer a UTI once a month forever, that’s pretty much the end of your sex life together, I’m afraid. I hope he sees the light.

    Also (as someone who’s had a couple UTIs), make sure you’re drinking tons of water all the time- don’t wait until symptoms start to begin hydrating. And make sure you’re not taking too much cranberry…I did that for a while by accident and it actually caused irritation of its own. And yeah, always pee no more than 5-10 minutes after sex.

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    • avatar

      silver_dragon_girl December 12, 2011, 12:48 pm

      There’s also some kind of non-latex condom my friend swears by. Trojan Supra or something, maybe? I know they’re more expensive than regular ones, but she says they feel pretty good.

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  • avatar

    AKchic December 12, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I can see both points of view here. And honey, YOU need to figure out why exactly you’re getting UTIs all the time. A condom does not magically prevent a woman from getting them, otherwise, we all would be getting UTIs every time we all had sex with guys once we stopped using condoms.
    This is a hygiene issue at best. At worst, an allergy issue. Are you allergic to your boyfriend’s skin/sperm/penis in general?
    Is there something you are doing differently after sex with a condom vs without one? Are you super-groomed down there that would cause “friction” and pulling/tearing? Super acrobatic/rough?
    You don’t mention your age, but for some younger women, hormones do play a factor. I only seem to get UTIs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Thanks to hormone imbalances.

    I would recommend entering sex as a sacred ritual. Pure bodies. Yes, it does mean completely washing oneself prior to sex, but it helps. Since you aren’t sure WHAT is causing the UTIs yet, use baby wash. It’s hypoallergenic. When you are done having sex, clean up right away. Again, you should probably use baby wash, unless you have a favorite hypoallergenic body wash. Make sure your entire vaginal area is cleaned up/out, so there is no foreign matter to cause another UTI. Yes – it’s involved, but for now, it may be the only thing to do other than condoms. If your boyfriend sees what you have to do instead of condoms – he may just relent.

    Of course, you could outgrow this thing. Or find your UTI trigger.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey December 12, 2011, 1:02 pm

      These are good tips, for sure, but I do want the LW to understand that she may never known why she’s prone to UTIs. Preventative measures have worked for me pretty well, but I think I’m also just more prone to them naturally, for whatever reason. If nothing works for her prevention-wise, I wouldn’t want her to think that she had “failed” or anything. Our bodies are very mysterious things.

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      • genevathene

        PallasAthena December 12, 2011, 1:12 pm

        “If nothing works for her prevention-wise, I wouldn’t want her to think that she had “failed” or anything. Our bodies are very mysterious things.”

        You’re totally right, which is why I feel that her issue with her boyfriend and her UTIs should be considered as separate as possible. A caring boyfriend would have no problem using condoms, and she shouldn’t feel pressured to fix her UTIs just to keep her boyfriend from leaving her for having an “inconvenient” kind of sex. But if she’s interested and up for some self-experimentation, looking into other ways to prevent her UTIs — for herself! — may be worthwhile in the long run.

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    • landygirl

      Landygirl December 12, 2011, 1:43 pm

      Agreed and I might add for gawdsakes, don’t douche, that’s really bad for you.

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet December 12, 2011, 3:08 pm

      AKChic: Agreed x 1000

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    • avatar

      cmarie December 12, 2011, 3:25 pm

      Random thought: If part of the reason why guys hate condoms is the loss of spontaneity, wouldn’t a pre/after sex ritual completely obliterate that? I read a lot of comments about how showering/peeing/doing the hula dance before and after having sex could decrease the chances of her getting a UTI while allowing him to go condomless and I guess from my perspective, it just feels like a condom would be a lot less time and effort for both of them. My two cents, physical health always comes before “sensation”. Also, every woman’s chemical make-up is different. I’ve never had a UTI but a friend has one every other month just because. Anything can throw off your Ph, which puts you at more risk of a UTI. Also, not only do antibiotics decrease the effectiveness of birth control (hello little sister), they can kill all the “good” bacteria and cause a pretty bad yeast infection, which really isn’t fun. Frankly, the LW has more to lose and if the BF is any sort of good guy he would understand that and stop pressuring and guilting her to not use condoms and put her health at risk.

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      • avatar

        AKchic December 12, 2011, 3:41 pm

        Many antibiotics can throw off the effectiveness of birth control pills, which necessitate using condoms for at least a month, and can throw off PH balances and up the risk of yeast infections and UTIs.

        Some UTIs can be caused by rough sex. The rough sex causes a tear in the urethra which ends up getting infected, causing a bladder infection/UTI. Or, a guy trying to “rub” too hard during foreplay. The clitoris isn’t a damned joystick/firing button on a game controller. Learn to play with it right or don’t do it at all. Period.

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      Betty Boop December 12, 2011, 8:09 pm

      As I mention above, I actually know a couple of people who have their urethral opening closer to the vagina than usual and have had gyno’s & urologists recommend using a condom every time. have to go so far as to use latex gloves for foreplay to avoid issues, but that is way better than the corrective surgery that only has a 35% chance of benefiting. I would guess, from this experience, that her doctor recommending using condoms to stop the UTI’s that it’s going to be something physical that cannot be controlled rather than a trigger type of situation.

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    • avatar

      demoiselle December 13, 2011, 9:32 am

      As I posted above, if its been 5 times in a year, she might have the same problem that I do: She’s not prone to chronic UTIs, but she’s got a body which does not respond to the standard 1 or 4 or 7 day course of antibiotics. With me, if even the lowest level of bacteria remain (and after a 1 – 7 day course of antibiotics, it still does remain), it will not read on any test. But within a week or two, those remaining bacteria have increased again to the point that–voila!–I have the UTI again.

      At times, I have gone to the doctor reporting a UTI, they’ve tested me and found nothing, and sent me home. I’d beg them to listen to me, but they wouldn’t because it didn’t show up (YET) on their demmed test. Then I’d be back in another week with a raging, DETECTABLE UTI, in absolute agony. Only to be given the same short-term medication solution.

      For me, the only solution once I got an UTI was a three-month daily course of antibiotics. That is what works. And then, perhaps, for a while, a preventative antibiotic taken after intercourse for a while. And once it is gone, it is gone.

      I’ve had this issue three times in 30 years, for the first time when I was 12. My doctors assure me that this does not mean I have a “chronic” problem. I just am very sensitive. I have had every test run, everything is normal. I just can feel the infection before the tests can sense them, and doctors have been trained not to dispense antibiotics liberally and to believe they know better than their patients. Ironically, before my dad died, he started having persistent UTIs, and was treated the same way as I was.

      My test for doctors now is to tell them about this medical quirk, and if they actually LISTEN, they pass my test as a “keeper.”

      So, by all means the LW should drink water, have cranberry pills, pee after sex, suggest washing each other, but it may not really be her fault–no amount of “detection” will fix my situation with UTIs.

      She might also consider what medication she is taking: I’m being weened off Wellbutrin now, and did it very fast. I started to get a UTI, and hopped right on the antibiotics. Turns out Wellbutrin is a “sphincter constrictor” and that as I go off it, I become more prone (at least for the time being) to UTIs again.

      There can be many contributing factors beyond the LW’s actions.

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  • genevathene

    PallasAthena December 12, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I agree with the rest of the commenters — the fact that your boyfriend doesn’t care enough about your health and well-being is a red flag. The minor inconvenience and loss of sensation due to a condom should definitely be worth preventing you from bacterial infections and pain!

    But as a former long-time UTI sufferer myself, I just wanted to share what helped me — cultured foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, lactic-acid fermented vegetables). The problem with the overuse of antibiotics is that you end up killing the good bacteria along with the bad bacteria in your gut. It took me about six months, but I haven’t had a UTI in over a year, and even my adult acne cleared up. Google around, if you’re interested.

    Trying to find alternative ways to prevent your UTIs may not save your relationship (I get the feeling that your boyfriend’s attitude toward condoms might carry over to other deal-breaking areas of life), but it might save you a ton of suffering in the future, so consider it a gift to yourself.

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  • avatar

    Nectarine December 12, 2011, 1:09 pm

    Ok, are you sure he recognizes the DIRECT correlation between the unprotected sex and the infections? Is it possible that he thinks the unprotected sex is one of many things that COULD be causing the infections? If he’s fully aware that sex without condoms = UTI for you, and is still expecting you have unprotected sex, you need to get out of the relationship now. That’s borderline abusive.

    I went through this years ago as well. Something like 6 or 7 infections in a year. The doctor told me to urinate after sex and I haven’t had a UTI since, but everyone’s different. Even if peeing after sex turns out to do the trick for you, I’d keep wrapping it up. This does NOT sound like a guy you’d want to be impregnated by.

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    • avatar

      John Rohan December 12, 2011, 1:40 pm

      That is possible too. One problem with these letters is that you only hear one side of the story.

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        Nectarine December 12, 2011, 2:00 pm

        And you choose my comment to tack that statement onto? I gave the guy the benefit of the doubt by asking if it was possible that he was misunderstanding the situation. But if that’s not the case, if he understands what unprotected sex will mean for her and he’s still insisting upon it, I don’t care what his side is. There is NO excuse for expecting your partner to do something that will cause an unbelievably painful and potentially dangerous infection.

        If the concern is having to use condoms for the rest of his life, they can go to a doctor together to discuss their options. But the situation as it’s been told to us is grounds for a break-up. Even the worst boyfriend I ever had (and he was legendary) wouldn’t have pulled this crap.

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        John Rohan December 12, 2011, 2:36 pm

        FWIW, I was agreeing with you.

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        Nectarine December 12, 2011, 3:52 pm

        Well I appreciate that. But really, an advice column like this usually isn’t the place for “you haven’t heard his side.” In a forum like this, unless it’s stated in the letter, you’re not going to hear his side. It’s just not the nature of the beast. The letter is asking for advice, based on the information given. We have to work on the assumption that the information she’s provided is sufficient. It’s not a perfect system, but 200 people commenting that they can’t fairly offer up any suggestions without hearing his side isn’t what she asked for.

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        John Rohan December 12, 2011, 7:10 pm

        WTF?? YOU are the one who asked: “are you sure he recognizes the DIRECT correlation between the unprotected sex and the infections? Is it possible that he thinks the unprotected sex is one of many things that COULD be causing the infections?”

        You brought up the very valid possibility that either he doesn’t understand that unprotected sex was causing this problem, or that he has reasons why he believes the condoms don’t really have anything to do with it.

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        Nectarine December 12, 2011, 8:25 pm

        Yes, though I didn’t have to, I threw that out as a possibility because I’m a nice person and because, frankly, I can’t imagine any woman staying with a guy in the situation as she describes it. His being misinformed, to me, is the only possible reasoning behind his position that wouldn’t make him a total jerk-off. So yeah, I got that one exception out of the way before offering my advice, which was, if he was not misinformed, to get out. She asked for advice on the situation as it was presented in her letter, and she got it. Offering exceptions to the advice is not the same as saying we haven’t heard his side so can’t reasonably form an opinion. If you want both sides examined, you go to therapy. This is an advice column, and once again, advice columns work on an honor system where we have to take the writers at their word. And no, offering up that one exception was not questioning her story, because I wasn’t suggesting that she was lying or deliberately omitting anything. Rather, I know how clueless many men are about the female anatomy (I wish I had a nickle for every guy who thought women urinated out of their vaginas), and how many women are unaware of that cluelessness.

        I would also like to point out that I noted the possibility that he’s unaware of the connection. By this I meant that maybe he hadn’t heard or had misunderstood what the doctor said. Not that he heard what the doctor said and decided he knew better. Unless he’s a doctor as well, that would classify him as a jerk-off too.

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 December 13, 2011, 9:57 am

        It sounds like John was agree with you on both things you said, and then for some reason you decided to call him out for agreeing with you. I think DW is a place where people can throw out a “you haven’t heard his side” because 90% of the time the LW’s write in asking a question, and they don’t give enough information, and then a commenter rips into the person they love by calling them Jerk-offs, telling them they are in an abusive relationship, and telling them to dump this guy that they could possibly want to spend the rest of their life with. Then the LW has to write in with an update to give the rest of the story, because they didn’t write in to have somebody rip apart them or the person they love.

        Clearly some people on here get exaggerated stories in there head, and make up scenarios that the letter writer didn’t offer any information on, and then think they are keeping it real with the letter writer, and giving them tough love. So yeah it is good to say you haven’t hear the other side of the story especially when a commenter decides to make up their own version as advice.

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      • avatar

        Nectarine December 13, 2011, 11:18 am

        Once again, in a forum like this, we have to assume the writer is providing an accurate portrayal of the situation. Are the letters a fair representation of the situation 100% of the time? Of course not. I’d even go so far as to say a majority of the letter writers leave out important details. But we have no choice but to give her the benefit of the doubt that the letter she has written contains sufficient detail. When someone sends in a letter, they are asking for advice on the situation as they’ve described it, not to be told, “we need more information.” So, in this case, the situation that she has described is that her boyfriend throws a fit every time he has to use a condom, even though not using one will result in a UTI for her. That is the situation as she’s laid it out for us, and I’m the bad guy for calling this behavior borderline abusive?

        Of course we haven’t heard his side. Is it possible that he is totally unaware of the position he’s putting her in? Sure. Hell, it’s even possible that she’s making this whole thing up. But let’s pretend for a second that the situation is exactly as she’s described it. Technically, she WAS somewhat ambiguous about whether he actually knew the implications of unprotected sex, and I addressed that point accordingly. But that aside, in this letter, you’ve got a guy who picks fights with his girlfriend because she doesn’t want to do something that will cause her to get a painful and potentially serious infection. Exactly which part of that isn’t in the letter?

        I took issue with John because tacking the “you haven’t heard his side” argument onto my comment implies that I, in particular, was being unfair to the boyfriend. Maybe I misread his intent there, and I acknowledge that. More important though, it sounded like John needed to understand what I’ve said three times now, which is that in a setting like this, we only have the letter to work with, and we have to trust that that’s enough.

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 December 13, 2011, 12:14 pm

        You can say it 5 or 6 times, but that doesn’t make it true at all. People can think other things than you, and by the frequency of how my times I see people say that we need more information I would say that I personally think sometimes it is ok to request more information. The funny part is that John made a general statement about most of the letters on here that agreed with what you were saying, and you took it as a personal attack.

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      • avatar

        Nectarine December 13, 2011, 12:43 pm

        Funny, evidently I can’t reply directly to you anymore…

        Thanks for letting me know that people can think other things than me. I totally thought we were all supposed to take a vote on the correct response to each letter.

        I don’t make the rules of how these columns work, and I’m certainly not saying it’s a flawless process. People can request more information if they’d like (you may have noticed I did that myself). What I’m saying is that one person doesn’t get to make a blanket statement that there isn’t enough info to compose a proper response, and that anyone who’s willing to respond without any follow-up info is being unfair. That isn’t, after all, what the letter writer asked for.

        (Wow, I already acknowledged my misreading of John’s intentions. Your harping on that is a little obnoxious.)

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        Matcha December 13, 2011, 1:54 pm

        Hmm. I didn’t see that he was harping. You seem oversensitive.

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      • avatar

        Nectarine December 13, 2011, 2:09 pm

        Gee, thank you for your observation, but summarizing something that I’ve already owned up to, that was a side matter to the original issue in the first place = harping, and generally poor social form.

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      • avatar

        ladiejoy December 13, 2011, 3:12 pm

        Wow. Poor John.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 14, 2011, 12:46 am

        Yeah, you don’t make the rules of the columns because there aren’t any rules. (Besides no name-calling, which we just covered last week). I’m not sure how long you’ve been around on DW, but we’re a pretty self-regulating and friendly group. When someone says they need more information, it doesn’t mean that anyone who responds with advice is wrong in doing so. It usually just means that they see a specific gap which they don’t know the answer to. It’s really no big deal. In many of those cases, commenters come up with different answers for each scenario. For example… “I don’t know if the LW meant scenario A or scenario B because it was unclear in the original letter. If the case is scenario A, then I think ______. If it is in reality scenario B, then ______ would be more appropriate.”

        I don’t mean to come across as demeaning by providing that example, but because I truly do not know how long you’ve been here, I wanted to illustrate how it often works here. All any of us can do is take what we see, make assumptions about what it means, and give advice based on that. But in order to make letters actually helpful for the LWs, many of us acknowledge when our advice may be affected by a lack of information in some area. The LW may read the advice and be like “OMG really, I’m in an abusive relationship!?!?!” which may not actually be true if she left out important info. So it’s good to acknowledge those gaps instead of pretending they don’t exist.

        I think I’m rambling pointlessly here, so I’ll stop.

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        Nectarine December 14, 2011, 8:22 am

        Yeah, I’m pretty much in agreement with almost everything theattack said. Obviously, I’m all for taking the letter at face value, and acknowledging gaps and how those gaps can change things, which I myself did. I wasn’t trying to establish rules or tell anyone they’re wrong for asking for more info (again, I did that myself). But I’m not going to feel bad for classifying the behavior she described as abusive because I don’t know the whole story and it may not be what she wants to hear. I wasn’t trying to “keep it real” or dish out “tough love,” and I don’t appreciate the suggestion. It’s an advice column, I offered my advice. It’s that simple.

        I’ve been here a while, actually. My *personal* feeling about any advice column is that responses should be formed based on what’s in the letter. I see people all the time asking for more info and I rarely see the letter writer provide it except in an update letter, where, yes, there is often information that changes everything. And that may very well end up being the case here, but I’m not psychic, so (just like in attack’s example) I noted what I feel is the only scenario in which his behavior is maybe understandable, and with that out of the way, I addressed the situation as she presented it.

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  • avatar

    MissDre December 12, 2011, 1:09 pm

    I had this problem once too, and my doctor just told me to always go pee immediately after sex, to flush away any bacteria that might get into your urethra. Try that maybe?

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  • avatar

    XanderTaylor December 12, 2011, 1:12 pm

    Just a quick comment: I have only had the UTI issue with 1 particular man. I don’t know why – we did all the showering & urinating, etc. – and without fail once a month I got a UTI. I’m guessing there was just something about his body & mine that somehow increased bacteria growth. Never had the problem before him or after him. This may just be a very black & white case of not being compatible – to the extreme.

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    • avatar

      MissDre December 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

      Same here. Weird.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph December 12, 2011, 3:18 pm

      For me it was yeast infections, but same. I got them basically all the time with my ex. We started using condoms toward the end of our already troubled relationship (although I was on the pill) and the frequency of infections greatly reduced. With my new guy we don’t use condoms but still, very few infections (and usually correlated to other bad behaviors like spending all day in a wet bathing suit).
      I used to joke that I was allergic to him… but it was kinda true.

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    • avatar

      Foxxdye December 12, 2011, 7:05 pm

      Me three. My guy was uncut–always wondered if that had anything to do with it.

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    • katie

      katie December 12, 2011, 8:58 pm

      ive also heard that if a man smells weird to you… not like, he hasn’t showered yet today, but he always smells bad to you, that your bodies are too genetically similar and your babies would have a better chance of having problems, so that is your bodies way of getting you away from him….

      maybe our bodies have a lot of weird ways to get us away from the wrong guys!

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 9:18 pm

        Oh, that would explain so much if it were true. My ex the Vegan always smelled like steamed artichokes to me. I love artichokes but hate the smell. It was the weirdest thing and how do you tell someone, “Sorry, honey, you smell like artichokes?”

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 10:25 pm

        haha… i would personally think that was just his diet.. i have always heard that hard core vegans smell funny. but, ive never known one that was hard core and had been practicing for a long enough time…. as a chef, i have a personal aversion to them, lol

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      • avatar

        *HmC* December 12, 2011, 9:44 pm

        I’ve heard similar theories about our ability to pick up certain genetic information through scent, but I don’t think it’s something that we would consciously smell. I mean, I’m just a lay person with these things, but that would make more intuitive sense to me. Like, it’s not that he would smell bad to you, it’s that your brain would pick up certain genetic information (ie. he is too genetically similar to you) through your sense of smell, which would subconsciously result in you not being attracted to him. You wouldn’t perceive a bad smell, nor would you know that you didn’t like him due to something your scent had picked up on. Kind of like the theory about how women’s bodies sync up menstruation wise. Their brains pick up the information through scent, but not consciously.

        Interestingly enough, this has led to theories about how the birth control pill can alter your sense of scent to a degree that you fail to choose a mate who is a true genetic match. Women who are already on birth control have altered scent, so they pick a mate based on factors other than genetic compatibility. Then they get married, and go off the pill to try and get pregnant, and suddenly find themselves not attracted to their mate anymore. Thus an odd spike in divorce among married couples who are just starting to attempt pregnancy.

        Maybe this is really far fetched and unscientific and false- it’s definitely not my field of expertise. But give it a google, or better, talk with someone in the know. It’s interesting to think about, anyway!

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      • avatar

        *HmC* December 12, 2011, 9:48 pm

        Here’s one article about it the whole birth control scent thing…

        http://www.livescience.com/2781-pill-women-pick-bad-mates.html

        Hmmm maybe we’ve discussed this in Dear Wendy before? I’m getting deja vu…

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      • avatar

        *HmC* December 12, 2011, 9:54 pm

        Oh I like this one better:

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 10:20 pm

        that is super interesting!

        i just heard that one theory on the radio last week- i have no idea the details of it or anything…

        i think its so cool how our bodies can tell us certain things without us even knowing, like everyone was saying above about being “allergic” to certain guys, or by our sense of smell. and then i wonder what other ways there are!

        so cool.

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  • rainbow

    rainbow December 12, 2011, 1:13 pm

    “we have had recurring problems with our sex life because of my personal health problems and sexual abuse in the past”

    Ok, the guy’s an ass, but there’s something else I wanted to mention.

    Women who’ve been sexually abused/assaulted usually get recurring UTIs. They go away when you get better. I used to have about 6/8 per year, and then I started doing exercises to relax my pelvic muscles and made a point to only have sex I really really want, and I haven’t had one in 18 months now.

    Maybe you could mention that, start an exercise routine / therapy if you’re not already doing it, and you could agree to talk about it again in a year, so he shuts up for a while. If he can’t put up with it just while you get better, then I vote MOA.

    Good luck =)

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    • MissRemy

      Ally December 12, 2011, 5:53 pm

      That’s a really interesting point about the psychological aspect affecting physical health, isn’t something I would have thought of.

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am December 12, 2011, 1:14 pm

    I’m the only one that prefers condoms I guess. Not that I don’t like it without them, but I’m extrememly paranoid of having a child with someone I’m not married too. Even if they are on the pill, I still protect myself in the end. Mistakes can always happen, but I much rather be prepared for them. I was in a 3 year relationship, where my girlfriend took her pill religiously and I still used a condom everytime.

    I’m more paranoid, so the satisfaction of not having a child is leaps and bounds more important to me than just feeling.

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    • Budj

      Budj December 12, 2011, 1:19 pm

      If you have sex standing up she can’t get pregnant.

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      • avatar

        MissDre December 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

        LoL. Been reading Cosmo?

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      • Budj

        Budj December 12, 2011, 1:53 pm

        Only on long car trips when my brother’s girl friend is along for the ride 😛

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        MissDre December 12, 2011, 1:59 pm

        I seriously hope this is your YOUNGER brother and his 17 year old girlfriend… cuz no grown woman should be reading that ish!

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      • Budj

        Budj December 12, 2011, 2:09 pm

        it’s a guilty pleasure for everyone involved – I wouldn’t be caught buying them.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph December 12, 2011, 3:22 pm

        Or if she’s on top. You know, cuz of gravity.

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      • Budj

        Budj December 12, 2011, 3:44 pm

        Only if she is sitting perfectly at 90 degrees. Without the right angle gravity is not powerful enough to defeat the coefficient of friction between a man’s semen and a woman’s vag wall….er….something like that.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph December 12, 2011, 4:02 pm

        Of course. I mean, its science. Its indisputable!

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 4:36 pm

        Well, if her vagina is tilted at 90 degrees… Time to pull out the protractor!

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      • Budj

        Budj December 12, 2011, 4:43 pm

        You are right – it was important to note that the vagina needs to be perpendicular to the tangent of the earth’s rotation and not the female herself…I hope I didn’t lead anyone astray in the correct application of this BC method.

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      • avatar

        Caris December 12, 2011, 9:08 pm

        rofl!

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    • avatar

      Ktfran December 12, 2011, 1:42 pm

      The guy I mentioned above, while we always only ever used condoms, he checked the condom after sex. Twice it broke and those two times I had to buy plan B. In fact, I didn’t realize that plan B was sold at some pharmacy counters. I was so freaked out the first time it happened that I called my doctor as soon as she opened. Since I wasn’t worried about std’s, she told me I could go and ask the pharmacist for it, but to call first b/c they don’t all carry it. What a relief! I know more people know about it now, but 5 years ago, plan B wasn’t as common. I don’t think anyway.

      I totally get your paranoid stance on getting someone pregnant. Or getting pregnant.

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    • avatar

      LennyBee December 12, 2011, 2:34 pm

      I’m with you on that one – even on BC, I’m too paranoid to consider going condom-free. Two forms is better than one.

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    • katie

      katie December 12, 2011, 9:32 pm

      i think that kind of attitude perfectly illustrates why this guy is being a jerk- your willing to trade whatever discomfort comes with using condoms to have peice of mind. i am the same way, actually. i cant enjoy the sex if there isnt a condom. i get paraniod as well.

      …only in the LW’s situation, its trading discomfort for your girlfriend not to have pain inducing UTIs all the time. somehow, that one seems worse….

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  • avatar

    Yozi December 12, 2011, 1:18 pm

    This doesn’t really answer your question, but I’ve found cranberry juice to be much more effective at clearing up UTI’s than anything a doc has ever given me. Drink up! It really works.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant December 12, 2011, 1:22 pm

      Oh I wish I was like you! I hate going to the doctor, and I tried to drink cranberry juice constantly the last few times I had UTIs, but to no avail. Eventually I gave up and got the antibiotics.

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    • avatar

      MissDre December 12, 2011, 1:45 pm

      Why not just take 2,000 mg of Vitamin C, twice a day?

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      • avatar

        amber December 12, 2011, 2:02 pm

        i think that the juice suggestion is usually more about the flushing of the system, the more healthy fluids you get in yourself the better.

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        MissDre December 12, 2011, 2:13 pm

        Very true, fluids are necessary but it’s the Vitamin C in the juice that helps boost your immune system to fight off infection.

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        Mario December 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

        I did a presentation on UTIs a couple of weeks ago, so spent a while researching the effects of cranberry juice. Studies have actually shown that cranberrys (and lingonberrys) contain Anthocyanidins. It’s this that stops “unfriendly” bacteria from sticking to the wall of the urethra. It’s something to do with the little “hairs” that bacteria use to anchor themselves in place, Anthocyanidins stop the type of hair that “unfriendly” bacteria tend to have from working. So drinking cranberry or lingonberry juice should help prevent you from getting UTIs, but it’s not very good at dislodging bacteria that are already there so it’s more of a prevention than a cure.

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      • avatar

        Matcha December 12, 2011, 5:30 pm

        I would much rather drink lingonberry juice.

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      • MissRemy

        Ally December 12, 2011, 5:56 pm

        Can’t say I’ve heard of that, what is it like?

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      • avatar

        Matcha December 12, 2011, 6:12 pm

        To me it tastes kind of pleasantly tart. Apple/berries/lemons? Wow, that was undescriptive. But I like it much better than cranberry.

        And I found this!
        http://www.bmj.com/content/322/7302/1571.full
        It’s a random journal abstract that says that there’s a 20% reduction in risk when you regularly drink cranberry-lingonberry juice versus the control group.

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      • avatar

        oppositeofzen December 12, 2011, 11:22 pm

        It’s not the anythocyanins, but the proanthocyanins in cranberries that seems to he’ll with clearing up utis. The ones in cranberries have a slightly different structure than most and that’s what scientists think is giving the health benefits. But like you said, these compounds prevent the bacteria from sticking to the cells of the urethra.

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      • avatar

        Sarah December 12, 2011, 5:21 pm

        It’s not the Vitamin C in cranberry juice that does it–it’s something specific to the cranberries (and scientists hypothesize that juice works better than cranberry extract pills because of all the extra fluids helping to flush out the system).

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  • avatar

    amber December 12, 2011, 1:18 pm

    I think you need to sit your bf down and try to talk to him and get him to listen. Explain to him how him wearing a condom has helped your health in the past few months. Also, potentially talk to your doctor about some of the other suggestions people are making and talk to your bf about trying some different things out. But, be honest and let him know that these things might not work for you and you may have to have a partner that is willing to wear a condom at least for a while (i can’t define that time limit for you and i don’t know how you would test that but, potentially again something you could talk to your doctor about). You don’t mention your age but as other commenters have said the tendency to get UTIs does go down as you get older. I had a friend who in college consistently had UTIs, and now she hasn’t had one in years. The fact that he’s not willing to do this for even a few months is a bad sign to me. But, once again perhaps if you talked to him and explained to him it’s most likely not forever, he will react differently. Also perhaps actively making him part of the solution (trying other things suggested by above commenters, talking to the dr, etc) will make him see your side of things more. And showing him that you’re willing to try these other options will hopefully show him that you also care about his opinion as well and you’re willing to work on things. But, ultimately your health comes first. If you need a partner that will wear a condom for the forseeable future he may just not be the right guy for you if he’s not willing to compromise.

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  • Budj

    Budj December 12, 2011, 1:24 pm

    Condoms suck…he shouldn’t be whining like that though. I would investigate all sources of UTI’s and see if you can track it down to something specific / preventable. If there is no help, but the condom then so be it, but I think you both owe it to the future of your sex life (from a guy that hates condoms) to make sure there isn’t a fixable issue.

    Maybe he just needs to wash his penis more. Is he uncircumsised? If his hygeine stinks more bacteria can grow if he is with foreskin.

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    • Budj

      Budj December 12, 2011, 1:25 pm

      Pre-emptive apology for poor grammar and spelling..in a hurry.

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  • avatar

    Allie December 12, 2011, 1:24 pm

    Another option for you is the female condom, which actually will cover more skin, but because of its material (nitrile, instead of latex), it warms to body temperature and is reported to be much more comfortable for both parties. The FC2 condom is much different than the original female condom, which was latex and was reported as being squeaky. You can find out more information at and you can buy them at Walgreens.

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    • avatar

      Lamp December 12, 2011, 3:13 pm

      Thank you!! I was going to write this. I’ve heard they’re fantastic compared to male condoms. You don’t lose the sensation (or maybe have less loss of sensation?) and when you’re done you just yank it out and throw it away. No clean up. Hiyo!

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 12, 2011, 3:58 pm

        YES! This is exactly what I said. Or if they’re too pricey, get some good quality condoms from a sex shop: Durex Skyn (made of neoprene), Kimono, Beyond 7, Hardcover…..all high quality and super thin.

        Also: Lube. Lots and lots of good quality lube that doesn’t have glycerin (which promotes yeast infections) or nonoxyl-9, which is a spermicide that can be incredibly irritating. Seriously, lube is the shit.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 12, 2011, 3:59 pm

        whoops, keep saying “neoprene” when I clearly mean “nitrile”.

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      • JK

        JK December 13, 2011, 12:17 pm

        Thanks for clarifying, I was imagining little wetsuit condoms 😀

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 13, 2011, 1:11 pm

        Oh man, those would be the worst condoms ever!

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      • avatar

        Allie December 12, 2011, 4:41 pm

        I don’t work for the company, but I do work in family planning, and I’ve had training on the FC2. From what I understand, there is still some loss of sensation, but it’s definitely less than with the male condom. The no-cleanup is a real boost, and it also has an outer ring, which, for some women, sits on the clitoris and causes increased sensation for the woman. However, LW’s partner may not care about that. Oh, and they are much, much less expensive than the original Female Condoms. I don’t know the pricing, but, from what I understand, they are only slightly more expensive than latex male condoms.

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  • avatar

    Mwalt December 12, 2011, 1:33 pm

    I am so sorry you are having this health issue. What’s really tough is that you’re seeing this condom issue just as black and white as your boyfriend is. He doesn’t like using condoms, and will probably not be OK with using them forever, all the while you do NOT like getting UTI’s.

    Surely there is a way to come up with a mutual purpose here. Surely, condom use is NOT the only way to prevent UTI’s. What if there was another solution that would make him happy in bed and keep you healthy? I would go see another doctor and ask very directly what else is an option. Because, let’s face it, sex is a HUGE deal, and if he’s huffy and argumentative about it every time, the sex itself will not be enjoyable, and will start to effect your relationship.

    He’s not being unreasonable. He wants to be able to enjoy sex the way he wants it. That’s not a bad thing. You aren’t being unreasonable either. You want to be able to stay healthy.

    If you love each other, you can explore other options. But you both have to be willing to be flexible.

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  • avatar

    *HmC* December 12, 2011, 1:37 pm

    I had chronic UTI’s when I first became sexually active, and what solved them for me was simply going pee immediately after sex. Something about flushing out the bacteria or whatever… I’m not a doctor so I don’t know the exact reason. But I do know that for me, it worked 100%. Cranberry juice treats the (horrible!) symptoms, but the going to the bathroom thing is what cured me.

    So, now that we’ve got that out of the way and hopefully you won’t keep getting UTI’s, LW… your boyfriend is acting like an insensitive asshole. Your health problems, particularly ones that he is basically causing, should be of utmost concern to him. Preventing your pain should be a top priority for him, not ensuring that his dick experiences enhanced sensation. Anyone who gets pissy at you and angrily pressures you to go sans condom against your wishes, for whatever reason, is a child that has a lot to learn about sex and relationships.

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  • avatar

    eelizg23 December 12, 2011, 1:42 pm

    So if you’re constantly getting infections from sex without condoms, you’re constantly having to go on antibiotics, right? And antibiotics render hormonal birth control ineffective, so you would have to use condoms anyway, wouldn’t you? I do suggest you try and figure out a way to get a handle on the situation, but I’m saying that for your benefit. Sounds like your dude is kind of a prick.

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  • avatar

    Colleen December 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

    If you want this relationship to last, it might be a good idea to take your boyfriend along to your next doctor’s appointment or to see a doctor or therapist specializing in sexual health. If you’re currently seeing a general practitioner, get a referral to someone who has more expertise in sexual issues. She/he could help your boyfriend understand this as the medical issue it is, and might also be able to offer some other advice to help you enjoy sex while avoiding UTIs.

    I have been in a similar situation with my partner (though my challenge was vaginismus), and I can tell you that we avoided really facing the issue for way too long, and now it’s causing problems. I know that just because your partner doesn’t cope well with this particular issue doesn’t mean he’s a selfish jerk in all aspects of your relationship… he’s just not that great at being a sexual partner. A third party can really help because you’ll both walk away feeling understood and validated, while gaining some sexual/medical education and improving your communication skills.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey December 12, 2011, 1:49 pm

      Second the going to see a specialist. I stopped going to the regular doctor and started going to a urologist – they definitely have a better handle on UTIs!

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      • avatar

        Turtledove December 12, 2011, 4:35 pm

        I used to get frequent UTIs when I was in college, so I definitely feel the LW’s pain. That said, it shouldn’t be “condoms or bust.” True she is having a serious health problem and her boyfriend should be sensitive to that, but I don’t get the sense that she’s done everything she can do to aid herself and is just relying on condom usage as a band-aid. If that’s the case, then I can definitely see where the boyfriend’s frustration is coming from.

        What the LW needs to do is get an appointment with a good urologist who can culture her urine, do a few ultra-sounds and help her get to the bottom of what exactly is causing her frequent UTIs. If it is due solely to friction of sex, then a good lube should serve as well as condoms. If it’s poor hygiene on either hers or her boyfriend’s part, that is also easily discoverable and easily fixed. If it’s something like a blockage of the urethra, then that’s probably something that is good to figure out sooner rather than later. There are a myriad of different causes for frequent UTIs and the LW owes it to both herself and her boyfriend to at least try to figure out what is going on before saying that it’s condom wear forever or nothing.

        Also, a perk of going to a urologist over a regular doctor for frequent UTIs– when I would get a UTI, since I was under treatment for frequent UTIs, my urologist would call in a prescription for treatment and wait until the next day to have me come in for an office visit. I cannot tell you how nice it was not to have to drive over there, wait in the office, do a urine test, wait some more etc with a raging UTI. Waiting anywhere when you feel like you need to pee every 3.2 seconds is torture. Instead I got to wait until a day after I’d started treatment so it wasn’t quite so painful. My urologist’s office was also a lot more sensitive to the discomfort that I was suffering and made allowances for it.

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 9:38 pm

        i saw it as the condoms are the bandaid as she is searching out other options….. which i really hope is happening, because i would hope someone wouldnt want to investigate it further and try to get down to the real cause, if it is in fact something that can be treated or cured.

        but unti then? come dude, just put on a condom…

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  • avatar

    Meredith December 12, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I think he should suck it up and wear the condoms, but in the meantime please do not stop looking for an alternative means to eliminating the UTI’s. I used to get them constantly in college. At least once a month for over 5 years. So I am very sympathetic to your pain. The peeing after sex (like 30 seconds after, if I wait longer I’ll get a uti) is key, always drinking tons of water, only washing with a rag and warm water on certain lady parts, never douching, never use scented sanitary products, no bubble baths, don’t stay in wet bathing suits–these are just a few things you should definitely try if you don’t already. Also talk to your dr about getting a referal to a urologist. They can put you on a low daily dose of preventative anti biotics. I do feel your bf is being unreasonable but he’s probably balking at the idea of having to do something for the duration of yalls relationship that significantly deminishes his pleasure. If you look at it that way, I can kind of see why he’s upset (but he still needs to wear a condom until you can get this under control!)

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  • avatar

    John Rohan December 12, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Wow, so let me recap these responses. He’s a “jerk”, an “asshole”, a “prick” an “ass”, “unreasonable”, “immature”, and “selfish”. Did I miss one? It is a given is that in any advice column dominated by women, “dump the jerk!” is the favorite advice for nearly any situation. Like a leather belt, it goes with any occasion.

    Given that he’s already been using them for months, according to this letter, it’s not fair to simply paint this guy as someone who cares nothing for his partners needs. I’m assuming he went in thinking the condoms were a temporary thing, and she is saying they are permanent for the foreseeable future. So maybe you can understand his frustration a little. It’s also possible that he simply isn’t convinced that un-condomed sex is the cause of this, and he could be right on that.

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    • avatar

      MissDre December 12, 2011, 2:00 pm

      For what it’s worth, I agree with you.

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      • avatar

        LolaBeans December 12, 2011, 2:16 pm

        me too.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee December 12, 2011, 2:17 pm

        I agree also. I’m sure he cares, but is frustrated. Is that immature? Probably, but that doesn’t make him a “jerk” or an “asshole”. Most guys (sorry to generalize but it’s true) don’t understand the complexities of being a woman. I can’t count the number of times I had to explain to my now husband the complicated stuff we go through. Maybe the LW wasn’t being the most thorough communicator when she told him this, so his reaction was equal to hers. We really don’t know. My best advice would be to schedule an appointment with a urologist and bring him along. That way someone way more qualified than any of us can talk to you BOTH about your needs.

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      • avatar

        Kerrycontrary December 12, 2011, 3:40 pm

        haha unrelated to this letter, but I think its so funny the body part issues women have to explain to men. Or “how does a tampon work”. My favorite discussion in the past year was “where do women pee out of? Their vagina?”

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      • mandalee

        mandalee December 12, 2011, 4:02 pm

        Yeah, it blows my mind. My husband was a bit of a man whore before he met me too and was raised by his mom and sister. I thought someone would have dropped knowledge on him at some point lol I was also asked how women pee, I was like really??

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    • landygirl

      Landygirl December 12, 2011, 2:20 pm

      You’re a guy so of course you’ll be on the guys’s side. You aren’t unbiased in your opinion either. I have no opinion of this guy either way, but I certainly wouldn’t want to inflict pain on my partner in any way if it could be prevented by using a condom.

      I think sex with a condom is probably better than no sex at all and if it’s a dealbreaker for him then they aren’t right for each other in the first place. For some reason, sex is the end all, be all to relationships for many people and if so, they should be with someone who shares their viewpoint instead of trying to convince their current partner to change to accomodate their desires.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan December 12, 2011, 7:12 pm

        Actually, I’m not on either “side” here, and I made that pretty plain earlier.

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    • avatar

      Mel December 12, 2011, 2:36 pm

      You’re right on that he might not know that “No condoms = infection”. But the knee-jerk reaction is to call him a prick, since it’s likely that lots of women know how the pain of an UTI feels (it’s not rare) and the letter implies that he simply doesn’t care about his girlfriend’s health.

      If “No condoms = infection” the boyfriend should be let known that “No condoms = infection”. Based on his reaction to that we may call him a prick some more, or apologize. Deal?

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    • Tracey

      Tracey December 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

      It’s not dumping on him in this case. This is a matter of her health. Ongoing UTIs can lead to all sorts of long term complications for her. If he can’t understand that, then they need to end things.

      On the other side of the coin, he’s told her he does not like using condoms. The dulled sensations are not pleasurable for him and if sex is not pleasurable, then that’s going to lead to all sorts of long term problems for their relationship. She needs to understand this, too.

      This sounds like an extreme and unfortunate case of sexual incompatibility. That said, a partner’s physical health trumps a partner’s sexual pleasure, IMO.

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    • avatar

      Jiggs December 12, 2011, 3:00 pm

      Yes, okay, he has been using them. But the LW describes him as “always huffy and argumentative” about it, so we know he’s making it clear to her It’s a Big Inconvenience And He Deserves a Medal Here, People. That’s more than a little inconsiderate, especially considering the LW is taking this action because she has to, not because she’s arbitrarily decided condoms are super awesome. I understand he may be frustrated with the situation but that’s an immature and unproductive way to deal with it.

      “It’s also possible that he simply isn’t convinced that un-condomed sex is the cause of this, and he could be right on that.” This is the LW’s medical advice from her doctor, which I am going to grant higher status than her boyfriend’s imaginary health theories (since we’re not even sure this is his reason.) Also, they’ve only been trying it out a few months, so there’s not enough information to rule either way. If they’d been doing it 6 months or a year with no change in UTI frequency then yes, it’s obviously not working and you have grounds to believe that.

      I have health issues that prevent me from using hormonal birth control. Prior to this I was in a relationship for two years in a “she uses the pill” type of birth control situation. Afterward I was in the same relationship but now a “he uses a condom” birth control situation. Was it ideal for my partner? Hell no. He’s not the hugest condom fan and I don’t blame him for that at all. It was definitely a bit difficult to adjust. But ultimately, my health issues weren’t going to go away, so it was either welcome to the new normal or MOA. He chose new normal. I think the LW’s boyfriend has the same choice now. There’s no point in staying in this relationship pulling a hissy every time he has to be considerate to the LW’s health issues. Either he can deal with it or he can’t. I don’t think it makes the BF a bad person to not want this kind of sex life, but it definitely doesn’t make him a good person to stay with LW and take his frustration out on her for something she can’t control.

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 9:51 pm

        thats so true- there is a HUGE difference between “he has been using them for months” and “he has been huffy and argumentative about using them for months”

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  • avatar

    OneSpiritEternal December 12, 2011, 2:00 pm

    There are things the LW can do to PREVENT Urinary Tract Infections. The information provided below does not, of course, take into account the potential other red flag here.

    LW, think hard about other challenges you’ve faced with your boyfriend. Does he ALWAYS put himself first, or is he usually considerate of you and your feelings? And ask yourself the same questions you’d ask him. Answer HONESTLY, not the way you want to be or think you are. If he always puts himself first, there’s no relationship. How about you? Do you always put yourself first, or have you compromised with him on past issues to a solution that was mutually satisfactory? Without the ability to see the other person’s point of view, or at least TRY to see it, there’s no way to consider the relationship mature, bot BOTH people have to do this. Not just one.

    Good luck, LW. Here are prevention tips taken from WebMD:
    * Drink plenty of water and other liquids each day. This helps ensure that you urinate frequently, which flushes bacteria from your urinary tract.
    * Urinate when you have the urge. Don’t hold your urine for a long time.
    * Avoid constipation.
    * Ask your doctor about taking methenamine to prevent recurrent UTIs.
    * Ask your doctor about taking antibiotics to prevent recurrent UTIs.

    Prevention tips for women
    *****Urinate immediately after sexual intercourse.***** This is the BEST PROTECTION women have against UTIs, because it helps prevent bacteria from moving into the urethra.
    * Avoid using condoms coated with spermicide or a diaphragm for birth control if your doctor believes they are causing you to get UTIs.
    * Change sanitary napkins often.
    * Avoid douches, feminine hygiene sprays, and other feminine hygiene products with deodorant. These can change the normal balance of organisms that help prevent infection.
    * Wipe from front to back after using the toilet to avoid spreading bacteria from your anus to your urinary tract.
    * Try cranberry products like pure cranberry juice, cranberry extract, or cranberry pills.
    *******If you get UTIs often, ask your doctor about taking antibiotics right after sexual intercourse to prevent recurrent UTIs.*******

    Prevention tip for men
    **Keep the tip of your penis clean, especially if you are uncircumcised. The foreskin can trap bacteria, which can then get into the urinary tract and cause infection.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster December 12, 2011, 2:01 pm

    I nearly laughed out loud when I read this letter. Maniacal laughter. Oh irony. I am you. I have a fucking UTI right now. The past two years their frequency has lessened by more than half. I’m down to about 1-2 a year, and I’m 26. As I’m sure you know, some women are just prone to them. The general belief is that because women have a shorter urethra than men, we’re more likely to get bacteria in there. And some women have even shorter urethra’s than other women. That’s you and I, sweetheart. Aren’t we lucky?
    LW, I’m just going to tell you some things that have worked for me because I –literally– feel for you. This doesn’t help with the condom situation, but as soon as I went off hormonal birth control I didn’t get another UTI for an entire blissful year. Maybe you could try a different BC? Or different condoms? This one made a HUGE difference too: I started using a menstrual cup instead of tampons and pads. Cranberry pills. And organic, unsweetened cranberry juice (it taste like the devil’s piss, but it’s worth it). Of course, pee right after sex, and before too. I’ve been showering right after for a while, but this time around my doctor said to be careful with that. If you use soap in the area it can sometimes push the bacteria into your urethra. Use only unscented hypoallergenic soap on your vagina. There is also a one dose antibiotic prescribed to women with UTI frequency and it’s taken every time you have sex. Your doctor can prescribe it to you. This I have not done (thank the Lord), but there’s also surgery to widen the urethra. It makes me shudder just thinking about it, but it’s an option. The last thing I know is not an option for everyone, and likely not for you. Condoms made my UTIs more frequent. My boyfriend and I use the withdrawal method. We’ve been doing it successfully for about 5 years. He always washes himself before we have sex. He knows it’s better than me being in agonizing pain and out of commission for vaginal sex for weeks at a time. We are also on the same page about having a child if I do get pregnant. We plan on getting married soon, are financially and emotionally secure enough and would do some snipping afterwards.
    Also- I only read a few of the comments above, but my blood was absolutely boiling at the few people who think her boyfriend has even the most rickety leg to stand on. He is being an absolute selfish brat. Suck it up! Try different condoms! A couple people have mentioned how painful UTIs can be- I think it’s one of those things you cannot possibly understand until you experience it- like childbirth. It’s not like a cold, or a bad rash. It’s fucking agony sometimes- especially if you’re body says, “haha antibiotics, fuck you.” And that Uristat stuff is a placebo that makes me pee orange. And if you can’t get rid of the UTI, welcome to bladder infection land! And if you can’t get rid of that you wind up passing out at the 59th Street subway station, vomiting in front of strangers, and sitting in St. Luke’s with a kidney infection while you miss work at your hourly independent contractor 9-5. And by ‘you’ I mean ‘me’. So when that happens to you and you’re like, “oh but that was so fun I want to do it again and again!” only then can you have sympathy for her bratty boyfriend. /rant over

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    • avatar

      MissDre December 12, 2011, 2:11 pm

      I agreed with John Rohan and I agree with you too. I guess my position is, I can see this from both the guy’s side and the girl’s side (yes, I’ve had UTI’s before so I know how it feels) and I think they just need to talk it out and keep trying different methods until the find a compromise that works.

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    • avatar

      ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 2:15 pm

      That rant was a perfect description of what it’s really like. So until someone has been through it they have no way of knowing the pain. I have only ever had one and it wasn’t even a full-blown UTI because I caught it so soon and even in the early stages I was like what the fuck is this? Am I dying? Is my liver on fire and the fire is trying to escape through my urinary tract?

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      • avatar

        demoiselle December 13, 2011, 9:51 am

        Yes, I remember spending hours sobbing in the bathroom in agony before I could get a cab to get me to the ER….

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    • avatar

      John Rohan December 12, 2011, 2:18 pm

      my blood was absolutely boiling at the few people who think her boyfriend has even the most rickety leg to stand on.

      That’s only if you view this entire situation as entirely him against her, winner take all. But this isn’t a contest with a prize at the end. Maybe your “boiling blood” isn’t letting you see that. NO ONE in this entire forum has said that she doesn’t have a real concern here. And she sure as hell shouldn’t have sex without a condom if she doesn’t want to. But this is a couple, not one person. It’s his sex life too, and if he doesn’t want condoms the rest of his life, he doesn’t want them. It might mean they give up their sex life, or move on, or whatever. But it also doesn’t mean that he’s some cartoon villian twirling his moustache and out to cause the woman as much pain as possible.

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      • avatar

        Colleen December 12, 2011, 2:35 pm

        I actually give the guy some credit for speaking up about his needs. Sure, maybe he hasn’t gone about it in the best way (we don’t know) and she quite possibly hasn’t communicated her needs in the best way either. But at least they’re both being honest. Now they need to approach it as a “we both want a good sex life; how can we get there?” instead of, “you are out to hurt me.” Sex involves two people; therefore this is a two-person problem that requires both partners to seek the best solution.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 12, 2011, 2:40 pm

        This whole “but it’s their plan to use condoms for all eternity” argument is just nonsense. As others and myself have mentioned, UTIs lessen as you get older and there are other options out there to help prevent them. My boiling blood is because his sacrificing by using condoms right now is most certainly less of a sacrifice than her risking her health. Using condoms is not going to destroy his sex life. Getting constant UTIs WILL destroy hers. And if the relationship is not worth it to him to wait a few years for her body to change, and for her to learn new preventive solutions, then what’s the point of sacrificing her health for someone who won’t be with her years down the line? If he’s throwing this much of a hissy fit now, what else will he throw a hissy fit over? If that’s the case then he’s not worth having as a partner and better she knows now than later.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 3:13 pm

        I mentioned it before but maybe it’s worth mentioning again. His total lack of regard for her health concerns are frightening. If she gets cancer and can’t have sex because of the side effects of chemo will he leave her then too…because it’s his sex life at stake?

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      • avatar

        the other guy December 12, 2011, 9:03 pm

        “His total lack of regard for her health concerns are frightening.” – call bull $hit

        He wears the condoms, hates them but wears them, what part is ‘total lack of regard’??

        So he is the bad guy for wanting to know if it will ever end?

        By the BF complaining it has prompted the LW to write in and there have been several suggestions posted here that might solve the problem. Seriously, explain how finding out about possible solutions a bad thing?

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 9:56 pm

        like i said above, there is a total difference between wearing them, and wearing them while being “huffy and argumentative” about it.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 10:23 pm

        Yeah the fact that he has already been bitching about it for months is what leads me to believe he is lacking a total disregard for her health. Let me make this even more clear with all caps

        WHAT THE FUCK ABOUT HIS DESIRE TO NOT WEAR A CONDOM (WHICH AS SOMEONE POINTED OUT IS LIKE 1/1000TH OF AN INCH THICK) SHOULD EVER TRUMP HER EXCRUTIATING REOCCURING PAIN????

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      • avatar

        Something More December 12, 2011, 3:17 pm

        “And if the relationship is not worth it to him to wait …. for her to learn new preventive solutions,”

        Why can’t she just do this NOW and save them both the trouble?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 13, 2011, 10:24 am

        So last night I went home and asked my boyfriend this, “Hypothetically, if using condoms would prevent me from getting UTIs would you do it for the foreseeable future?” He said yes without even pausing. So I went on “What if you had to do it forever?” He said yes again. And we haven’t used condoms in years. I said “Seriously?” He laughed. “Why do you sound so surprised? Did you think I would say no?” I then told him about reading this post yesterday. He was, of course, relieved I wasn’t actually asking him to use condoms because they do reduce his pleasure by quite a bit, but my point is- LW’s boyfriend needs to suck it up. And if he can’t. Well, LW, there are others out there who will take your health conditions seriously.

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      • avatar

        Kristen December 15, 2011, 12:42 am

        I asked my boyfriend the same thing and told him about this LW’s boyfriend. His exact response: Are you serious? What a douche hole.

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    • ScrambledMegss

      ScrambledMegs December 12, 2011, 2:56 pm

      I have one right now too and had the same thought when I opened up DW today haha, go us..

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster December 12, 2011, 3:14 pm

        Lol. It’s a UTI party. Let’s do shots of all natural cranberry juice with no added sugar!

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster December 12, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Other things I forgot: no coffee or alcohol when you have one and limit their ingestion in between.
    Also- this is weird, but a heating pad between the legs can sometimes make the pain lessen for me, but that is NOT medical advice.

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  • avatar

    MiMi December 12, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Is there any room for you to work with your boyfriend on this? If friction is the problem, how about generous use of a silicone lube, like Pur Original? How about mostly going with a different position – like doggie-style – to reduce direct contact with your urethra? If his action is vigorous (and irritating to your delicate tissues), can you two go sweet and slow instead? Think about both your hygiene habits if bacteria are a concern, etc.
    It would be worthwhile for you to actively explore all possible options together – to have your boyfriend understand that you are working with him in finding a way that both of your needs can be addressed in this situation. It may not be perfect for him or perfect for you in the end, but at least you worked on it together and came to a mutual decision, instead of the current situation in which a dictate has been handed down and he’s been given no option or say. Good luck!

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  • avatar

    CJnBoston December 12, 2011, 2:19 pm

    LW, I had issues with almost constant UTIs until about a year ago. Then, my new OB-GYN said it might not actually be just straight UTIs, and it might be something called Interstitial Cystitis. It sounds incredibly scary, but it’s not. But, the kicker is, almost all the things you do to get rid of normal UTIs are *horrible* for IC (i.e. taking cranberry pills). If your doctor has not brought this up, as no one did to me for 29 years, it might be a question to ask. I used to get UTIs with every new partner every time for about 6 months, and with proper diet and treatment they’ve stopped altogether.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny December 12, 2011, 2:22 pm

    I would also say that all of the fun stuff does not have to happen with a condom on … if you don’t have serious issues with it I would consider doubling up on the oral. Penetration is fun but you can always peel off the plastic and finish up the other way.

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    • Tracey

      Tracey December 12, 2011, 2:43 pm

      Exactly. LW, is your boyfriend open to discussion on other forms of satisfaction? If he is, then you’ve got a good starting point for experimenting and play. You might want to check with your doctor or an expert in UTIs for advice on how to proceed – what to avoid and what to try – just to make sure play time doesn’t result in another UTI. If your boyfriend’s not willing, then it’s time to MOA.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom December 12, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Many menopausal and peri-menopausal women have the same problem and there is alot of information. This link has lots of information, just skip to the section on bladder problems.
    http://www.shareguide.com/Menopause.html Check out the information on using estriol to cure cytitis. She gives a pharmacy you can use but you can also check out iherb.com. They have excellent service and excellent products.

    I wonder if birth control pills change the natural hormone levels in the body enough to cause problems like this and some women probably naturally have varying levels of hormones that can cause problems.

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  • thatswhat-she

    Meg December 12, 2011, 2:32 pm

    I agree with everyone that said that the boyfriend should be putting her medical concerns ahead of her discomfort. Heck, when I went back on the pill all it did was make me depressed, but as soon as I told my boyfriend I didn’t want to live like that, he said “ok, back to condoms then!” and that was that.

    I will say, though, that if you eventually want kids you will probably have to figure out another long-term solution. So I guess my short advice is 1) your boyfriend needs to be patient because using condoms, while slightly annoying, is no where near as bad as frequent UTIs and 2) keep working with your doctor to figure out something longer-term.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey December 12, 2011, 2:40 pm

    “Am I missing something? I feel like he’s being completely unreasonable. Using condoms isn’t that big of a deal, considering the excruciating pain it saves me. I don’t know how to resolve this.”

    I do. If he can’t be considerate of your health, then you need to dump him. There are plenty of ways you two can enjoy each other physically, but the idea that he’s aware of your health problems and still puts his wants first is selfish, callow, and a sign of things to come in your relationship going forward. Get yourself healthy and get yourself a new guy.

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  • avatar

    Jiggs December 12, 2011, 2:40 pm

    If your boyfriend really just can’t do without skin-to-skin contact, and he just can’t resign himself to it even though it ultimately causes you horrendous pain, you can let him know that his hand is always available. Try out some of the super-thin condoms which may provide better sensation. If he still can’t stop being a whiny bitchface about it, MOA. Your partner’s physical and psychological health is way more important than not having to wrap it. I appreciate that it doesn’t feel as good, but COME ON. We’re talking slightly reduced pleasure versus hideous pain. If going bareback with you caused his penis to feel like it was being dragged over a bed of hot nails a few times a year I bet he’d have a different opinion.

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  • theattack

    theattack December 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

    From someone who used to have UTIs way more frequently than 5 times a year, I seriously doubt your issue is going to be solved by using condoms. In fact, condoms can actually CAUSE UTIs in many women. Mine considerably dropped when I stopped using them. The biggest factor though, is to urinate before and after sex. Like, immediately. It’s not sexy, but it will probably fix your problem. I try to pee frequently so that I’ll be ready, especially if my bf and I are alone. Speaking of peeing, you should never go very long without urinating, and you should never try to hold it in. That is a huge contributor to these infections. That means to never go to bed without completely emptying your bladder. Leave about thirty minutes before bed where you don’t drink anything. Also, drinking cranberry juice itself is more effective than taking cranberry pills. Never let your boyfriend touch you sexually if his hands aren’t clean. This is another very common way to spread bacteria. You can tell him this ahead of time in a non-sexual situation so that you’re not inspecting his hands during sex. And I don’t know what sort of sexual actions you guys participate in, but be careful not to spread bacteria by moving from one area to another. For example, don’t have anal sex and then move to your vagina or clitoris afterward. That requires at least changing a condom, and really he should take a shower in between. In fact, sometimes moving from your vagina to your clitoris with his penis can spread bacteria too. Finally, have you considered that you might have a yeast infection? People with untreated yeast infections can easily have that bacteria spread to their urethra and cause a UTI.

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    • avatar

      Something More December 12, 2011, 3:12 pm

      I agree with you a million billion.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny December 12, 2011, 3:16 pm

      I second the yeast infection thing, especially if you’ve been on antibiotics for the uti – they kill the bacteria which keep the yeast at bay, and it can create a vicious cycle. I always get one whenever I’m on antibiotics.

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      • avatar

        mf December 12, 2011, 4:46 pm

        Yup. A few years ago, I went on antibiotics for the worst UTI of my life. As soon as the UTI cleared up, I got yeast infection because of the antibiotics. Now I’m really careful about peeing after sex, and thankfully I haven’t either kind of infection since.

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    • theattack

      theattack December 12, 2011, 4:05 pm

      Oh also, this is a gross thing to talk about, but… Wipe front to back, not back to front. Think about how that can spread bacteria. Gross…

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 4:13 pm

        And one more thing… Alcohol & caffeine will not cause UTIs or make them worse, but they will make them more painful. They’re irritants for your urinary tract. Anything very acidic will also be, like orange juice. Cranberry juice is of course acidic as well, but the benefits of cranberry juice outweigh it. You can continue to take your cranberry pills if you really want to, but 100% juice is better. Cranberry does not cure a UTI though. It only makes it less painful. Also, you need to drink a freaking ton of fluids. See, bacteria is building up in your urethra during a UTI. You need to do several things here. 1) Prevent UTIs by keeping outside bacteria away. 2) Make them less painful by drinking cranberry juice, avoiding irritants like alcohol, caffeine, and orange juice. 3) Kill the bacteria with antibiotics. 4) Eat pro-biotic yogurt while taking the antibiotics to prevent yeast infections. Antibiotics kill off good bacteria in the vagina, allowing the “bad” bacteria to take over. You need the probiotic yogurt to balance that out and prevent yeast infections. Preventing yeast infections may help you prevent UTIs too. 5) Flush out bacteria by drinking a ton of liquid and peeing frequently. One of the reasons you get frequent urges to urinate is because your body is telling you that you need to flush out that bacteria. Constantly drink liquid. Drink so much liquid that you are actually peeing everytime you try to go. The last UTI I had, I drank about three gallons of liquid a day. About half of it was cranberry juice and half was water. Do that.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 4:16 pm

        And because I can’t stop making comments, do not stop taking your antibiotics early! Take the full bottle that is prescribed to you! If you stop just because you feel better, you could be leaving a few bacteria in there to reproduce and come back with a new infection soon after. And guess what? By taking those antibiotics without killing everything, you just made the bacteria resistant to the medicine. Take ALL of your pills. If you don’t, you could get a kidney infection. My great grandfather died because he had a bladder infection, didn’t take his pills, got a kidney infection, and died. Do not take this lightly.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 4:29 pm

        AND don’t ever use pads. Ever. Ever. Use tampons and change them frequently, or use a menstrual cup. Seriously, every single freaking time I use a pad I get a UTI. Do not do it.

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      • Budj

        Budj December 12, 2011, 4:34 pm

        The concept of a pad is weird to me….I mean…you sit there…with bloody blood blood like a diaper in your crotch all day….to me that is just asking for some sort of infection. Now that I have that image in my head….back to work.

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      • avatar

        savannah December 12, 2011, 11:33 pm

        Haha. this is hilarious. It’s absorbent! The blood is not just chillin there until you change your pad. It gets sucked up pretty well!

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 1:44 am

        It’s absorbent to the extent that it’s not sloshing around, but it’s still right up against your skin! Gross!

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      • Budj

        Budj December 13, 2011, 10:10 am

        Haha – obviously I am NOT educated enough.

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      • avatar

        mf December 12, 2011, 4:48 pm

        Actually, tampons can encourage infection in some women. The LW should try using both, maybe only pads one month and only tampons the next, to see how she reacts to them.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 4:58 pm

        Really? I believe you but I’ve never heard of that. With pads, you’re just sitting in a pile of blood and bacteria. Tampons keep that stuff away for the most part if they’re changed regularly. I don’t get how they would logically make UTIs worse, but she should definitely find out what works for her. s`

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 5:00 pm

        Oops… that s` is only there because my parents’ new puppy is freaking out and jumping on my computer.

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      • avatar

        Matcha December 12, 2011, 5:34 pm

        I reasoned that the old blood is outside your body pulled into the pad, whereas with a tampon it’s hanging around inside you at body temperature. Either way, I think as long as they’re changed often it should be okay?

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    • avatar

      Jiggs December 12, 2011, 5:51 pm

      If she does have a YI, girl keep that condom on! That shit can pass back and forth between partners forever.

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  • avatar

    sunflour December 12, 2011, 3:01 pm

    Hello,
    Longtime reader but never a poster. So here’s my thoughts.
    My fiance doesn’t want to wear condoms either. He thinks his pleasure is diminished while wearing them. That being said I was on birth control pills for 3 years before I decided to go off them and had a copper IUD inserted. I didn’t like the side effects. Because of the BCP’s causing dryness we have to use lube all the time. Less and less since I’ve been off the pill. But back when we were totally in the dark (we each other’s first) we used BCP and condoms and boy did it hurt. All that friction. Eventually we stopped using condoms. My suggestions in all this is maybe lube will help. I’ve noticed irritation because of the condoms and dryness. I could be all wrong about what is happening to you, this was just my experience and maybe you don’t need it. But using lube cut down on that friction and sex was no longer painful for me. Also shower beforehand and shower afterwards. Make certain he showers as well. I’ve noticed some irritation if my fiance hadn’t showered yet that day. Doesn’t have to be a long shower just take the time to rinse that “area” off. It hinders a spontaneous moment but in my opinion it beats wearing that condom or having a UTI (assuming it works 😉 )I haven’t had any UTI’s in quite awhile. Also urinate before and after even if you don’t have a strong urgency. The idea is to flush out the bacteria. But seriously if its causing you pain your bf should be willing to do what it takes to prevent that. I can see from his side that he doesn’t want to wear condoms forever. And hopefully he won’t have to.

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  • avatar

    Something More December 12, 2011, 3:10 pm

    So, there a more then just a few way to help prevent UTIs and I think that is a problem here. Everyone is up in arms because this guy doesn’t want to give up some sensation when he and LW get it on. I get that. He should be more supportive, medical reason, blah blah blah. However, there are more ways SHE can help prevent UTIs than just taking some cranberry pills. I am going to assume that besides the whole condom fiasco, the cranberry pills are the only thing she is doing for her UTIs.

    http://www.everydayhealth.com/urinary-tract-infections/the-link-between-utis-and-sex.aspx

    “5 Ways to Prevent UTIs Associated With Sex : You don’t have to stop having sex to prevent UTIs. Here are some steps you can take to minimize bacteria buildup and reduce your risk of getting UTIs from sex:

    1. Urinate before sex, and promptly after.
    2. Clean your genital and anal areas before and after sex.
    3. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water; this will help rid your urinary tract of bacteria.
    4. Don’t use a diaphragm or spermicide as your form of birth control.
    5. If your doctor recommends it, take a prescribed antibiotic after you have sex, or a daily antibiotic.”

    I drink whole milk. I think it ‘s delicious and great. If someone told me I had to drink skim milk for the forseeable future because this someone had a medical issue yet they weren’t doing everything they could to help themselves, well… let’s just say my cookies wouldn’t like that very much. So, maybe they should BOTH stop being selfish and get on some other options.

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    • avatar

      amber December 12, 2011, 3:23 pm

      the cranberry pills aren’t the only thing she’s doing for her UTIs though, she’s under the care of a doctor. so it’s not like she decided on her own to do these things. for all we know she has tried all of these things that we have been mentioning and none of them are working for her. what works for some people, doesn’t work for others. it may be that they’ve exhausted all possibilities and the doctor has suggested condom use. it might end up being the only thing that works for her, for now. considering the information we’ve been given it’s hard to know what all they have tried. one would hope her doctor would have imparted all of this information to her when she first began to be seen for this issue.

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      • avatar

        Something More December 12, 2011, 3:34 pm

        “…for all we know she has tried all of these things that we have been mentioning and none of them are working for her.”

        For all we know is only what she told us. She said, “My doctor told me to always use condoms to help prevent as much friction/skin-on-skin action as possible (I also take cranberry pills).”

        That’s why I assumed that’s all she has tried. If she had exhausted all her other options, don’t you think she would have mentioned that as well?

        Also, may I point out, that it’s not the friction that causes a UTI. It’s the increased possiblity of bacteria from an unwrapped penis that increases the probablilty of her getting a UTI. Maybe she should MOA… from her doctor.

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        amber December 12, 2011, 3:43 pm

        my point was that she didn’t just up and decide on her own to just take cranberry pills and do nothing else. and then tell her boyfriend he has to deal with it. she is seeing a doctor and taking his advice. maybe she does like mentioned above need to see a specialist or even a different doctor who is willing to try other things. but, to say that she isn’t trying when she’s getting medical care for the issue is unfair.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 12, 2011, 3:52 pm

        Ummmm, friction is actually part of the cause of a UTI. The friction of the penis rubbing against the walls of the vagina pushes bacteria into the urinary tract (the wall there is quite thin) and BAM! UTI. But obviously, that means there needs to be some foreign bacteria present, usually from the unwrapped penis. So penis and it’s bacteria + friction= UTI. Condoms keep the bacteria behind a barrier, although they do cause more friction.

        Everyone’s body is a unique ecosystem with unique bacterial colonization (seriously!) and sometimes, your bacteria and another person’s bacteria are simply not compatible. That may be the case with the LW and her BF. Regardless, she’s under the care of her doctor, who is a medical professional, and she should follow his advice.

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    Fabelle December 12, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I’m going to jump in here & say that I do see the boyfriend’s side. We don’t really have enough information to categorize him an unreasonable prick who doesn’t care about his girlfriend’s health. I’m not a fan of condoms– at all– and when I’m in a long-term, exclusive relationship I expect to NOT use them. I’m guessing the bf might not see how condoms prevent her from getting UTIs? Because honestly, I’d think it would be the opposite? I know everyone is different, but condoms tend to dry me out down there, which causes irritation that leads to a UTI. Going without is much more pleasant and comfortable.

    To the LW, I’m not sure what advice to give you to help deal with your bf, but here are some things I do when I start getting UTI symptoms:

    -Drink a lot of water. Like, drink enough so you feel it sloshing around in your stomach & then drink even more.
    -Cranberry juice/pills
    -No caffeine or alcohol
    If symptoms are severe, obviously see a doctor. But if I do all of the above for a day, I usually feel MUCH better by the next– the body is capable of flushing out bacteria on its own. And if you take anti-biotics too often, the effectiveness is really reduced.

    Also, like some others have said, ALWAYS pee after sex. And you feel at all burn-y down there or sore, don’t have sex (or anything) until you feel better.

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    • beenice

      ahlia December 12, 2011, 3:50 pm

      Seriously, cutting caffeine from my diet has helped so much!

      Reply Link
  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't December 12, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Female condoms, you guys:

    They are more expensive than regulars but they are thinner and not as restrictive to the dude and transmit more body heat and sensation to the lady. Also: Durex Skyn condoms, made of neoprene so again better for sensation and heat transfer.

    I hate how condoms feel (and smell, latex is gross). But seriously, this guy is being a jackass if he’s really getting all huffy EACH AND EVERY TIME he’s gotta put a condom on. Seriously, dude? Would you rather not have sex at all, then?

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  • ScrambledMegss

    ScrambledMegs December 12, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I agree with the majority here. I mean yeah, sex with condoms sucks but come on, what’s more important here?

    LW, if you haven’t given your bf the opportunity to really understand the severity of recurrent UTIs and the pain you are going through, then I would suggest as others have previously, and do so. Take him to the doctor with you, or have him do a little research of his own. Google-ing it alone will lead him to a million forums of women in torturous pain looking for some kind of relief. If after this he still has the same reaction towards condom use, then it’s time to consider other options. Hopefully, he’ll realize and understand what you’re going through every time it happens and how using condoms has helped, and that this likely will not be a lifelong issue.

    My boyfriend hates sex with condoms too, but given his reaction to my history with UTIs (I have one right now too!), I’m willing to bet he’d do it for the sake of my health. I don’t consider him the most compassionate person in the world by any means but he knows that I had never had an infection before dating him and therefore knows that the infections I’ve been having, to some degree, are caused by having sex with him. We’ve educated ourselves together and followed much of the hygienic and preventative advice that’s been given above but I still get them from time to time and when he sees me in pain, he gets ridiculously full of guilt, no matter how many times I tell him that it’s not his fault. I’ve started taking daily probiotics as a preventative measure as well which can be pretty pricey, and he refuses to let me pay for them and pays himself because it’s something that’s benefiting both of our sex lives and our relationship.

    I’m not saying your boyfriend should be doing the exact same thing, but it’s an example of the kind of compassion you should be getting from someone who loves you when you’re in this kind of pain.
    Wouldn’t you do the same?

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet December 12, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Listen, I once had recurring UTI’s. I thought I was going to have to cut out sex and alcohol in order to prevent them. Here’s what I do now- and have done for years- to keep myself UTI free:

    -Drink lots of water, especially while drinking alcohol
    -Drink cranberry juice every once in awhile (DO NOT RELY ON THE PILLS)
    -Pee before sex
    -Pee immediately after sex
    -Wipe from front to back (has to be said)

    Extremely easy and since I started doing every one of these things, I have not had an UTI. It’s been several years now. The cranberry pills are basically useless. The point of drinking pure cranberry juice is that it goes directly through your urinary tract to clear up the infection. Instead of condoms, make sure you and your boyfriend are fresh and clean before sex. Condoms can actually exacerbate the problem.

    Please, LW, do all of these things! Religiously! I know all of this has already been said, but it’s worth reiterating. UTI’s are the worst and there’s absolutely no reason you should have to deal with them anymore.

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    • beenice

      ahlia December 12, 2011, 3:45 pm

      I totally agree. Condoms made it worse for me! Sex in general will always carry a risk of UTI, but remaining diligent on the cranberry juice, water, hygiene and peeing before and after has made my problem go away.

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      • beenice

        ahlia December 12, 2011, 3:47 pm

        *also make sure you’re drinking 100% cranberry juice and not a ‘juice cocktail’ I like the Ocean Spray brand. I also eat a ton of bananas and yogurt/kefir. Really helps!

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      • theattack

        theattack December 12, 2011, 11:03 pm

        I’m almost certain that Ocean Spray is not 100% juice. At least I’ve never seen it 100% juice. I’ve only seen them make juice cocktail. I usually drink Northland. Their juice is always 100%, and it is incredibly powerful.

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  • avatar

    tbrucemom December 12, 2011, 3:44 pm

    I suffer from recurrent UTIs as well and I’m 50 and didn’t start getting them until the last 2-3 years. First, there are other ways to get them besides having sex and like others have said this has more to do with the woman’s body that the man wearing a condom. She needs to deal with this no matter who she’s with. My urologist gave me a script for antibotic therapy. I take 1/2-1 of an antibotic after I have sex and it’s enough to “wash” any bacteria away before a UTI can develop.

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    • avatar

      Matcha December 12, 2011, 3:56 pm

      That’s okay if she’s going to use condoms. But antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control, so I don’t think that’s a good solution for them.

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      • avatar

        Emma December 12, 2011, 4:27 pm

        Only some antibiotics can interfere with birth control, and not all birth control is affected.

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  • avatar

    mf December 12, 2011, 4:16 pm

    This might be TMI, but here are a few things that might help with your UTI issues. I haven’t read the rest of the comments, so some of these points may have already been mentioned:

    -Always pee before and after sex. Seriously, my doctor recommended this and it does help.
    -Drink plenty of water.
    -Probiotics can help boost the good bacteria down under, thereby controlling the bad bacteria.
    -Wear cotton underwear. This helps your lady parts breath. Likewise, try foregoing underwear at bed time.
    -Avoid tampons.

    As for your boyfriend problem, here’s your solution: get a new one. Preferably one who cares about your health.

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    • avatar

      mf December 12, 2011, 4:53 pm

      Also, it must be said: You should NOT have sex while you have a UTI. And you should wait to resume sex until you have completed a round of antibiotics and you get the all clear from your doctor.

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  • avatar

    Emma December 12, 2011, 4:21 pm

    He is being unreasonable in the sense that he is whining about it. I can understand that it would be frustrating to deal with this on a regular basis. You’re not being unreasonable for being annoyed at him for doing so.

    Having said that, I am a lady that hates condoms, and I wouldn’t want to have to have sex with them for the rest of my life. I’m on birth control and in a monogamous relationship, and having to wear condoms would be a serious downer. I like the intimacy of not wearing a condom. I can understand him being upset, but he should be bringing this up in a constructive way, in a calm conversation about maybe finding other solutions to your UTI issue, rather than getting pissed off every time he was to put a rubber on.

    My advice would be this: talk to your doctor, do some research, and see if there is any other way you can prevent UTIs. I haven’t had much of an issue with them, so I can’t really help you on that front, but I’m sure there are things that you haven’t tried that could help. Bathing right before and after sex could help (something I generally try to do anyway), and there are probably a few other things. Tell him that you’re looking into it. If you absolutely can’t find anything else that works, and he keeps being pissy about it, then explain to him that it’s for your health, and how painful it is. If he’s still pissy, tell him to hit the road. There’s a chance that the next guy you’re with won’t cause the same problem (the UTIs, I mean).

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  • avatar

    Schwinny December 12, 2011, 4:38 pm

    UTIs every month or every other month probably means that you have not really given the infection time to clear. Antibiotics get it started, but they attack all of the bacteria in your body, not just the cause of the infection. You need to give your body time to recover and get back to normal. The healthy bacteria that should be living in those parts of your body need time to re-establish themselves and be healthy, too. You may not need to use condoms for the rest of forever. You may be able to try to have sex without condoms again later, maybe a year or so of feeling healthy after you have cleared this latest infection.

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    • avatar

      Fabelle December 13, 2011, 9:02 am

      Thank you for saying this. Anti-biotics are not a long-term solution, and they shouldn’t really be the solution EVERY time either. They kill the infection, but also the body’s natural defense.

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  • avatar

    Sarah December 12, 2011, 5:30 pm

    Yay for TMI: while the plural of anecdote is not data, condoms made mine way worse. Maybe seek a second opinion?

    Reply Link
  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark December 12, 2011, 5:53 pm

    If he doesn’t want to use a condom — then don’t fuck him. Seriously. Far too many of you straight people are so reckless with protection it simply astounds me. IT BLOWS MY MIND!!! Heck, if my friends all behaved that way a good many of us would all be dead (having come of age at the height of the AIDS crisis.) But time and time again clueless straight people in my life have (Surprise! Surprise!) been saddled with babies they don’t want that sometimes even lead to marriages they REALLY don’t want.

    Stop the insanity. “Don’t be silly! Put a rubber on his willie!”

    That people even have to write in for advice on this simply blows my fucking mind. I mean, seriously. How FUCKING desperate are you to have a man in your life? Desperate enough to risk unwanted pregnancy and disease apparently. Oh, and now deal with unbelievable pain from infinitely repeated unnecessary UTIs… But hey, it’s all worth it. You’re in love!

    Gag. Barf. Vomit. WTF? I mean, seriously? Gloria Steinem would fucking weep.

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    • avatar

      LolaBeans December 12, 2011, 6:02 pm

      well, that’s a generalization if i ever saw one.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 12, 2011, 6:08 pm

        Well, when the world stops being flooded with unplanned pregnancies and equally unwanted babies, I’ll do my very best to stop making such woefully inaccurate generalizations…

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    • landygirl

      Landygirl December 12, 2011, 6:52 pm

      In my head I’m reading your post using Susan Powter’s voice.

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    • avatar

      John Rohan December 12, 2011, 7:28 pm

      I have an idea. How about reading the freaking letter before throwing a hissy fit here?

      1. Pregnancy is not the issue here. The woman is already on the pill. Has been for years.
      2. Disease is not the issue here, or at least it isn’t an issue for the LW. The couple is in a monogamous relationship.
      3. The issue is urinary tract infections, and her belief (and it seems her bf disagrees) that condoms help prevent it. A UTI is not a disease passed from one person to another.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 12, 2011, 7:35 pm

        Sorry, but “disease is not the issue here” is the MOST naive statement I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, you are ALWAYS at risk for disease, even if in a monogamous relationship.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan December 13, 2011, 1:33 am

        Caitie,

        I dont know what you were told growing up, but STDs can’t be spread except by sex, or in limited fashion through other intimate acts (like kissing). Not by toilet seats or any other such nonsense. So if the couple is really monogamous, pray tell, us, how are you at risk of disease?

        (There is rape, although I’m assuming if that happened, she wouldn’t want sex for awhile anyway)

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 1:43 am

        Yeah, I agree. If couples were tested beforehand, and they’re actually faithful to each other, this isn’t an issue. Diseases don’t just spontaneously generate. I can’t imagine being of that frame of mind and assuming that I could never really be safe. That’s pretty depressing.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 13, 2011, 4:57 am

        Right! Because EVERYBODY on the planet is so faithful and honest about who they fuck these days. Silly me…

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      • Budj

        Budj December 13, 2011, 10:13 am

        That realization is why I’m still single! haha.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

        I didn’t say everyone was faithful and honest. But I’m not going to live in constant fear of a committed partner cheating on me that I’ll insist on using condoms forever. That’s ridiculous.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 13, 2011, 7:57 pm

        I’m also don’t imagine condoms being part of my sex life forever, and have had condom-free sex in the context of a monogamous relationship, but it’s really dismissive and silly to just assume there is no risk of an STI, ever, even in a monogamous relationship. Shit happens.

        Also John: HPV can most certainly be spread through skin-to-genital contact that is NOT intercourse. So can herpes, rarely. But at this point I’m pretty sure you’re just trollin’ anyways.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 14, 2011, 12:59 am

        That’s why I said “…[if] they’re actually faithful…” Of course sometimes people cheat, and it can cause a lot of issues with diseases. If one of your friends tells you they are exclusive with another person, you (hopefully) don’t just assume that their relationship is actually full of infidelity. Why would you make that assumption about an LW if that issue doesn’t come up?

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 December 13, 2011, 3:27 pm

        Umm can’t you get some disease that can be passed on through sex from other sources, like needles?

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      • avatar

        Jess December 13, 2011, 2:51 am

        abstinence only sex education strikes again!

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 8:43 pm

        John – You should read the letter before you assume (wrongly) that her boyfriend doesn’t think that condoms will prevent her from getting UTI’s. Nowhere in the letter does the LW hint to that. Actually she states that they have been getting in fights about it, and even when he does wear a condom he is argumentative (read that as “an ass”) about it. The only reason he has is that he doesn’t like it. Again, only thinking of himself.

        BGM thank you. I hate it when guys have a pity party about having to wear a condom. Get over it, it’s 2011. And it’s not that big of a fucking deal.

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      • avatar

        SGMcG December 13, 2011, 5:24 am

        WOW! I have to vehemently disagree with the “Disease is not the issue here – or at least it isn’t an issue for the LW.” We’re dealing with a UTI here – just because the INFECTION is not communicable like an STD, does not make it any less of a health issue. The branch of medicine that focuses on infections and pathogens is “infectious disease medicine”. For all we know, the fact that she’s getting recurrent UTI’s may be symptomatic of a compromised immune system.

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 9:38 pm

      Oh dear lord, I’m actually full-on, 100% agreeing with you, BGM! THAT NEVER HAPPENS! I’m a little faint.

      I cannot like this enough. I nearly clapped. While I see why people are saying it, I’m a little disturbed that people think because there’s a medical exception to the rule, her reason for wanting to wear condoms is “better” than just plain ol’ not getting knocked the fuck up. If she wants to use condoms for whatever reason, be it UTIs, not getting pregnant, or because she thinks he might have some undisclosed STI, that is her right. Safety and health trump “it makes my dick feel 5% less awesome.” Sex is so much riskier on so many fronts when you’re the one on…the receiving end, I guess, although sex is never risk-free. I will give the boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s not being un-empathetic just to be a dick, but she needs a man who recognizes the necessity of condoms for her. If the boyfriend can’t do that without making her feel like shit, she needs a man who can. Guilting someone into taking a risk sexually that they aren’t comfortable taking is not okay, so he needs to either STFU or get out.

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 10:11 pm

        i complete agree with this…. wow

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        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 10:26 pm

        Wow thank you that is said personally.

        She shouldn’t even need a medical excuse to wear condoms. Maybe birth control messes with her hormones. Maybe she thinks the condoms make his dick 5% bigger and sex actually feels better for her. Maybe she really likes the scented ones.

        Since when do you need to have a signed affidavit verifying that condoms are medically necessary in your relationship?

        She should just be able to wear condoms instead of other forms of BC because she wants to.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 12, 2011, 10:27 pm

        Personally = perfectly.

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      • avatar

        Splash December 13, 2011, 11:37 am

        I agree with you…and with BGM – and that doesn’t happen usually for me either. He had a totally valid point though, and so do you. I didn’t really think about it in those terms, but it shouldn’t matter why she wants him to wear a condom. It’s her body – and if he does not like those rules of engagement, then he can choose to take his penis elsewhere.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray December 12, 2011, 10:38 pm

      I completely agree, BGM.

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    • avatar

      Schwinny December 13, 2011, 3:19 pm

      Thank you, bittergaymark! If I could like your comment 100 times, I would.

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  • avatar

    LittleLuWho December 12, 2011, 7:26 pm

    I agree with a large majority of the commenters above but wanted to throw in my own $.02 since I’ve had recurrent UTIs when I’m sexually active since I was 16 so I’d like to think I’m a pro at this topic.

    First of all, I personally haven’t found that using a condom has made a difference in whether or not I get a UTI so my fiance and I forego them since I’m on birth control. As it’s also been mentioned, however, antibiotics (including the ones you take for a UTI) can negate birth control so I tend to keep that in mind and we have a stash of unexpired condoms just in case. It kills a lot of spontaneity but if I think we’re going to have sex, I try to shower or at least take a good long pee beforehand and ask that he rinse off his junk before we go at it. I also make sure to pee within an hour of finishing (come on, cuddles are necessary, people) and I use a baby wipe to wipe front to back down each side and then down the middle, like they ask you to do when you give the urine sample for the UTI. Then before I fall asleep, I try to drink a big glass of water so I have to pee again a few hours later as a double insurance. Because of the frequency with which I’ve gotten UTIs in the past, my OBGYN gave me a long-term RX for a low dose of antibiotic. A lot of people use this as a prophylactic- they take one dose after every time they have sex- but I was instructed to just take a dose when I very first feel symptoms and extend it to a 3 day 3x/day course if that doesn’t knock it out. If you’ve had more than 5 UTIs in the last year, you’re probably a good candidate to have the same Rx so ask your doctor when the next one inevitably pops up.
    When I do get a UTI, in addition to the antibiotic, I immediately pop a Cystex and drink 2-3 glasses of water or Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail (the only cranberry juice to actually have statistically significant scientific results in UTI studies. Go figure). By the time I desperately have to pee from the tons of water, the Cystex and antibiotic have started to kick in and it’s not nearly as unbearable. Hope that much helps!!

    Anyway, the second part to this response is that if you’ve taken all of these precautions and maybe tried to compromise a little bit (maybe offer to finish him with a BJ when he uses a condom so he gets to finish with more sensation?) and your dude is still whiny about something so important to your health (not only are UTIs painful but they can be really dangerous if they turn into kidney infections, which can happen quicker than you might think, especially if you have a hard time scheduling a doctor appointment), maybe you should reconsider whether he’s a considerate enough partner to get to stick his P in your V at all. Put him on probation: “You can’t put your P in my V until you can do it with a condom on without whining. What are we, 4? Knock it the fuck off or you need to hit the road.” Usually the threat of no sex what so ever shuts them up.

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    • theattack

      theattack December 12, 2011, 9:51 pm

      Well, I agree with everything you say, except I’m skeptical of the Ocean Spray thing. Who the heck sponsored a study like that? Ocean Spray is also not 100% juice. It’s got a lot of added sugar and stuff. I have always had recurring UTIs (but have finally gotten them under control), and I buy whatever juice is 100% cranberry, and is cheapest. That’s often Northland, and it helps a LOT! I wouldn’t just believe any study that pops out, especially when it’s about one brand versus another.

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      • avatar

        Jess December 13, 2011, 2:54 am

        ocean spray definitely funded that study lol its a reasonable thing to do, pretty much every food product that is “clinically proven” to be healthy funded the study themselves.
        i mean it probably does work- but I’m SURE they didn’t test it against pure non-sugary cranberry juice and found that the cocktail version worked better.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 3:03 am

        haha exactly! It’s completely unreliable information.

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        LittleLuWho December 13, 2011, 6:24 pm

        I KNOW I thought it sounded ridiculous but my PharmD fiance showed me the study when I was whining about how nasty pure cranberry juice is and it’s surprisingly legitimate. I know it makes no sense because it’s watered down and sugar makes bacteria happy and yadda yadda yadda BUUUUT Science.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 11:10 pm

        Hmm… Do you have a link to this study or anything? Or can you get me the info so I can search for it on my handy university databases?

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  • avatar

    Betty Boop December 12, 2011, 8:37 pm

    I threw this out a couple of times already in replies, but just as an FYI: There is a portion of women who can get a UTI or bladder infection from any foreplay or intercourse that involves the vagina with anyone. It’s often (but not always) based more in physical differences than a bacterial/chemical issue. I personally know 2 women who have urethral openings closer to the vagina than average, one with a very short urethra, making it very easy for bacteria to enter and lodge in the urethra. All the usual advice of peeing before and after sex, drinking cranberry juice, showering directly before and after sex, etc, is not enough to help the problems. Under the advice of their gyno’s and urologists, both of the ladies use a condom every time they have sex and even use latex gloves for foreplay and manual stimulation, including solo sexy time. It’s just that way that it is for them because it’s what works. So, if the LW’s doctor has recommended condoms every time, I’m willing to believe there is a very good reason for this and that it is the best solution at this time.

    I do agree with a previous poster that looking into therapy for the abuse may help greatly with the UTI’s. No matter how well you’re doing mentally, you’re body could be freaking out, making sex more difficult than necessary. It’s really common for people abused, particularly as children, to have sense memory reactions that have nothing to do with your conscious thought.

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 9:43 pm

      Wow. I read bits and pieces of your responses, but reading all that about the women you know…it makes me so incredibly thankful that my issues are minimal in comparison. Also, I hope these women have good non-whiny partners who know that the “inconvenience” isn’t all about them.

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      • avatar

        Betty Boop December 13, 2011, 6:59 pm

        I know! Hearing about the difficulty diagnosing their issues and how to prevent infections makes me very, very grateful to not ever have a had a UTI! It took both of them a while to find good partners who were comfortable with this being the way things are but they are happy now.

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  • katie

    katie December 12, 2011, 10:07 pm

    this letter and some of the people responding to it make me sooo thankful for my boyfriend. he would go to hell and back if it meant i wouldnt go through pain. in fact, just last night he gave me a back massage after his long day at work because i had worked on his families christmas gifts all day.

    i said this above, but i just thought i’d say it again, because i think it just pretty much sums up what I feel about this letter…. im pretty sure that physical pain is pretty high on the “things i dont want my partner to go through” list, but it appears from some of the guys on here, that list goes out the window when we are talkin about the boys and their sexy time…..

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady December 12, 2011, 10:24 pm

      I know!!! I was telling the boyfriend about this post on the phone tonight (one week till he gets here!!!) and was just like, “You are SO getting laid the second we get the bed put back together!”

      I was thinking this was going to be one of those no-brainer Your Turns where a few people make comments and everyone else chimes in with varying degrees of “Same here!”

      Apparently I was wrong.

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      • katie

        katie December 12, 2011, 10:56 pm

        aw i cant wait til he gets there! that is so exciting and i hope you guys have a long road of happiness ahead of you!!

        but please dont spend all your time with him and ignore us here on DW ok? that would make me sad…. lol im kidding

        haha i think im gonna text my boy right now..

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  • avatar

    Christy December 12, 2011, 10:41 pm

    This is such an angry thread! I’m not sure I can handle it.

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  • avatar

    Allison December 12, 2011, 10:44 pm

    I used to get a lot of UTIs. None of the doctors ever suggested only using condoms. (Granted, I wasn’t dating anyone seriously enough to forgo condoms anyway.) Not saying this to contradict, but they had plenty of other options for how to prevent them. Drinking more water, peeing before and after, stuff like that. I don’t know if the LW has tried those, but maybe a compromise is available?

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  • avatar

    savannah December 12, 2011, 11:12 pm

    Ah- I knew my 5 years at PP would one day be useful at DW.
    OK as someone who councils couples and women on birth control methods a portion of that job is unfortunately helping women to convince their partners or themselves that condoms are not the devil and in fact ‘condoms are your best friend’. The professional speal for this LW is that condoms are the only way to protect against STI’s and regardless of what form of relationship you are in they are always recommended. For the LW’s BF, yes condoms could be a lot more sexy and yes sensation and spontaneity are issues but they are not bigger issues than your girlfriends UTI’s which cause her a lot of discomfort. I sometimes also talk about masturbation fatigue if men are complaining about a loss of sensation with condoms. How about the two of you as a couple do this: 1. Research together different causes of UTI’s and start thinking about other ways to decrease the LW’s chances of getting infections 2. Spend a lot of time in the sheets researching the very best condoms for the two of you and have fun trying out different types until you find one that you want to invest in.

    Now for the unprofessional speal: Men, speaking from my personal experiences, and by that I mean from the field, have the longest list of excuses for not wearing condoms. First I haven’t encountered many men over the age of 25 who complain about a loss of sensation. (I know you are out there and a little bit of advice: spend that cash money and stop picking up free ones, they do indeed suck). Secondly, most other complains have been non-physical. For instance: Condoms are only for hookers, why doesn’t she just trust me?, nothing fits, I’m not a homo.
    Listen condoms are not cute, condoms are not sexy, and condoms sometimes get into the minds of men and mess up their ‘spontaneity’. Which sucks. True story. But what sucks more is that this dude, who is already dealing with someone who has a history of sexual abuse in their past is now being huffy and argumentative over something that the LW has very little control over. Bottom line is that the LW found a solution to no longer be in ‘agony’ or ‘excruciating’ pain and the LW’s boyfriend is not willing to sacrifice his pleasure for it. I would dump him over this personally. No one seems to win either way. He’ll be happier with someone whose personal wellbeing he doesn’t have to take into consideration and she’ll be happier with someone who understands her own limitations when it comes to sex. Either way, its not what they signed up for.

    John- I’m very curious about what you are talking about when you say :”Speaking as a man, using condoms IS a big deal beyond the loss of sensation for several reasons that I don’t want to go into detail here.” Wondering if you can actually go into detail about those other issues. Also clarification, while I’ve also never heard of using condoms to prevent UITs its not just her opinion, its her doctors as well, she didn’t just make it up and it seems from the letter to be working.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't December 13, 2011, 12:16 am

      *applause*

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    • avatar

      John Rohan December 13, 2011, 1:20 am

      John- I’m very curious about what you are talking about when you say :”Speaking as a man, using condoms IS a big deal beyond the loss of sensation for several reasons that I don’t want to go into detail here.” Wondering if you can actually go into detail about those other issues.

      Two hypothetical scenarios, which actually aren’t so hypothetical:

      1. Man and woman want to make love; he looks for the condoms in the dark, so it takes awhile. With just his fingers he opens the package with difficultly, and then cuts himself on the foil. But hey, he tries to ignore the small cut and puts in on. Unfortunately, it’s dark, so they put it on backwards, so it won’t roll up all the way. Now have to take it off and try again, but since it’s unrolled, that’s hard to do. So they give up and get another one. Go through three condoms now, and finally get it. But when unrolled to the base, the condom still pinches skin and/or hair so isn’t very comfortable.

      After all this nonsense, the poor guy has lost his mood, and since he has a condom on, his partner doesn’t want to do oral to get him back in the mood. So no sex tonight.

      Scenario #2: Condom goes on perfectly, and the two make love without a hitch. Unfortunately, afterwards, they discover the thing broke during the process so it didn’t do any good anyway. This happens much more often than people want to admit.

      There are more “hypotheticals” but that’s as much as I’m going to share right now.

      LW’s boyfriend is not willing to sacrifice his pleasure for it. I would dump him over this personally.

      Bingo, there you go! As I said before, “dump the jerk” is ever the most popular advice that women always give in these kinds of forums. I never fail to see it.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 1:38 am

        Umm, wow. That first scenario is really dumb. It’s a scenario that is really not that big of a deal, won’t happen every time, and would be easily fixed by being a bit smarter. You can turn on a light and see what you’re doing. You can touch the condom and easily tell if you’re about to roll it on the right way before it ever touches your penis. Cutting himself on the foil? Are you for real? Would you like to compare a by-chance cut by foil with a pill that systematically changes your chemistry which changes your mental stability? If you think a condom is terrible for those reasons, then you must be incredibly sheltered about other forms of birth control.

        Dumping the guy is often advice here because it’s usually women writing into a relationship advice column. Women write in because they’re having issues in their relationships. One of the very common solutions when there is an issue in a relationship big enough to write to strangers on the internet, is to break up. Most people generally expect their partners to respect their bodies. I’m not saying that his side is unreasonable here, since he’s probably mostly concerned about the long term. But do you really think it’s unreasonable to break up with someone who refuses to be concerned about your health? I think the LW needs to work on all kinds of ways to get her UTIs under control since condoms aren’t a good long-term solution, but her bf doesn’t sound understanding or concerned at all. And if he’s not willing to work with her on that, then she probably shouldn’t be with him. So yes, dumping him is common advice.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant December 13, 2011, 2:23 am

        Scenario #1 – As an exclusive and long term couple, the condoms shouldn’t be hidden, ya know what I mean? Why would you be searching for something you access multiple times a week (hopefully)? Keep the condoms and lube in the top drawer of the night stand, within reaching distance. BOOM – EASY. Also, who has sex with the lights off? Its way more fun when they’re on and you can see each other (and the condom). Also, who wouldn’t give a few minutes of oral to get things going again? I would, and I’d totally side with you an argument about a girl who never ever ever gives oral, even for a wee bit.

        Scenerio #2. Plan B. They sell it without a prescription now if you are an adult. You can buy it preemptively. Keep it in the nightstand. You know, right next to the condoms and lube so you can take it immediately, if need be.

        SOLVED! Anymore issues?

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      • avatar

        ele4phant December 13, 2011, 2:28 am

        Also, totally skipped over this the first read through, but what brand of condoms are you using that have foil strong enough to cut you? I have never encountered condoms wrapped in foil sturdy enough to cause cuts.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 13, 2011, 3:00 am

        This just made me think… there are much more serious issues that go on during sex that people just continue on through. My bf and I can get kind of rough sometimes. A couple of weeks ago, one of my fingernails bent completely backwards while he was throwing me around during sex, and the whole thing turned purple. We just kept going! Because sometimes things like that happen during sex.

        Now when I accidentally punched him in the eye last weekend… We were not able to keep going after that one.

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      • avatar

        callmehobo December 13, 2011, 6:00 am

        And now we all know how you got your screen name, theattack….lol

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      • theattack

        theattack December 14, 2011, 1:03 am

        hahaha! Yeah, I’ve also been known to slap at him in my sleep. I am uncoordinated and inexplicably dangerous.

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      • avatar

        demoiselle December 13, 2011, 10:24 am

        Yeah, I’d think foil that could cut a finger could also cut a hole in the condom as you removed it.

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      • JK

        JK December 13, 2011, 12:02 pm

        Could also be a good weapon. Why keep a gun in the nightstand when you can have a little box of 12 deadly weapons??? 😉

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 13, 2011, 7:45 am

        Oh wow. You’re so dead-on with scenario #1 – sex should TOTALLY not be the case of physical pain EVER. And that cut finger and pinched skin…wow. That just sounds brutal, amiright? I cut my finger slicing an avocado last night. Time for me to give up avocados.

        Even if scenario #2 happened to LW and her boyfriend, she’s not using them as birth control. But like someone else said, Plan B is a thing. Which totally sucks to have to take. But that woman won’t be one iota less pregnant for whining about it. But in comparison with her boyfriend’s boo-boo, she really ought to get a grip.

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      • avatar

        Splash December 13, 2011, 11:43 am

        Also, yes, sometimes condoms break…so because sometimes condoms break, there’s no point to ever using one? Sometimes cars crash, so no one should ever drive one? Sometimes planes crash so there is no point in flying anywhere? uuuuuuh? hm.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow December 13, 2011, 12:02 pm

        Not to mention that condoms break due to USER ERROR. Seriously.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't December 13, 2011, 8:13 am

        are you for real?????

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl December 13, 2011, 10:43 am

        Methinks not.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow December 13, 2011, 9:04 am

        Are you under 20?

        SCE 1.- Using condoms gets easier with practice. And you don’t have to do it on your own: If a girl who is used to putting them on guys sees you going through the whole box and making a mess and cutting your fingers, she’ll most likely help. Like she’ll most likely help you get hard again if you need her to. If she doesn’t, then she’s an ass, and you can dump her (see, this advice is not only for people who date men). If she would help but she doesn’t know how to, then you can teach her. Or you can practice together. And then you guys grow closer and are happy and etc.

        SCE 2.- I’ve been using condoms regularly for 10 years and only once in my life I’ve seen one broken, and we weren’t even using it properly. We were interrupted and the wrap was open for some time, and we never added any lube (I usually put lube inside+outside).

        So basically practice gets them on without getting you soft, and lube gets them off in one piece once you’re done.

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      • JK

        JK December 13, 2011, 9:16 am

        This reminded me of 2 things: that scene from 40 year old virgin, and a guy a friend of mine dated, who, when getting prepared for their first time having sex came out of the bathroom with the condom already on his (flaccid) penis, we never quite knew how he managed that!!!! Those are the only times I´ve heard/seen something as implausible as your 1st scenario.
        Even if it did happen every time a couple had sex, would it really take precedence over UTIs? I don´t think so.

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      • avatar

        savannah December 13, 2011, 9:37 am

        John- You are right that people need to know about putting on condoms. They are a tool and just like any other require practice. But your logic is kinda faulty- if you don’t know how to do it-its a big deal and you should not.
        Both scenarios you mentioned seems to come from inexperience. Condoms should not be uncomfortable or slip off. It happens a lot and this mostly comes from using the wrong size or putting it on improperly. Again more experience with condoms and figuring out which ones fit and suit you the best both as an individual and then part of a couple could solve a lot of these issues.

        I do believe that I gave a more nuanced opinion than “dump the jerk” but if its what you are looking for then yep, you’re on DW, where lots of people write in about relationships they should not be in. sorry.

        Also…I did not want to get into generalizations about female/male pain threshold before but your 1st scenario in light of what the LW wrote in about is pretty damn hilarious.

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      • avatar

        hhr December 13, 2011, 9:58 am

        Beb, I don’t wanna use a condom, I might cut my finger trying to open it 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

        BEST EXCUSE EVERRRRR…

        Wendy, we need some sort of top 10 list for this.

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      • avatar

        demoiselle December 13, 2011, 10:21 am

        I’ve never, ever had a condom break. Am I *that* atypical?

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      • JK

        JK December 13, 2011, 11:08 am

        It´s only happened to me once, when my husband and I were dating, on his way to my house he went to buy condoms, and they didn´t have the brand we usually use, so he bought another brand. It didn´t just break it pretty much was left in tatters!!! Needless to say we threw out the rest of the box, and I took plan b.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow December 13, 2011, 12:06 pm

        No, they really shouldn’t break. Some reasons condoms break could be…

        1. they’re expired
        2. they were stored improperly (heat is bad for them)
        3. friction (this isn’t too common, but just in case, USE LUBE)
        4. You used OIL-BASED LUBE!! Don’t EVER use baby oil, lotion, or anything else. It will break the condom SO FAST.
        5. You decided to “double up”.

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      • theattack

        theattack December 14, 2011, 1:05 am

        No, most people don’t have condoms break. A lot of people use that as an excuse though…

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 December 13, 2011, 11:56 am

        hahaha this was the most laughable thing I have read on here! To comapre those situations that hardley ever happen to what I have seen my fiance go through with different birth controls isn’t even comparable!

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 13, 2011, 1:31 pm

        Bagge (and Will.i.am and BGM) just wanted to acknowledge how awesome you are for realizing BC, protection, whatever, is yours to worry about as well, whether or not it’s your body that’s directly affected. I assumed it was common knowledge that it takes two people to make a baby/spread an infection/have sex and therefore all responsibility is shared. For some guys (some women, too, I’m sure) the idea seems to be that you share the responsibility just long enough for her to trust you, and then you count down the days till she lifts the ban on unprotected sex. So, FWIW, you guys are awesome as far as I’m concerned.

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      • avatar

        ForeverYoung December 13, 2011, 2:42 pm

        This is such a good point! I was really excited when I read Bagge’s comment earlier.

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 December 13, 2011, 3:34 pm

        Thanks Ladies, I can tell you that I never even realized how bad it could be until I saw for myself how all of the different kinds of BC reacted with her body, and I can tell you some of the things one of the pills did to her emotionally I really wouldn’t wish on anyone, but she was caring enough to keep going back to the doctor to try different methods, and we found a happy medium after a lot of trial and error. Oh and I never cut myself on the condom wrapper while we were going through this haha.

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      • avatar

        misslisa December 13, 2011, 1:30 pm

        1. Don’t do it in the dark.
        2. Don’t buy the crappy generic kind.

        Good lord…

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  • avatar

    SGMcG December 13, 2011, 6:16 am

    You know, I’ve seen all the comments regarding boyfriend’s attitude and stance on condom use, and NO one has mentioned that the LW has had recurring problems regarding her sex life not only because of her personal health problems, but also due to her abusive sexual past. LW, I hope you are currently in therapy regarding those issues. I know that I’ve been more prone to having UTI’s after sexual intercourse when I’m stressed or have flashbacks to my past. I’m wondering if it’s possible that something psychosomatic is manifesting into something physical inside you – thus your boyfriend’s arguments regarding love and exclusivity. Maybe your boyfriend feels that your recurrent UTI’s and other health problems are a form of rejection of him. It sounds like he needs some reassurance regarding your relationship in order for him to garner some sympathy over how your UTI burns while you pee. There has been a lot of advise in the comments on how to address your physical problems, and by all means continue to follow doctor’s orders. However, please do not forget that your current health issues is only half of what’s currently causing your recurring problems regarding your sex life – and have your sexual abusive past addressed as well.

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    • parton_doll

      parton_doll December 13, 2011, 9:19 am

      Excellent advice and thank you for looking at all the issues.

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    • avatar

      amber December 13, 2011, 10:52 am

      I definitely agree. Hopefully she is being treated for the emotional side of things as well. Although, just like many other commenters have said it could be that she’s just one of those unlucky people that is prone to UTIs. Which is not anyone’s fault. But, I think a lot of us did gloss over the fact that they have recurring sex issues. Sounds like they might need couples therapy in addition to her seeing someone.

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  • avatar

    wendyblueeyes December 13, 2011, 8:09 am

    Sheesh, if you’re getting infections that often, somebody is seriously unclean during sex. Address that problem first. While condoms are a stopgap measure, what happens when you want to get pregnant? That requires having unprotected sex, lots of it. Make sure to pee AFTER SEX and it will flush away all the bacteria, then take a shower. Problem solved. I had 2 UTI’s, adopted this method, and haven’t had one since (37 years).

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    • rainbow

      rainbow December 13, 2011, 9:17 am

      Your comment sounds a bit shaming. Sometimes cleanliness has nothing to do with it.

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    • avatar

      Betty Boop December 13, 2011, 7:04 pm

      I get your point but that was pretty condescending and mean. Lucky you that it’s so easy to not get UTI’s, it’s not that easy for many women.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 13, 2011, 9:33 am

    Yikes, 250+ comments so I am a bit late. Wanted to comment yesterday but was on the iPhone and didn’t want to deal with remote log-in, etc.

    ANYWAY, like John above, I had a similar concern upon reading this that commenters would jump all over the boyfriend and chastise him. Thing is, the guy has been using condoms, has been doing his part, but its the idea of “indefinitely” that troubles him. And to me, well, that just makes sense. From the way it sounds, he’s not opposed to using them as a treatment or transition phase, he’s opposed to using them indefinitely.

    Condoms do reduce sensation for men and its perfectly fair for him to be unhappy about that. It doesn’t sound like he’s threatening to walk away over it. It doesn’t sound like he doesn’t give a crap. It sounds like he wants to explore other solutions. And while we don’t know from LW what else may have been tried, it does seem to me that there are a number of options they could try before instituting a “condoms forever” policy.

    I had a MONSTER uti about a year ago. I’m talking 2 visits to the ER, multiple trips to my GP, 2 weeks missed at work, fever of 104. Never been so sick in my life. You had better believe that after that, I was looking for solutions. Here’s what I came up with.

    * Use a condom for a month to clear any pre-existing infections that you’re passing back and forth.

    * Pee after sex. EVERY time. Run tap water if you need the extra motivation.

    * Purchased those wet wipe toilet paper thingies. One for your house, one for the BFs. In every bathroom. Make sure to clean very well (and always in a front-to-back direction!!) after sex.

    * Add uti-combatting vitamins to daily routine. AZ cranberry is a great one. It’s all natural and can be used daily as PREVENTION.

    * If this isn’t enough, try taking a “cat bath” after sex. Basically, wash from the waist down with soap and water.

    If you are doing all of the above and still getting UTIs, something more may be wrong. See your doctor to see if you have a condition that is contributing to the problem.

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    • avatar

      savannah December 13, 2011, 9:41 am

      Just a caveat to your otherwise well informed advice- soap is never a good idea to use in or near the opening of your vagina. Warm water will do the trick for a post-sex ‘cat bath’. Like the name!

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 13, 2011, 9:55 am

        Thanks for the clarification savannah. I rarely do the cat-bath these days 🙂 The wet wipes or dampened toilet paper seems to be enough.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 13, 2011, 9:56 am

        Oh and “cat bath” is a term I got from my grandmother which I forget is not really a term everyone uses!

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    • Budj

      Budj December 13, 2011, 11:12 am

      Fair and balanced.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow December 13, 2011, 11:48 am

    I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but I want to offer some quick suggestions:

    Have your partner put a drop of lube on the inside of the condom to help him with the sensation. Make sure you use lots of (water-based) lube for yourself too!

    Try lots of different condoms until you find the ones you like best. It has to be a good fit in order to be comfortable. Also, there are some good non-latex condoms (Skyns is one brand) that some people find more pleasurable than latex.

    ALSO – have you tried female condoms? They are expensive and difficult to find in stores, but you might be able to find some for free from a clinic. They’re polyurethane and worn by the female (obviously) so it’s less “restrictive” for the male. They can also be put in ahead of time to avoid interrupting the act to put the condom on. IN ADDITION, they cover more of the outside of your vulva, so it might be super-beneficial for you. They’re not re-usable, DON’T use it WITH a male condom, and as always, use lube.

    I would also try the other suggestions, like peeing right after sex, keeping your areas clean, using lots of lube. Condoms CAN be a pain. Make sure you exhaust all your options before you guys get frustrated and call it quits! Good luck!

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  • avatar

    2_J December 13, 2011, 1:59 pm

    D.T.M.F.A

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  • avatar

    emjay December 13, 2011, 2:57 pm

    Plain and simple! He is putting your health at risk. If he is that selfish and immature about it, you need to move on and find someone else to be with. He is your partner! He is suppose to care about your well being! Not use the “well we love each other and are in a relationship so I dont/ shouldn’t have to wear one” crap, because it is just that, CRAP! You should give him an ultimatium. Wrap it up or move on.

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  • avatar

    Flake December 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

    It’s funny how people are all upset about UTIs… Not too long ago there was a letter about herpes. and most people couldn’t understand why it’s a freaking big deal when someone doesn’t disclose an STD…

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    • avatar

      ele4phant December 14, 2011, 12:39 am

      Okay, I’ll bite. Yes, I was one of the people who commented on the previous letter (I believe you are referring to the one in which the LW was concerned about her friend who refused to disclose she had herpes to her boyfriend) who said herpes was not such a BFD.

      However, I think that part of my message was lost in the debate. I never meant to imply in that the friend was ever justified in not disclosing her herpes. If you have an easily communicable disease, no matter how serious, you are morally obligated to disclose it. Period. The friend was absolutely in the wrong.

      My argument was that perhaps we shouldn’t treat every STI equally. If we instead treated herpes as something that sucked, that you’d want to avoid getting if you could, but ultimately wasn’t life threatening or debilitating (Yes – I know some commenters pointed out that herpes does interfere greatly with their or a friends life but this isn’t the norm – for most people with herpes it does not keep them from functioning normally). If people didn’t get so freaked out about herpes, perhaps less people would feel ashamed or scared to disclose the fact they have it to their partners. Herpes certainly sucks, but its not the end of the world and we shouldn’t act like it is.

      Anyways, in the context of this letter, the LW’s boyfriend seems to have a problem with prioritizing the LW’s health/ability to live and pee normally if it interferes with his personal pleasure. To me, that is a BFD.

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      • avatar

        Flake December 14, 2011, 6:48 am

        🙂 I don’t really want to keep this going, but I have to comment on your last paragraph. The fact that the other girl was putting her fear of losing the guy, and not wanting to feel “embarrassed” over the fact that she would be compromising not just his health and well-being, but their respective future partners as well, is a BFD to me.

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        ele4phant December 14, 2011, 1:22 pm

        Yes I agree. In my second paragraph, I implied her refusal to tell the boyfriend was a BFD. However, perhaps she would feel less scared to do so if herpes ITSELF wasn’t treated like a BFD. The individual was totally wrong in her actions, but culturally, if we treated as herpes as a less of a dire diagnosis, more people wouldn’t feel freaked out to disclose the fact they have it to their partners.

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    yMaryn December 14, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Well, I’m a bit late but I still wanted to share my thoughts. I’ve been having problems with the pill lately, so I too had to switch to condoms after about a year of not using them with my boyfriend (we have also been together for 2 years). At first, when I was still taking the pill but insisted in using condoms until I found out what was wrong with me. I felt like a party-pooper and a nag having to tell him every time to put one on. We also had many discussions about it. But eventually when I had to go off the pill entirely, he stopped complaining.
    So, maybe if you tell him that you are trying to work out why you have so many UTI (which I think you should, because certainly it’s not normal) you’ll need to wear condoms. And also REALLY explain to him how much of a pain in the ass UTI are, I never had one but my friends who did were in bed for as long as 2 weeks. So, really try to get through to him, and compromise to look for some solution to the problem.

    And also, try different kinds of condoms, you may find some that you can barely feel. We use some extra thin ones that are also more comfortable for him.

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    Sue Jones October 9, 2013, 3:08 pm

    This guy is a total prick and I would MOA. Seriously, this is just one of MANY compromises around sexuality that couples need to negotiate during a longterm relationship/marriage. Would this guy totally freak out if she developed other gynecological issues ( as yet unforseen) that could crop up during a decades long relationship such as chronic vaginal irritation, complications or injury after a birth or a surgery, menopausal vaginal thinning? The list goes on and on and if he is not willing to be patient and negotiate NOW about a relatively easy fix for a significant health problem, if he is not willing to be flexible, then what ELSE is he not willing to be flexible about? Does it always have to be his way or he sulks and pouts? Honey you do NOT want to be in a committed relationship with someone like this. And when he gets older and he has health issues, or ED, etc. I think he would expect the same kind of patience and understanding and willingness for alternative ways to pleasure each other. He overall sounds way too selfish and insensitive to me to be worth the effort. I would say Bye Bye!!!!

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    Celine February 1, 2017, 5:21 pm

    Just remind him that UTI’s mean no nookie, so unless he wants that cookie more frequently, it would behoove him to wrap it up.

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