Question for Betty.
 
Whenever me and my boyfriend have sex it's super painful, and I've been getting bladder infections once a month for the past year, usually right after we have sex.  I always pee before and after, and he always wears a condom, but they seem to be getting worse.  A couple days ago I had one so bad that I was peeing blood, not a little but a lot.  What else can I do to prevent bladder infections?  Should I come in and get some tests done?
 
Betty's Answer.
 
Absolutely, you need to be seen by a health care provider for an exam and urinalysis.  From your note I am unsure if you are getting treated for your bladder infections which happen once a month. Bladder infections, or urinary tract infections, are caused by bacteria and should be treated with antibiotics. This infection can be diagnosed with a urinalysis in a clinic and then with a urine culture sent to a lab for identification of the bacteria and for antibiotic sensitivity. 

Serious complications such as a kidney infection can result from not treating urinary infections.  Also, be sure to be screened for sexually transmitted diseases, as they may cause painful urination and painful intercourse.

Please contact your health care provider for an appointment or the Student Health and Counseling Center, if you are an eligible student, at 907-786-4040.