Ever wondered why you keep getting a UTI after having sex? Or why and how your vaginal health could be related to recurring UTIs?
The next study we’ll cover might give us some answers and clarity to these questions! Let’s begin!
Study subject: How bacteria from the vagina can cause a UTI reinfection in the bladder.
Published on: March 30th, 2017
Was conducted at: the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Background: the researchers explain that UTIs are affecting millions of women every year. The current medical treatment is antibiotics. Unfortunately, when UTIs are recurring and antibiotics are being prescribed over and over again, the bad bacteria may start to resist the treatment which could become ineffective.
It is believed that some cases of recurring UTIs in women may be due to bad bacteria “reserves” that are awakening in response to triggers that are unknown. In this study, we’ll explore the possibility of bad bacteria from the vagina being a trigger to ‘awaken’ bad bacteria in the urinary tract, causing a severe UTI.
Some definitions before we dive in:
E. Coli: The most common bad bacteria in the urinary tract that is associated with causing UTIs.
Gardnerella vaginalis: The most common vaginal bad bacteria that is associated with causing bacterial vaginosis.
Lactobacillus: Good bacteria strain that is often found in the vagina.
The study explained:
Researchers took a group of female mice that were recently infected with E. Coli which multiplied and developed a UTI. The mice recovered from the UTI and their tests came back negative, meaning, no E. Coli was found in the urine sample.
The mice were then split into 3 groups:
Group 1’s bladder was infected with Gardnerella (bad bacteria from the vagina).
Group 2’s bladder was infected with Lactobacillus (good bacteria from the vagina).
Group 3’s bladder was infected with sterile saltwater, to be used as a control group.
None of the female mice were reinfected with E. Coli (the bad bacteria associated with actually causing UTIs!).
Within 12 hours, the Gardnerella and Lactobacillus were eliminated from the urinary tracts, however, E. Coli reappeared in the urine of more than half of the female mice that were exposed to Gardnerella (bad bacteria from the vagina), which caused a recurring UTI. Comparably, the mice that were given Lactobacillus and sterile saltwater were 5 times less likely to develop a UTI.
“We found that a particular vaginal bacterium, Gardnerella, did not cause infection during exposure to the urinary tract, but it damaged the cells on the surface of the bladder and caused E. coli from a previous UTI to start multiplying, leading to another bout of disease,” said the study’s senior author, Amanda Lewis, PhD
More than that, the researchers found that in some of the mice, the Gardnerella bacteria traveled from the bladder all the way up to the kidneys and caused an ever more severe infection there. UTIs that travel up to the kidneys can cause serious damage and need fast medical attention!
Conclusion and final thoughts:
Due to the short distance between the vaginal opening to the bladder, it’s extremely important for women to understand that the health of their vagina is co-related with the health of their urinary tract and vice versa.
If you are prone to BV and UTIs, we urge you to look into adding probiotics to your daily vitamin routine. Our V-Luxe probiotics are specifically formulated to help with women’s vaginal health. You can read more about our probiotics directly on our website linked below.
Why V-Luxe Probiotics?
- We include 8 strains of good bacteria that have been clinically studied to help with women’s vaginal health and urinary tract.
- We include prebiotics in our formula - this is the food good bacteria love to eat!
- Our probiotics are formulated to survive extreme weather (for shipping and storage purposes), are shelf-stable, and will even survive your stomach acid (to make sure they arrive in the vagina safely).
- Our probiotics promote a healthy vaginal pH level (3.5 - 4.5), this pH level will naturally protect you from bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth.
- We only offer high-potency formulas. We offer a 15 Billion CFU and a 50 Billion CFU formula. We guarantee the live CFU count through the expiration date.
If you always get a UTI after having sex, ask your doctor to run a test for bacterial vaginosis, or at the very least, test your vaginal pH level to see if it’s above 4.5. It’s possible that bad bacteria from the vagina easily travels to the urinary tract during sex and triggers a UTI.
We definitely need more research to be done on recurring BV, UTIs, and yeast infections. The chance of recurrence is too high to be ignored and we need to provide women with more solutions other than simply taking antibiotics every few weeks!