Can Lube Cause a UTI? Here Are the Facts You Need To Know

You have to pee every ten minutes — even when you don’t ACTUALLY have to pee.

It burns. Your back hurts. You’re the definition of uncomfortable. 

Your sex life hasn’t changed. You aren’t doing anything differently. You’re a healthy individual overall, but the UTIs keep returning, and you’re tired of it. 

Your lady-bits are sensitive, and a multitude of things can disrupt the flora of your vagina — including ingredients in certain lubricants.

Wait, my lube could be affecting my risk of getting a UTI? 

It might be. Read on to explore how the lube you’re using might be causing your UTIs and what you can do to lower the chances of one returning. 

can lube cause uti

Table of Contents

can lube cause uti

Is It Lube Causing Your UTIs or Something Else?

UTIs usually happen when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. This may be caused by … 

  • Sex
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Dehydration; or
  • Infrequent urination

… but those aren’t the only contributors. 

Any sort of cleanser, fragrance, or chemical and you’re increasing your risk of encouraging harmful bacteria to spread. 

Can Certain Lubes Cause UTIs?

Your parents may have drilled it into your head that sex is only going to cause UTIs, so you're better to avoid it as long as possible. 

But, you've been having sex for a while now and it seems the only time you get a UTI is with certain products. It seems dear old mom and dad may have been wrong — Can lube cause UTIs, not the sex itself?

Although lube can’t directly cause a UTI, the ingredients found in lubricants can increase your risk of a UTI by disrupting the flora (good and bad bacteria) and the pH of your vagina. 

When your vaginal pH is too high, you’re at higher risk of developing a UTI. 

And, let’s be clear, sex isn’t the culprit either, if you take the right precautions. 

4 Types of Ingredients Found in Lube That Can Increase the Risk of a UTI

#1: Fragrances

Similarly to bubble baths, perfumed soaps, scented tampons, pads, even powders and fragrances in your lubricant can alter the pH balance of your vagina and irritate your urinary tract — which may result in a UTI.  

And let’s get real here — if you and your partner are mature enough to enjoy sex, you’re also mature enough to understand that your vagina isn’t meant to smell like roses. 

If you’re looking to spice things up in the bedroom, stay away from scented lubricants. Instead, try purchasing a diffuser and some essential oils. 

#2: Chemicals or Toxins

You may have heard of — or tried — using products like Vaseline or baby oil as a lubricant. Run, don’t walk, to your local store to pick up a more natural option, like Chiavaye, instead. 

Chemicals like petroleum overstay their welcome in your vagina and can alter the pH and promote bacterial growth, increasing your risk for UTIs or other vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis (BV). 

Another chemical that could be the culprit for altering your pH and potentially increasing your risk for a UTI? Nonoxynol-9. 

Nonoxynol-9 is a spermicide commonly found on condoms and in some lubricants — and may be to blame for the increase in UTIs, according to some research. 

One more common chemical that might be contributing? Benzocaine. 

Many women who experience pain and discomfort during sex opt for lubricants with benzocaine in the ingredients. This chemical acts as a numbing agent and while it can make sex more enjoyable, it can also leave your body unable to say, “Hey, stop, this hurts,” and increase your risk for micro-tears. 

These micro-tears can let unwanted bacteria in — and, you guessed it, increase your risk for a UTI. 

#3: Preservatives

Many personal lubricants contain preservatives to help extend their shelf-life and keep bacteria out. 

And while it may keep bacteria out of the lubricant, it may be disrupting the bacteria and pH of your vagina. 

Two of the most common types of preservatives to be aware of are:

  • Parabens —  methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben, are all preservatives that can irritate the vagina. 
  • Chlorhexidine — specifically chlorhexidine gluconate and chlorhexidine digluconate, anti-bacterial agents that can rid the vagina of good bacteria that fight against UTIs. 

#4: Flavors or Sugars

Bacteria feed on sugar — even in the body. 

Avoid lubes that contain ingredients like glycerin, which just like the above-mentioned ingredients, can throw your vaginal and urinary tract into an unbalanced state and promote bacterial growth — good-bye balanced flora, hello unnecessary infections

When it comes to lube, skip flavorful — stick to natural

can sex lubes cause uti

5 Tips To Lower the Risk of UTIs When Using Lube

Tip #1: Choose a Lubricant That Is Safe for Your Body

Walk down the personal care aisle at your local convenience store and there they are — all the different types of lubricants. 

Flavored lubricants.

Water-based lubricants. 

Silicone-based lubricants.

Fire and Ice — Hot and cold? You’re not sure, but it’s there, too. 

So many personal lubricants, how on earth do you know which are safe for your body? You flip the boxes over and can’t even read half of the ingredients on the label. Cyclomethi-what? Diazolid-who?

How do you know which lubes cause UTIs and which are safe for your body? The answer I feel most comfortable with is to avoid the unknowns and choose a holistic approach with an all-natural lubricant like Chiavaye. 

Chiavaye was created by a woman for women. With only six all-natural ingredients,  my personal lubricant was made to enhance your sexual experience and nourish the most delicate part of your body. 

can lube cause uti

Tip #2: Increase Probiotic Intake

Looking for ways to increase the GOOD bacteria throughout your body? Probiotics, like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, can be beneficial in preventing urinary tract infections. 

Whether you’re worried that your lube could be causing your UTIs or if it’s something else, including these probiotics in your diet may help. Consider adding the following probiotic-rich foods to your diet: 

  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • Sauerkraut
  • Miso soup
  • Cottage cheese
  • Kimchi, even
  • Garlic 

Tip #4: Stay Hydrated

Flushing any toxins and unnecessary bacteria out of your urinary tract is important in preventing urinary tract infections. 

You’ve likely heard that cranberry juice is the way to go — and while I’m not debunking that — I am suggesting to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! 

Tip #5: Urinate Before and After Sex

Although the wrong lube can encourage UTIs, so can incorrect sexual hygiene. 

All the hydration we mentioned above will pay off here. 

It’s not the film-worthy scene where you and your partner initiate sex, shake the sheets and then cuddle into a romantic slumber after — but it’s far better than dealing with urinary tract infections regularly. 

Peeing before and after sex is one of the best ways to rid your urinary tract of any harmful bacteria — especially if you’re a chronic UTI sufferer. 

Tip #6: Clean Up Properly

Proper hygiene is key to removing any “bad” bacteria present after sex. As a woman, when you were young, you were probably taught to wipe from front to back. 

The same is true after sex. When cleaning up after sex, use a washcloth and clean from front to back to avoid introducing any bacteria from your rectal area into your urethra. 

Avoid using any harsh or scented soaps — instead, opt for warm water and very minimal, gentle cleanser.

Tip #7: Consider a pH-Balanced Lube

Avoid encouraging any infections by using a pH-balanced lube. 

A healthy vaginal pH is between 3.8 and 4.5 — a little acidic — which encourages healthy bacteria and keeps harmful bacteria away. 

Aim for a lubricant that mimics the pH level of the vagina, with a pH level of around four. Quality lubricants, like Chiavaye, are pH neutral, meaning they are formulated not to upset your internal pH. 

can lubes cause uti

Stress Less and Enjoy Sex More Without Increasing Your Risk for UTIs With an All-Natural Lube, Like Chiavaye

Instead of risking your urinary tract health — and your sanity — by choosing lubes that can contribute to your risk of developing a UTI, choose an all-natural, pH-balanced personal lubricant like Chiavaye. 

Chiavaye contains no fillers, preservatives, toxic chemicals, or artificial flavors — just six all-natural ingredients: 

  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Evening Primrose Oil; and
  • Vitamin E

We guarantee the purest, vegan ingredients to deliver maximum benefits to your body. It can be used as a lube for sex and as a personal moisturizer for issues like dryness or occasional irritation. 

Don’t risk your vaginal or urinary health, or pleasure, with potentially harmful lubricants. When you choose Chiavaye, you’re choosing satisfaction without increasing the risk of infection. 

can lube cause uti

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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