Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Having sex is a lovely, fun thing. But sometimes, it causes health problems. Unlovely, unfun health problems.

I get UTIs -- a lot. I was really prone to them when I was a pre-teen, sometimes barely finishing a course of antibiotics before the next infection set it. I had blood tests, ultrasounds and even a cytoscopy to determine the cause before being told I would eventually grow out it. I did -- and promptly grew back into them when I became sexually active at 18.

I get them so often now that I don't even go to the doctor anymore. I just self-medicate with a ton of water and cranberry supplements and hope for the best. It usually works, but this latest infection hung on for weeks, seeming to clear up and then flaring up again.

Then, this Saturday morning, after a night of very enthusiastic sex, I woke up to a palpable ache in my lower back. Uh oh -- kidney infection. I had played the dangerous game of not seeking medical attention for my infection and now it had gone too far. I went to the walk-in clinic at school, expecting confirmation of my self-diagnosis. The lady doctor did the dipstick-in-the-urine test and gave me the not-unwelcome but puzzling news: not only did I not have a kidney infection, I didn't even have a bladder infection! My water and cranberry ritual must have worked, but what was causing this lower back pain? Turns out, I had a sex-induced condition of another kind...

I laid down on the table and she pushed her fingers into my side. "Kidney," she said, pushing. Nothing. "Obliques," and she pushed again. Ouch! That hurt! "Ah -- muscles." My enthusiastic sex must have completely messed up my back muscles; it has to be that, because I haven't partaken of any other athletic activities in, oh, eons.

So now I have to stretch before sex. How romantic: "Wait a few minutes, honey, I have to limber up first." It's not a seductive kind of stretching, either: knees to your chest, then to the opposite shoulder. It's more like an awkward can-can. So the moral of the story is: a) no internet self-diagnosis from now on, and b) stop doing sexual acrobatics that my body clearly can't handle. Again, ouch.


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