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Dear Metro: "I keep getting UTIs... how do I tell my boyfriend it might be his fault?"

"He isn't very understanding when I get one... How do I tell him his poor hygiene is part of the problem?"

Dear Metro: I keep getting UTIs... how do I tell my boyfriend it might be his fault?

Oct 2, 2019 Society

Got issues with work, love, sex, family, friendships, money or the crushing existential angst of modern life? Each week our Metro advice columnist answers a reader’s query and (we assume) solves all their problems.

Read last week’s Dear Metro advice: “Help! my workmate stinks”

Dear Metro

I keep contracting the dreaded UTI [urinary tract infection]. I’m unfortunately very prone to them and they make my life hell. My partner isn’t very understanding when I get one, dismissing it as something minor and not seeming to understand I am in great pain. How do I tell him his poor hygiene is part of the problem and convey just how horrific these things are???


 Bothersome Bladder 

Dear BB,

Your poor, poor thing. First of all for being prone to what is quite possibly the most distressing and painful affliction you can experience without having to actually go to the hospital, and second of all for having such a grubby little shit for a partner!

In writing this column I am trying very hard not to resort to easy or tired pieces of advice like “throw the whole man away” or “D U M P H I M” when people write in about men being average, but it sure is tempting to do it this time. 

You should not have to convey to him how horrible a UTI is – surely pissing every two minutes is clue enough that something’s pretty bad, no? Also, he should just believe you if you tell him it hurts, pretty simple. If left untreated, UTIs can become kidney infections and you can end up in hospital, so it’s important to look after yourself when you get one. It’d be nice if, instead of making you feel worse at an objectively terrible time, he was offering to drop you at the pharmacy to pick up antibiotics (PSA: YOU CAN GET THEM OVER THE COUNTER NOW IN NEW ZEALAND) or going out and grabbing you some Crancleanse (or… shudder… Ural sachets if they don’t have anything else. “Pleasant tasting”. If you know, you know).

Which brings us to the hygiene issue. It is possible that there’s something about the bacteria he naturally harbours which your body doesn’t agree with – apparently this can be the case, and doesn’t indicate poor hygiene. 

If your partner was being otherwise supportive I would suggest gently asking him how thoroughly he cleans himself in the shower and whether he washes under his foreskin, because it’s possible no one ever talked to him about how important this is and maybe he genuinely doesn’t know. But seeing as he’s being a jerk, I would suggest just bluntly telling him he needs to wash his gross dick properly or you won’t have sex with him again. The way you’ve framed your question suggests lack of hygiene may be an overall problem so may I also suggest… D U M P H I M. But if you’re not gonna do that, at least make sure when you do bang him again he’s helped minimise the risk of you getting sick after. It is quite literally the least he can do.

I’m sure as a regular sufferer of UTIs you’ll know these tips and tricks, but just in case: remember to go wees pretty quickly after intercourse every time, wipe front to back, drink lots of water as soon as you realise you’ve got a UTI (as someone said to me recently “you can drink cranberry juice, but it’s really just for the drama”), load up on a neutralising bladder support supplement like Crancleanse, don’t drink ANY alcohol or coffee (bacteria feed off sugar and both are dehydrating) and get onto antibiotics as soon as you can. 

Yours in solidarity,


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Read last week’s Dear Metro advice: “Help! my workmate stinks”


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