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If You Get UTIs, 2 Ob-Gyns Recommend Lube as a Simple and Effective Way to Prevent Them

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) come up a lot when talking about sexual health, and if you’ve ever had one, you know how uncomfortable and miserable they can be. If you’re trying to reduce your chances of getting a UTI, one solution that may help prevent a UTI is lubricant. Ahead, two ob-gyns explain how lube can prevent vaginal irritation and, as a result, keep you UTI-free. Here’s what they want you to know.

What Are Urinary Tract Infections?

UTIs are common infections that happen when bacteria, often from the skin or rectum, enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract,” according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. People with vaginas and penises can get UTIs, the CDC states. The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection, but it is possible to get a kidney infection, which is less common than a bladder infection, according to the CDC.

Symptoms You Have a UTI

The common symptoms of bladder infections are: pain or burning while urinating, frequent urination, needing to urinate when the bladder is empty, bloody urine, and pressure or cramping in the groin or lower abdomen, the CDC reports. Symptoms of a kidney infection include: fever, chills, lower-back pain, pain in the side of your back, nausea, and vomiting. As always, if you have pain or discomfort, it’s advised you seek medical treatment. If you do in fact have a UTI, your doctor will more than likely prescribe antibiotics to treat it.

How Lubricant Can Help Prevent UTIs

If you are engaging in sex, make sure you’re “well lubricated before these kinds of interactions,” Susan Khalil, MD, ob-gyn, the director of sexual health at Mount Sinai told POPSUGAR. If you are not sufficiently aroused before engaging in sexual activity, she encourages using a water-based lubricant to prevent skin irritation.

Preventing skin irritation “also prevents certain kinds of infections,” Dr. Khalil explained. For example, yeast infections can occur as a result of trauma to the sensitive skin and the vagina, she explained. “If you find yourself a little bit on the drier side during sex, use the lubricant,” Leah Millheiser, MD, ob-gyn, FACOG, director of the female sexual medicine program at Stanford Health Care told POPSUGAR.

She recommended lubricant to avoid trauma to the vulvar area of the vagina which includes: the vestibule (the opening of the vagina), the labia majoria (the outer lips), the labia minora (the inner lips), and the clitoris. “We just find anecdotally, and there’s really no good research on this, that if they tend to be drier during sex, and they’re having more friction during sex, you tend to see them get UTIs,” Dr. Millheiser explained.

If you are prone to UTIs, Dr. Milheiser said, “Take a shower and wash the genital and anal region with soap and water to clean away as much bacteria as you can before sexual activity.” Dr. Millheiser also recommended urinating before and after sex to prevent bacteria growth in the bladder.

If you’re still getting UTIs, regardless of how good your hygiene is, Dr. Millhieser recommended speaking with your medical provider about potentially using a prophylactic antibiotic, a low-dose antibiotic you take before sexual activity to prevent UTIs and other infections.

What’s the Best Lube to Use During Sex?

Lubricant may help prevent UTIs but you’ve got to ensure you’re using the right kind of lube. “First and foremost, avoid at all costs any of the petroleum-based oils or mineral-based oils,” Dr. Millheiser said. For example, baby oil, Crisco, and Vaseline. “Do not use those. Those can cause vaginal inflammation,” she warned.

If you’re looking for something natural, Dr. Millheiser recommended coconut oil, “but only if you are not using latex items (like a dental dam or a condom) for safe sex.” This is because coconut oil can break down latex and make it less efficient, she explained. If you’re having unprotected sex, Dr. Millheiser said coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil are all good options. When it comes to selecting a natural lubricant, Dr. Millheiser said to simply pick the one that smells the best to you.

If you’re following best practices like washing your vagina before and after sex, urinating before and after sex, and using lubricant but are still getting UTIs, consult your medical provider. “It’s important to find a provider that you’re comfortable with so that you can share your history without feeling judged, or without feeling like you can’t tell them exactly what happened,” Dr. Khalil said.

Holy Abs! Ryan Reynolds's Trainer Dropped Some Fitness Tips Along With This Shirtless Pic

A shirtless pic of Ryan Reynolds on my Instagram feed? Hello, you have my undivided attention. Ryan and Blake Lively’s personal trainer, Don Saladino, shared the chiseled social media snap on Wednesday to promote his recent episode of Slate‘s How To podcast and provided a few tips for anyone looking to get into superhero shape.

Lest anyone think it’s easier for celebrities, Don is here to set the record straight. “Everyone fights the same fight,” the Drive 495 owner said. “A lot of people that I’ve worked with in the past, they struggle with it. They have temptations with food or they might be tired. I think it’s just finding that switch. It’s giving them the ability to feel successful everyday.”

“Everyone fights the same fight.”

For Don, a major key to a superhero physique is a sustainable workout plan. He recommended avoiding burnout by keeping your routine manageable and consistent. “You’re better off going at 80 percent” than falling off the wagon after two days of all-out work. He also emphasized a good night’s sleep and paying close attention to what you eat. He uses the “palm, fist, thumb” method to measure each meal and said weight loss is “really simple” as long as you maintain your blood sugar levels and eat three meals a day.

Of course, sleep and eating well are only a fraction of the journey. Don also uses resistance training to create tension in the muscles, using a variety of weights: cables, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, etc. He also suggested a few exercises like duck walks, the one-arm suitcase (grab a kettlebell in one arm and walk around with good posture), and the Zottman curl (like a normal bicep curl but you reverse your grip) for a gym or at-home routine.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of introspection and knowing what works for your own body. “Don’t worry about what Ryan does,” he said. “Let’s focus on what we can find to allow you to be successful.”

Trader Joe's Has Creamy Cashew Yogurt – but How Does It Taste?

Are you there, Trader Joe’s? It’s me, Jenny. Sometimes I feel like Trader Joe’s is with me always, listening to my thoughts and conversations, because I was just telling a fellow plant-based buddy that I wished Trader Joe’s had a vegan yogurt that offered protein. Boom, wish granted! I was so excited to get my hands on this new Organic Creamy Cashew yogurt. Keep reading to find out the nutritional info, and more importantly, if it tastes as delicious as it sounds.

This Vegan Diet Is the Opposite of Keto, and People Are Losing Weight on It

While researching plant-based recipes to make for the week (yep, that’s what I love to do on Saturday nights because I’m cool like that), I came upon a YouTube channel about eating high-carb, low-fat (HCLF) vegan. I got sucked in and watched a ton of videos, because I loved the idea that I could eat all the fruit and whole grains I wanted, especially in this low-carb-obsessed world we live in. If being healthy and losing weight eating pasta, potatoes, and bananas seems awesome to you, keep reading to learn all about the HCLF vegan lifestyle and how it can offer health benefits as well as help you lose weight.

A 23-Year-Old Mountain Biker Just Became the First American in 17 Years to Win the World Cup

As Kate Courtney coasted across the finish line on Sept. 8, the celebration was already beginning. Twenty-three years old and in her second season as a professional mountain biker, Kate had just achieved something no American woman had done in 17 years: winning the overall World Cup in cross country mountain biking. And in front of a roaring American crowd in Snowshoe, WV, no less.

“It was an incredible moment,” Kate said: the culmination of a long, grinding season. The overall title doesn’t go to the winner of just one race (Kate actually came in fifth on Sunday); it’s a measure of how well a cyclist performs over the course of an entire season, with athletes earning points based on how they place in a series of seven races. Each singular race consists of a set of laps around a short, physically and technically demanding course, bumping over rocks, chugging up steep hills, navigating through switchbacks and uneven terrain. The Snowshoe course? Just over two-and-a-half miles in length, with a vertical climb of 528 feet.

Kate had won the first three races of the season, putting her in the lead for the overall, before falling behind Swiss cyclist Jolanda Neff. In order to win the title, Kate had to beat Jolanda in this final competition. “The whole race was about knowing where I was in position and knowing where my other competitor was and trying to put as many riders between us as possible,” Kate said. “It was a really tight battle. It was about fighting until the very end.” The fifth place finish was enough; Kate leaped to the top of the standings and came out as the overall champion.

“I’ve had big wins on single days before,” Kate told POPSUGAR. “But overall is something completely different. It requires a season of consistency and really racing at the top or fighting for every position for the entire season.” The cheering crowds, the chants of USA, the flag draped around her shoulders: all were part of the payoff for the enormous amount of time and effort she’d put in through the whole season, weathering every high and low. “The overall is really special because it’s accumulation of each of those races,” Kate said. “It matters just as much that I fought for 17th on my worst day, as it does that I fought for the win on my best day.”

Kate grew up playing sports: running cross country, skiing, horseback riding. It wasn’t until high school, when she was looking for ways to cross-train that she decided to join her school’s mountain bike team. “I think it really benefited me that I discovered the competitive side of the sport a bit later. I grew up riding just for fun with my dad,” Kate said. “I fell in love with riding my bike first, and then I fell in love with racing my bike.”

Kate signed her first pro contract during her freshman year at Stanford, and the next four years were a balancing act. She chose a challenging major, human biology, but said that working towards a degree while racing actually felt like a plus. “It really forced me to be a bit more balanced and to understand that sometimes, having things in your life that aren’t completely focused on your sport can actually be a huge benefit to you,” she explained, adding that the time management aspect was difficult, but a support system of people close to her helped her get through it.

After graduating in 2017, Kate now typically trains on the bike two to six hours a day, seven days a week, and hits the gym three times a week. “Mountain biking can be really full-body,” she said. “It’s obviously very leg- and quad-focused, but it’s also about having a really strong core and upper body and coordination, so that I feel comfortable pushing hard on technical downhills.”

The hours, days, and months of training paid off. Not only did Kate secure the overall World Cup title this season, but she also qualified for the 2020 Olympics along the way. “I’m so excited,” Kate said. “It’s been a lifelong dream for me.” Cross country is actually the only mountain biking discipline you’ll see at the Olympics — and an American woman has never placed better than third.

Kate said she’s starting to focus on preparing for the Games, but she’s also in her off-season, enjoying time off, hot yoga sessions, and “the other side of the sport that I love”: long “adventure rides,” taking on the trails around her home in Northern California. Part of that is building a “base fitness” for next season; part of it is just reconnecting with her passion for cycling.

“I have the racing and training really hard side of it, which for me is really motivating and often very challenging. And then sometimes, I just get to ride my bike for fun with my friends,” Kate said. “To have both of these sides, it fuels both my love of the competition and my love of the sport.”

I Tried Halle Berry's Infamous Fitness Friday Core Workout, and My Abs Wouldn't Stop Shaking

At this point, I know to expect every workout that Halle Berry shares on Instagram to be challenging — that’s why I love them. Out of all the workouts she shares, my favorite are her ab workouts because they always incorporate unique moves and they’re so hard.

I tried her most recent five-move ab workout, and it lived up to my expectations. After doing the first exercise, the crescent moon hand walk with a push-up, I thought to myself, “Damn, she’s trying to kill us.”

What I really liked about this workout was that all the moves are about stability, which in my opinion makes them that much harder. Core stability is important because it helps protect your spine, can reduce back pain, improves movement patterns you do every day, and improves your balance, stability, and posture.

Forewarning: these exercises are advanced, but I’ve included modifications you can do that will equally challenge your core stability and strength. If you’re ready to give Halle’s workout a shot — and be left with trembling abs — continue reading.

Halle Berry’s 5-Move Core Stability Workout

  • Crescent moon hand walk with a push-up: three to five reps
  • Foam roller palm roll-out: perform for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Foam roller knife hand roll-out: perform for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Single-arm isolation plank: perform for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Lateral crawl sandbag drag: complete five to 10 reps

I Tried This Trainer's Instagram Stability Ball Workout, and My Abs and I Could Barely Finish

The only core move I’ve really done with a stability ball is stir the pot, and that one exercise is tough enough to instill some major respect for this underrated piece of equipment. When I saw that Cindy Yu, an AFLCA-certified personal trainer from Canada posted a creative “core-alicious” workout on Instagram using only a stability ball, I knew I had to give it a try. Cindy (@cindyyufitness on Instagram) posts some of my favorite Instagram workouts, and this core-focused circuit looked right up my alley — challenging but doable.

So . . . make that EXTREMELY challenging. Three out of five moves require you to balance on the ball on your elbows or hands, adding in a stability element that had my core absolutely shaking. It took me a full minute to be able to do the first exercise without literally falling off the ball. My advice: go slower than you think you need to and definitely modify. It took me four full rounds to be able to do all the exercises, and even then, I couldn’t quite manage the tricep press plank with knee tap. (I modified it to just the knee tap.) Even with modifications, this quick workout lights up your core all over the place. My abs were shaking for a good half hour afterwards.

Quick Stability Ball Core Workout

Equipment Needed: A stability ball.

Directions: Do 30-40 seconds of each of the following exercises. Complete three to four total rounds of the circuit.

  • Jackknife (ball knee tuck) to push-up
  • Windshield wiper
  • Forward roll with toe tap
  • Tricep press plank with knee taps
  • Deadbug

Check out the video above to see how to do each exercise.

15 Healthy Meal-Prep Recipes That Will Help Ensure You Never Skip Breakfast Again

Eating breakfast can give you the energy you need to power through your morning, but if you’re one of the many people who don’t have time to cook breakfast every morning, these make-ahead recipes can help. Even if you don’t typically meal prep, whipping up a breakfast recipe (or two) on a Sunday afternoon can help get your week off to a healthier start — and who knows, once you’re in that habit, you might find you want to tackle lunch and dinner, too. For now, choose from these good-for-you breakfasts, ranging from veggie-filled egg muffins to overnight oats, then get cooking.

These 20-Minute CrossFit Workouts Are Seriously Fun and Super Intense

If you only have 20 minutes to fit in a workout, that’s plenty of time! These quick-yet-intense CrossFit workouts use basic exercises to build muscle, burn calories, and make you feel stronger and more badass. Some require no equipment, so you can do them anywhere, and some require basic equipment like a box, pair of dumbbells, or a kettlebell. If you’ve always wanted to try CrossFit, these 20-minute workouts will give you a taste — and make you hungry for more!

Jamie Taught Zumba at Her Heaviest Weight of 269 Pounds and Lost 90 With WW

As a 37-year-old mom of three, Jamie Bell (@zumbajamie) told POPSUGAR that she’s struggled with her weight since childhood. After reaching almost 270 pounds, she felt like she needed to make a lifestyle change to be a positive role model for her kids and to inspire them to have healthy habits. Keep reading to learn what worked for Jamie and helped her lose 90 pounds in just over a year.

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