It may disturb those intimate post-coital moments with your partner, but peeing after sex has its benefits. Not only is it ultimately better for women’s health, it also helps women to avoid urinary tract or bladder infections.
This is not to say that infection sets in mere seconds after sex, but incorporating the habit into your sexual hygiene routine will certainly help you to avoid days, sometimes weeks, of discomfort down there.
In this article, we’ll explain why women’s health experts recommend peeing after sex, how it can prevent urinary tract infections, and otherwise benefit women’s health. We’ll also address whether peeing after sex can prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Why Women Should Pee After Sex
The main reason why women should pee after sex is due to the structure of the female anatomy and how it is more susceptible to urinary tract infections than the male anatomy. The urethra, bladder, and kidneys can all become adversely affected by a UTI, however, peeing after sex can help keep these urinary organs healthy and free from bacterial infections.
How Peeing After Sex is Good for Your Urethra
The female urethra, for example, is located closer to the vagina and anus, meaning it's easier for bacteria or feces to enter the urethra during sex. In addition, the female urethra, or the tube through which urine is excreted from the body, is much shorter than the male urethra so bacteria have less distance to travel before reaching the bladder.
These two factors mean women are 30 times more likely to suffer urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder infections than men. Peeing after sex, however, can help to flush these bacteria from the urethra before an infection has time to take hold.
Why Peeing After Sex is Healthy for Your Bladder
The bladder is a muscular organ located in the pelvic area that naturally inflates to hold your urine and deflates once urine is passed. However, if harmful bacteria from your partner’s penis, mouth, sex toys, or condom enter the urethra during sex, they can quickly and easily travel up the urethra to the bladder where an infection can set it.
Peeing after sex will successfully flush any germs or bacteria before they have time to develop into a bladder infection.
Peeing After Sex Will Benefit Your Kidneys Too
Peeing after sex will not only flush germs or bacteria from the urethra, but it can also help your kidneys. If not primarily flushed from the urethra after intercourse, harmful bacteria can result in a urinary tract infection, and when left untreated, the infection can easily spread to the kidneys resulting in severe complications like kidney damage or sepsis.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection refers to an infection in any part of the urinary system i.e the urethra, bladder, or kidneys. The infection is typically caused by bacteria entering the urethra from either the vagina or the anus and then traveling up to the bladder where the bacteria multiplies and eventually manifests as an infection.
Are Certain Women More Likely to Get UTIs?
In general, women are 30 times more susceptible to contracting UTIs than men. In addition to being more likely to contract UTIs after sex, due to location and the short length of the urethra, certain lifestyle factors can also increase the chances of women contracting a UTI.
Sexually Active Women Can Experience More UTIs
Because bacteria from the vagina or anus are the typical cause of UTIs, sexually active women can experience them more frequently.
Using Spermicides, Diaphragms, or Cervical Caps Can Cause More UTIs
Spermicides, which are chemical-based creams that kill sperm, are necessary for using diaphragms and cervical caps, and can also be found as a coating on certain condoms. While spermicides work well to prevent pregnancy, they also kill the good bacteria that protect the body against UTIs.
Pregnancy & UTIs
Pregnancy increases the risk of UTIs in two ways. First, the change in hormones that women experience during pregnancy can alter the natural balance of bacteria in the urinary tract, allowing UTIs to develop more easily. Secondly, the developing baby and growing womb rest directly on top of the bladder, meaning expectant moms can find it harder to empty their bladder entirely. The bacteria contained in the urine that remains in the bladder can cause a UTI.
How Menopause Can Increase the Risk of UTIs
One of the symptoms that post-menopausal women usually experience is a decreased production of estrogen. The lack of this female hormone causes various reactions in the body, one of which is the walls of the vagina become thinner and drier. This drier and less robust environment in the vagina makes it easier for bacteria to grow, thus leading to more UTIs.
Diabetes & UTIs
Diabetes can impact nerves, blood flow, and sensory function, thereby making it more difficult for diabetics to completely empty their bladder. Essentially, urine that remains in the bladder for too long can lead to UTIs.
When Catheters Cause UTIs
A catheter is a small tube that is inserted into the bladder when naturally passing urine is not an option. For example, someone suffering from incontinence or retention of urine, or when people undergo surgery. Of the total number of UTIs reported in hospitals, 75% are related to catheters.
How Do You Know If You Have a UTI?
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A frequent and sudden urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Urine has a cloudy appearance
- Slight signs of blood in the urine
- Lower Abdomen pain
How to Treat A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections will not go away on their own but a visit to your doctor for antibiotic treatment will generally start to clear the infection within five days. Even if your symptoms improve, it is imperative to finish the entire course of antibiotics to prevent a recurring infection.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
The following tips are recommended for lowering the risk of urinary tract infections and preventing them from recurring.
- Drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day to help flush bacteria from the urinary tract.
- In addition to drinking enough water, a daily intake of up to 500 ml of unsweetened cranberry juice helps too.
- In addition to improving digestive health, probiotics also help to maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the vagina and are believed to prevent UTIs from developing.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet to prevent bacteria from transferring from the anus to the urethra.
- Don’t put off urinating when you need to. Urine that remains in the bladder for too long can cause UTIs.
- Refrain from vaginal douching and from using female hygiene sprays or products to clean the vagina or vulva. Chemicals in these products can kill the good bacteria as well as the harmful bacteria. Just wash with warm water and non-fragranced soap.
- If using contraception that involves spermicide, consider changing to an alternative.
- Always pee after sex to flush any harmful bacteria from the urethra.
Does Peeing After Sex Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections?
No, peeing after sex will not prevent STIs because the vaginal opening is not the same as the urinary opening. Therefore peeing (from the urethra) will not flush sexually transmitted viruses or bacteria from the vagina. The only way to prevent STIs is to use contraception with new partners until you’ve both had time to do a test.
Will Urinating After Sex Prevent Pregnancy?
No, during penetrative sex between a woman and a man, sperm is ejaculated into the vagina, not the urinary tract. So peeing from the urethra, which is a separate opening to the vagina, will not flush ejaculate or sperm cells from your vagina. To prevent falling pregnant, use a contraceptive that works for you.
Is peeing after sex necessary? While you don’t need to hop out of bed immediately after intercourse, peeing up to thirty minutes after sex is widely advised to prevent UTIs, bladder infections, and kidney infections. Should you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor for UTI treatment.
Cleveland Clinic – Is Peeing After Sex Really That Important - https://health.clevelandclinic.org/peeing-after-sex/
Office on Women’s Health – Urinary Tract Infections - https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/urinary-tract-infections
Mayo Clinic – Kidney Infections - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/kidney-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353387
Healthline – Spermicide Condoms - https://www.healthline.com/health/do-spermicide-condoms-work#side-effects
Urology Care Foundation – Diabetes and Its Impact on Your Urinary & Sexual Health - https://www.urologyhealth.org/healthy-living/urologyhealth-extra/magazine-archives/spring-2017/diabetes-and-its-impact-on-your-urinary-and-sexual-health
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections - https://www.cdc.gov/hai/ca_uti/uti.html