People may have heard that peeing after sex is beneficial, especially for women. This is because peeing flushes bacteria out of the body, which may help prevent a urinary tract from developing.
Here, we look at how peeing after sex may help to prevent urinary tract infections. We also discuss whether there are any other benefits to peeing after sex.
Benefits of peeing after sex
Sexual intercourse is a risk factor for urinary tract infections (UTIs).
During sex, bacteria can pass from the genitals to the urethra.
The urethra is the tube that connects the bladder to the urethral opening where urine comes out. Bacteria can then make its way from the urethra to the bladder, resulting in a UTI.
Peeing after sex helps to flush bacteria out of the urethra, helping to prevent UTIs.
How can it help prevent UTIs?
Females are up to 30 times more likely to get a UTI than males. This is due to two reasons: Firstly, the female urethra is close to the vagina and anus. This means that bacteria can easily spread from these areas to the urethra. Secondly, the urethra is shorter in females than it is in males. This means that bacteria that enter the urethra can reach the bladder more easily.
In women, peeing after sex can help to flush any bacteria away from the urethra.
For males, peeing after sex is less important. This is because males have a longer urethra. As a result, bacteria from the genital area is less likely to reach the bladder.
Although there is no solid evidence to confirm that peeing after sex can prevent UTIs, there is no harm in following this practice. It may help to reduce the risk of UTIs, especially in women and people who are more prone to UTIs.
Does it prevent pregnancy?
Peeing after sex will not prevent pregnancy. The urethra and vagina are separate parts of the female anatomy. As a result, peeing will not affect any sperm that enter the vagina. Using some form of birth control is the only way to prevent pregnancy during sex.
Does it prevent STIs?
Peeing after sex does not prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs). People contract STIs by absorbing bacteria through the mucous membranes inside their bodies during sexual intercourse. Peeing after sex will not prevent these bacteria from entering the body.
Using a condom or other form of barrier contraceptives during sex can help to reduce the risk of STIs.
How soon after sex should you pee?
There is no recommended time to pee after having sex, although some anecdotal sources suggest peeing within 30 minutes after sex. In general, the sooner people pee after sex, the sooner they can flush out bacteria before it travels up the urethra.
If people are struggling to pee after sex, drinking a glass or two of water may help. A larger amount of urine will also be more effective in flushing out bacteria.
Other ways to prevent UTIs
The following tips may also help to reduce a person’s risk of getting a UTI:
- drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day to ensure regular flushing of bacteria out of the urethra
- peeing whenever the urge arises, rather than holding in urine
- avoiding going more than 3 or 4 hours without urinating
- always wiping from front to back after going to the toilet
- cleaning the genitals with warm water each day
- avoiding using scented female hygiene products
- avoiding douching
- avoiding using spermicides if prone to UTIs
- wearing loose cotton underwear
- avoiding tight clothing
- avoiding staying in wet bathing or workout clothes that can trap moisture and harbor bacteria around the genitals
- limiting baths to 30 minutes or less, or taking showers
- drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry extracts
When to see a doctor
People should see a doctor if they experience the following symptoms of a UTI:
- painful or burning sensation when urinating
- feeling the need to urinate often, despite passing only a small amount of urine each time
- cloudy urine
- foul-smelling urine
- blood in the urine
- pressure or pain in the lower abdomen
- feeling tired, weak, or shaky
If people have a UTI, a doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. People will usually start feeling better within a few days.
In some cases, a UTI can make its way up to the kidneys. A kidney infection can be severe and requires immediate medical treatment. Symptoms of a kidney infection include:
- a fever
- pain in the lower back
People should also see their doctor if they notice any unusual or painful symptoms during or after sex. These could be symptoms of an STI.
Peeing after sex may help to flush bacteria out of the urethra, thereby helping to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI). It may be especially helpful for women, or people who are prone to UTIs.
However, peeing after sex will not prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
People should see a doctor if they experience symptoms of a UTI or STI. Some people may require treatment with antibiotics.