Why You Should Always Pee After Sex

A common piece of advice shared among women is that they should urinate (pee) after sex to reduce the risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI). As with many commonly shared words of wisdom, there are some facts to support the claim, although they are not necessarily clear-cut or definitive.

This article looks at whether peeing after sex has any benefit in reducing a woman's risk of a urinary tract infection and if the same might apply to men.

Sex and Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are unquestionably associated with sexual intercourse. The more sex someone has, the more likely they are to get a UTI. The link is so well known that sexually-associated UTIs are sometimes referred to as "honeymoon cystitis." Cystitis is another word for inflammation of the bladder.

One of the main reasons is that sexual intercourse can put pressure on the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body). This can irritate the urethra or force bacteria up into it. Both, in turn, can increase the likelihood of infection.

Most people associate UTIs with vaginal intercourse. That's because the urethra is right above the vagina. However, there is some evidence that anal intercourse is also associated with increased UTI risk.

Recap

Sexual intercourse is linked to UTIs in people with vaginas. It can force bacteria into the urethra. It can also irritate urethral tissues, making them more vulnerable to infection.

Sexual Hygiene

Several studies have looked at sexual and hygienic factors to see if they might be associated with the increased risk of urinary tract infections. One such factor that's been examined is voiding, or peeing, within 15 minutes after intercourse. This is also known as postcoital voiding.

Most studies that have looked at peeing after sex have found that it seems to reduce the risk of getting a UTI. The theory is that peeing after sex can flush any bacteria out of the urethra and into the toilet.

The research isn't unanimous, though. There are some studies that didn't find any relationship between peeing after sex and UTI risk.

However, peeing after sex has never been shown to increase the risk of UTI. So whether or not it's helpful, it doesn't do any harm.

Urinating after sex is thought to reduce the risk of an UTI by flushing bacteria from the urethra. Even so, the evidence remains split as to whether it actually helps.

Should Men Pee After Sex?

It's less important for men to pee after sex than it is for women. This is because there are big differences between male and female anatomy.

It is relatively rare for men to get urinary tract infections. In general, the longer male urethra means it's less likely for bacteria to get up into the bladder and cause a problem.

In addition, the penile urethra, through which men urinate, is also the tube through which they ejaculate. Therefore, if the man ejaculates during vaginal intercourse, this could flush out any bacteria. That doesn't mean it's a bad idea for men to pee after sex. It's just probably less useful than it is for women.

The same may not be entirely true with regard to anal sex. Certain bacteria, such as Streptococcal pneumonia and Haemophilus species, can enter the urethra of the penis during anal intercourse, causing acute urethritis (urethral inflammation) and, in some cases, a UTI.

There is currently no evidence that peeing after anal sex reduces the risk of urethritis or UTIs in the insertive partner.

Recap

Getting a UTI from sex is generally not a problem for people with penises. This is because the urethra is longer and ejaculation helps flush the passageway. The risk may be higher with anal sex, although there is no evidence that peeing afterward helps.

Summary

Peeing after sex may help flush bacteria from the urethra and reduce a woman's risk of getting a UTI. That said, the evidence remains split as to whether the practice actually helps. In the end, it may help and certainly won't hurt.

Men are generally at low risk of UTIs from sex due to their longer urethra and the fact that ejaculation helps clear the passageway. The risk may be greater in men who engage in insertive anal sex, although there is little evidence that peeing afterward helps.

A Word From Verywell

Urinary tract infections aren't fun. That's particularly true when you get a lot of them. If you have a history of recurrent UTIs, it is worth speaking with your doctor to discuss behavioral changes that may reduce the frequency of UTIs.

Your healthcare provider may also prescribe antibiotics for you to use regularly or shortly after sex to reduce your risk of recurrent UTIs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will peeing after sex decrease my chances of pregnancy?

    No. Urinating doesn't affect sperm that's entered your uterus, so it won't stop you from becoming pregnant. There is evidence that lying on your back for several minutes after sex can improve the odds of conceiving, so you may want to wait a while before running to the bathroom.

  • Does peeing after sex prevent UTIs?

    There is conflicting research, but a few studies have shown a link between urinating within 15 minutes of intercourse and a decreased risk of UTIs among women who don’t have a history of urinary tract infections.

  • Why does my vagina burn when I urinate after sex?

    There are a number of possible causes, including inadequate lubrication during sex, an allergy to latex condoms, irritation caused by spermicides in certain lubricants, or an undiagnosed STD or bacterial UTI.

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10 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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