Peeing After Sex: Why You Should Always Do It

It may help prevent urinary tract infections

A commonly shared piece of advice among females—and some males—is that urinating (peeing) after sex can reduce the risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So, what actually is true?

As with all words of wisdom, there are truths intermingled with misconceptions that can be hard to separate.

This article explores whether peeing after sex has any benefit in the prevention of UTIs or STIs. It also explains other methods of prevention and when to see a healthcare provider if you have signs and symptoms of an infection.

For the purpose of this article, the term "female" refers to people born with a vagina and "male" refers to people born with a penis irrespective of whether they identify as male, female, and any gender.

Sex and Urinary Tract Infections in Females

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are unquestionably linked to sexual intercourse in females. The more sex a person has, the more likely they are to get a UTI, including cystitis (bladder infection). The link is so strong that sexually-acquired UTIs are sometimes referred to as "honeymoon cystitis."

One of the main reasons is that vaginal intercourse places pressure on the urethra (the tube through which urine exits the body). This can force bacteria into the urethra. It can also irritate urethral tissues, making them more vulnerable to infection.

Why Females Are at Greater Risk

Females are more susceptible to sexually acquired UTIs than males for several reasons:

  • The length of the female urethra is shorter, meaning that bacteria have a shorter distance to reach the bladder.
  • The skin of the urethral meatus (opening) is thinner and more porous in females.
  • The female urethra is situated close to the rectum, making it easier to pass bacteria from the anus (particularly if you engage in anal sex).
  • The female urethra is situated adjacent to the vagina, meaning that bacteria from the vagina have easy access to the urethra.

Does Peeing After Sex Prevent UTIs?

Several studies have looked at whether postcoital voiding, or peeing within 15 minutes of sexual intercourse, can reduce the risk of UTIs in females.

To date, a great many studies have suggested that it can. The theory is that peeing after sex can flush any bacteria out of the urethra before they can establish an infection.

With that said, the findings are neither unanimous nor consistent. There are some studies that didn't find any relationship between peeing after sex and the risk of UTIs.

What is clear is that peeing after sex cannot hurt you and that the practice of postcoital voiding has never been shown to increase the risk of a UTI.

Should Males Pee After Sex?

It may be far less important for males to pee after sex to prevent a UTI. This is because there are big differences between male and female anatomy.

It is relatively rare for males to get UTIs. In general, the longer male urethra means it's less likely for bacteria to get up into the bladder and establish an infection.

In addition, the male urethra is also the tube through which they ejaculate (cum). Therefore, if a male ejaculates, any bacteria present at the meatus is easily flushed out.

That doesn't mean it's a bad idea for males to pee after sex. It's just probably less useful than it is for females.

The same may not be true with regard to anal sex. Certain bacteria, such as Streptococcal pneumonia and Haemophilus species, can enter the male urethra during anal sex, 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 a UTI.

Does Peeing Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections?

If peeing after sex can potentially reduce the risk of a UTI, particularly in females, it would serve to reason that it might also help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

To date, there is no such evidence that this is true. This is because the route of infection for most STIs varies dramatically from that of a UTI.

With a UTI, the bacteria will typically travel up the urethra to establish an infection in the bladder. With an STI, most bacteria enter the body through porous mucosal tissues that line the female genital tract and male urethra. Some STIs can even penetrate intact skin because they are so small.

For example, E. coli (one of the bacteria most commonly linked to UTIs) is between 1.0 and 3.0 micrometers in size. By contrast, bacterial STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia are between 50% and 70% smaller, while viral STIs like HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV) are vastly smaller than any of these.

Because of this, peeing after sex offers little to no benefit in preventing STIs in either females or males.

Prevention of Sexually Acquired Infections

It is not always easy to avoid getting a UTI, but there are some measures you can take to reduce the risk of getting one through sex, particularly if you are female.

In addition to post-coital voiding:

  • Clean your genital and anal areas before and after sex. Be sure to wipe from front to back to avoid transmitting bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
  • Drink plenty of water before intercourse and just after intercourse to better ensure you can pee.
  • Avoid using a diaphragm if you are prone to UTIs as it can introduce bacteria into the vagina.
  • Avoid spermicides which can irritate and further weaken mucosal tissues of the urethra.

The risk of any sexually acquired infection, whether a UTI or STI, can be reduced by lowering your number of sex partners. By doing so, you are less likely to be exposed to microorganisms that cause UTIs and STIs.

To further avoid STIs, use condoms correctly and consistently. There is also a vaccine that can prevent HPV and a daily drug therapy called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that can dramatically lower your risk of getting HIV.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

You should see your healthcare provider if you have the following signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection, whether sexually acquired or not:

  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Feeling the need to pee often
  • Passing only small amounts of urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Strong or foul-smelling urine
  • Lower abdominal pain or pressure
  • Blood in the urine


Peeing after sex may help flush bacteria from the urethra and reduce the risk of getting a urinary tract infection (UTI) in females. With 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 anal sex, although there is little evidence that peeing afterward helps.

Peeing after sex has not been shown to prevent getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in either females or males.

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

  • 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, vaginal irritation due to spermicides, or having an undiagnosed STI or UTI.

  • Does peeing after sex prevent pregnancy?

    No. Urinating won't affect the sperm that has entered your uterus, so it won't stop you from becoming pregnant. If you want to avoid pregnancy, speak with your healthcare provider about hormonal and non-hormonal forms of birth control (including condoms).

  • Is it OK to pee after sex if you're trying to conceive?

    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.

  • Why does peeing after sex hurt?

    There are several reasons for dysuria (painful urination) that may or may not be connected to sex. These include:

    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea
    • Genital herpes
    • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
    • Bladder infection
    • Kidney infection
    • Vaginal yeast infection
    • Vaginitis (vaginal inflammation)
    • Prostatitis (prostate inflammation)
    • Urethritis (urethral inflammation)
    • Kidney or bladder stones
    • Irritants like harsh soaps, spermicides, or personal care items
12 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.
  1. Kolman KB. Cystitis and pyelonephritis: Diagnosis, treatment, and preventionPrim Care. 2019;46(2):191-202. doi:10.1016/j.pop.2019.01.001

  2. Harris LM. Does urinating after intercourse reduce the risk of urinary tract infections among women? Evidence-Based Practice. 2013;16(5):6. doi:10.1097/01.EBP.0000540379.68950.14

  3. Badran YA, El-Kashef TA, Abdelaziz AS, Ali MM. Impact of genital hygiene and sexual activity on urinary tract infection during pregnancy. Urol Ann. 2015;7(4):478-81. doi:10.4103/0974-7796.157971

  4. Tan CW, Chlebicki MP. Urinary tract infections in adults. Singapore Med J. 2016;57(9):485-90. doi:10.11622/smedj.2016153

  5. Stoddard N, Leslie SW. Histology, male urethra. StatPearls.

  6. Young A, Toncar A, Wray AA. Urethritis. StatPearls.

  7. Vigneswaran HT, Baird B, Hwang K, Renzulli J, Chan PA. Etiology of symptomatic urethritis in men and association with sexual behaviors. R I Med J. 2016 Jun 1;99(6):37–40.

  8. Sabeena S, Bhat P, Kamath V, Arunkumar G. Possible non-sexual modes of transmission of human papilloma virus: Non-sexual modes of HPV transmissionJ Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2017;43(3):429-435. doi:10.1111/jog.13248

  9. Microbiology Librotexts. 1.3 Types of microorganisms.

  10. Sorensen J, Bautista KE, Lamvu G, Feranec J. Evaluation and treatment of female sexual pain: a clinical review. Cureus. 10(3):e2379. doi:10.7759%2Fcureus.2379

  11. Custers IM, Flierman PA, Maas P, et al. Immobilisation versus immediate mobilisation after intrauterine insemination: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;339:b4080. doi:10.1136/bmj.b4080

  12. Michels TC, Sands JE. Dysuria: evaluation and differential diagnosis in adultsAm Fam Physician. 2015;92(9):778-86.

Additional Reading

By Elizabeth Boskey, PhD
Elizabeth Boskey, PhD, MPH, CHES, is a social worker, adjunct lecturer, and expert writer in the field of sexually transmitted diseases.