Should you really pee after sex, according to science

Should you really pee after sex, according to science

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If you have a vagina, you’ve probably been told it is absolutely must urinate immediately after intercourse to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). But it turns out there isn’t much evidence to support this idea. There is shockingly little research on whether this oft-repeated advice works. One study in the so-called magazine Evidence-based practice found that, in general, it didn’t seem to make a difference. But that’s just one study, and the results didn’t point in either direction.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not include urination after sex in the your tips for preventing urinary tract infections. Here’s what they does Recommend:

  • Wash the skin around the anus and genital area.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (including water) to flush bacteria from the urinary tract.
  • Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge or every two to three hours.

They point out that factors such as pregnancy, diabetes or going through menopause can increase the risk of getting a UTI. Some people seem to be more prone to them: if you’ve had a urinary tract infection before, you’re more likely to get it again than someone who’s never had one.

However, if you have peed after sex, there is no need to stop the habit. While there’s no conclusive evidence that it helps, there’s also no conclusive evidence that it hurts—or even that it’s useless.

Does urinating after sex prevent pregnancy or STIs?

Speaking of which, I’d like to mention two myths that have gotten mixed up in the whole pee after sex advice. Urination after sex is not possibly prevent pregnancy or prevent sexually transmitted infections.

When it comes to preventing pregnancy, the sperm goes into the vagina, not the urethra. These two holes are close together, but they are not the same thing, and the urine that leaves your urethra has no effect on what happens in your vagina, cervix, or uterus. People trying to get pregnant may have heard the advice to hold off urinating for at least a little while after sex to help gravity help their chances of conceiving — but American Society for Reproductive Medicine notes that “this belief has no scientific basis”.

Urinating after sex has not been found to significantly affect the risk of contracting HIV, chlamydia, herpes, or any other sexually transmitted infection. For the prevention of STIs, ACOG recommends use condoms, be aware of the increased risk of anal sex or other actions that can result in skin cracking, and be sure to get vaccinated against HPV and hepatitis B, both of which can be sexually transmitted.


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