Attention, please, any woman who is about to have sex (we’re not sure why you’re on the internet right now, but good on you for doing your research before boning and making your partner wait for you to scroll through Twitter).
If you’re someone who sticks to the routine of peeing before and after sex, having been told it’s the best way to avoid the horror of UTIs, we have some bad news.
You really shouldn’t urinate before sex – and doing so can actually make a UTI more likely, rather than less.
This isn’t new information, but it bears repeating. Especially as loads of us will be heading home for the holidays, having sex on a twin bed when our parents are in the next room, and having to tiptoe to the toilet after orgasms.
As urologist David Kaufman explained back in 2015, weeing before sex can be a terrible idea as it reduces the force of your urine stream after sex – which is when you need it to be strong.
When you pee after sex, a strong stream of urine can help to push out bacteria transferred from the vagina to the urethra.
If you wee before sex, you probably won’t need to wee again immediately after sex, which could mean your post-sex nip to the toilet is pretty pointless.
If you don’t manage to pee with enthusiasm after sex the bacteria that’s been pushed into the urethra can head up to the bladder and develop into an infection.
And as anyone who’s experienced a UTI before will tell you, that infection is no fun at all. Cranberry juice won’t do much to help.
So, sex-having people. Remember this rule: Pee after sex, not before. That’s important.
Ways to prevent UTIs:
- Drink plenty of fluids so you’re able to flush out your bladder frequently
- Pee after sex
- Never hold in urine
- Wipe from front to back, never back to front
- Don’t douche. Don’t try to ‘detox’ your vagina. Not only could you cause damage to your vag, but all that faffing around could cause bacteria to be pushed into your urinary tract.
- Avoid super tight underwear (that’ll also help to prevent yeast infections, hooray!) and stick to natural fibres such as cotton
Signs you may have a UTI:
- A burning feeling when you urinate
- Pain in your lower abdomen
- A constant need to pee, even though a tiny amount comes out when you do
- Urine that’s cloudy, dark, or has blood in it
- Feeling tired or shaky
What to do if you have a UTI:
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids to flush out the bacteria
- Take a paracetamol to reduce pain
- Place a hot water bottle on your abdomen
- Avoid having sex (you can’t pass on a UTI, but sex may be uncomfortable)
- Go to a doctor if your UTI doesn’t improve within a few days, you’re pregnant, you haven’t had a UTI, or you see blood in your urine. They’ll likely prescribe a course of antibiotics
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