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- INSIDER spoke to an expert to see whether or not you should pee after sex.
- If you have a vagina, urinating after sex can reduce your risk of getting a urinary tract infection.
- You don’t have to pee immediately after you’re done having sex.
- If you get recurrent UTIs and are in an established relationship, you should make sure you and your partner aren’t passing the infection back and forth.
If you have a vagina, you’ve probably heard many times that you should always pee after sex. But given that running to the bathroom isn’t necessarily what you want to do after a hookup, you’ve probably wondered if peeing after sex is absolutely necessary.
We spoke to Dr. Frederick Naftolin, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University, to get to the bottom of what happens if you don’t pee after sex.
People with a vagina should urinate after sex to reduce the risk of getting an infection.
People with a vagina have a higher risk of getting an infection because of the vagina’s proximity to the urethra and the anus. In this case, the urethra is shorter than that of someone with a penis, making it a lot easier for bacteria to get from the anus to the urethra and then to the bladder.
According to Naftolin, sex increases the likelihood of this happening because, “When people have intercourse or even foreplay, the rubbing around the urethra inflames it, and it begins to secrete lubricants and fluids as a response – and those fluids then are good conduits for the bacteria to get up there.”
Because of how easily people with a vagina can get infections, it’s especially important that they pee after sex, so any bacteria can get flushed out before it can get into the bladder.
Not peeing after sex can lead to a UTI or a prostate infection.
The most commonly known infection that can be avoided by peeing after sex is a urinary tract infection.
UTIs are caused when E. coli are moved from the rectum to the bladder via the urethra. The urine in the bladder is sterile, so the bladder “doesn’t have very much defenses against [bacteria],” Naftolin said.
As a result, if you have a UTI, you may experience frequent and painful urination. The best way to avoid this discomfort is to flush everything out post-sex, before it can reach the bladder and wreak havoc.
Naftolin said it’s possible for people with a penis to get a prostate infection – which feels similar to a UTI – through anal sex, during which the penis is in constant, close contact with the anus. He advised evacuating the rectum before sex and wearing a condom during to avoid infection.
It’s a good idea to urinate after sex, even if it wasn’t penetrative.
Because people who have a vagina have short urethras, it’s important for them to pee after sex – regardless of whether it was penetrative.
Naftolin said the “same rules apply” for two people having either vaginal sex or oral sex because “those areas are exposed in the same way.”
You don’t have to rush to the bathroom immediately after you’ve finished having sex.
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There’s no concrete rule for how long you can wait until you pee, but sooner is definitely better.
Naftolin said, “It’s not a matter of the bacteria multiplying, but it is a matter of … having that short tube between the outside and the bladder, so it doesn’t take very much to get up into the bladder.”
That being said, feel free to cuddle or relax for a bit – just make sure you don’t let hours pass before you go.
People who don’t have vaginas don’t always have to pee after sex.
While people who have a penis may want to pee after sex to flush out any potentially harmful bacteria or to avoid a prostate infection after anal sex, it’s not as important that they do.
“They have a much longer tube between the outside and the bladder, and so they rarely get a urinary tract infection,” Naftolin said.
If you do get a UTI, make sure both partners are treated.
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While UTIs are more common for people who have a vagina, others can have the infection and be asymptomatic, so it’s important that if one person in an established relationship gets recurring UTIs, the other person is tested and treated as well.
“Otherwise, they keep ping-ponging the infection back and forth,” Naftolin said.
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