Peeing Immediately After Sex? Unlearning This Sexual Health Myth Will Change. Your. Life.

By Rachel Zar, LMFT

c/o  Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

c/o Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

What did you do immediately after the last time you had sex? Did you lie together, connecting, cuddling and basking in the afterglow? Or did you immediately pop out of bed to take turns in the bathroom and then move on to the next task at hand? Chances are, if it ended with a feeling of intimacy and connection to your partner, you’re remembering the experience as pleasurable. If it ended abruptly, you may remember the whole thing as rushed and disconnecting. When it comes to whether you code a sexual encounter as positive or negative, the way it ends matters just as much—if not more—than how it started or what was happening mid-way through. Indeed, research shows that couples who show each other affection after sex tend to feel more satisfied with not just their sex lives, but with their relationships in general. After all, sex is a vulnerable experience, and not giving it the aftercare it deserves can often leave people feeling raw and disconnected. Plus, the hormones that are released during sex are specially designed to increase bonding, so it’s worthwhile to bask in them.

I know what you’re thinking: “But Rachel, everyone knows that I have to go to the bathroom immediately after sex or else I’ll get that dreaded, painful, awful, no good, very bad UTI!”

Well, that would make sense... if it were true. But what if it’s not? What if that rush-to-the-bathroom-or-else warning you’ve been hearing your whole adult life is just a myth? Strap in, because there’s actually no concrete medical research that shows that peeing immediately after sex reduces your likelihood of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Yes, UTIs can be avoided by flushing out bacteria before it travels to the bladder, which staying hydrated and urinating regularly helps with. And sex can introduce bacteria through the urethra that needs flushing. But, especially for those who aren’t prone to UTIs (which some people, unfortunately, just are), whether that urination happens thirty seconds or an hour or even two hours after you have sex doesn’t really make a difference. Your body will tell you when it’s time to pee—so there’s no need to force it. And pushing out a few drops when you don’t really have to go isn’t generally enough to clean out that urinary tract, anyways. If you’re having sex at night, just make sure you go before you fall asleep for eight hours.

Of course, if you really gotta go (and many do feel the urge to urinate immediately after sex), don’t hold it for the sake of a cuddle. But after you’ve emptied your bladder, come back to bed, give your partner a squeeze and have a conversation about something other than the kids or your taxes. If this becomes the norm instead of the exception, you’ll notice your feelings about sex and your partner begin to trend much more positive.