Women should not urinate before sex to reduce the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
According to one expert, this piece of advice, commonly heard among women, could even increase the chances of getting one.
New York City urologist David Kaufman explained the idea females should pee before intercourse is one of the biggest misconceptions he has to address with patients in his clinic.
He stresses that urinating after sex is important, but warns going to the bathroom beforehand is not advisable.
An expert warns that urinating after sex is important, but warns going to the bathroom beforehand can actually increase your risk of a UTI (stock image)
Indeed, he told Yahoo News that this mistake ‘is the No.1 cause of post-coital urinary tract infections, also known as honeymoon cystitis’.
Why shouldn’t you wee before sex?
During intercourse, bacteria from the vagina can get pushed into the urethra.
Waiting to pee, and consequently having enough urine stored up to create a strong stream, increases the odds of pushing that bacteria back out.
Dr Kaufman said that holding on will ensure your bladder is full enough to produce a stream strong enough to help clear any bacteria in the urethra. Without any urine in your bladder, the bacteria can cause an infection.
If you don’t go to the toilet after sex, the bacteria can make its way into the bladder and develop into an infection.
Unfortunately, women are far more susceptible to UTIs than men because of their anatomy. The female urethra is separated from the vagina and anus by just a small distance, making it easy for bacteria from either the vagina or bottom to reach it.
And it is only two inches long – meaning bacteria does not need to travel far to reach the bladder.
And some women are more likely than others to suffer UTIs because their vaginal opening is positioned closer to their urethra, explained Dr Kaufman, who has some patients who develop a UTI nearly they have sex.
According to the NHS, using a diaphragm as contraception can increase your risk of getting a UTI, as the diaphragm may press on the bladder and prevent it emptying completely.
TIPS TO PREVENT UTIS
If you get UTIs frequently, there are some things you can try that may stop it coming back. However, it’s not clear how effective most of these measures are.
These measures include:
- Avoiding perfumed bubble bath, soap or talcum powder around your genitals – use plain, unperfumed varieties, and have a shower rather than a bath
- Going to the toilet as soon as you need to pee and always emptying your bladder fully
- Staying well hydrated
- Wiping your bottom from front to back when you go to the toilet
- Emptying your bladder as soon as possible after having sex
- Not using a contraceptive diaphragm or condoms with spermicidal lubricant on them – you may wish to use another method of contraception instead
- Wearing underwear made from cotton, rather than synthetic material such as nylon, and avoiding tight jeans and trousers
Source: NHS Choices