If you’re a person with a vagina and you’re sexually active, chances are you’ve been told by someone, whether it’s a teacher, a doctor, a sister or a friend, to ALWAYS remember to pre after sex. If you haven’t been given that advice, we’re telling you now, you really should pee after sex. Every time. And here’s why.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

UTIs are a really common infection caused by bacteria entering the body through the urethra, which is where you urinate out of. Unfortunately, people with vaginas are at a greater risk of contracting them because the urethra tube is much shorter and in much closer proximity to the anus where bacteria lives. During sex, penetrative or otherwise, bacteria can easily travel between the anus, vagina and urethra, whether conscious or not. If you switching between anal and vaginal play, it’s really important to clean whatever is entering the vagina as much as possible, whether that’s fingers, a penis or a toy, or use a new condom, to reduce the risk of UTIs and thrush.

Symptoms of a UTI

If you do get a UTI, you might experience:

  • Feeling like you need to pee frequently
  • When you do go to pee, only urinating a very small amount
  • Feeling like your bladder is still full even after just peeing
  • Nausea or fever
  • Stinging or burning while you pee
  • Smelly, cloudy, dark or bloody urine
  • Lower back or side pain

If you feel like you might have a UTI, it’s best to go to the doctor as soon as possible. If you leave a UTI unchecked, it can spread to your bladder and kidneys and lead to some pretty serious complications which may lead to hospitalisation. When caught early, your doctor can prescribe you a course of antibiotics to clear it up pretty easily.

How soon after sex should I pee and why?

There’s no specific timeline on how soon after sex you should pee to avoid a UTI, and if you don’t need to pee, don’t try to squeeze out just a drop or two just to tick it off the list. Anything but a full stream won’t effectively flush out your urinary tract anyway. So no need to run off right after the fun! Feel free to have a cuddle or a rest until your body tells you it’s time to go. The most important thing is to have a good full pee in the few hours post intercourse to push any unwanted bacteria back out of the urethra and urinary tract.