OFTEN the last thing you want to do after some fun between the sheets is nip to the toilet for a wee.
But women have consistently been advised to put off that post-sex cuddle until they've emptied their bladder, to avoid developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).
A UTI is an infection in your bladder, urethra or kidneys most commonly caused by bacteria.
Anyone can get them, regardless of age or gender, but they are notorious for striking women after sex.
Symptoms can include pain with urination and a constant “need to go” feeling.
Ashfaq Khan, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Harley Street Gynaecology, said: "There has been a long-held belief that for women, peeing after any kind of sex where genitals touch, can help to avoid getting a urinary tract infection or UTI."
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But this advice is not necessarily as iron clad as you've been lead to believe, he told Metro.
In theory, weeing up to 30 minutes after sex could flush out bacteria and prevent it from reaching reaching the bladder, Ashfaq said.
This could indeed stop you from catching a UTI.
But he noted that peeing after sex is ‘unlikely to make a considerable difference’ if you're already prone to getting the infections.
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However, he said there's certainly no harm in doing so.
Ashfaq suggested you continue your post-sex wee ritual and adopt a few other habits to keep that UTI at bay too.
Three things you can do to help avoid a UTI
Ashfaq suggested you avoid:
- Using perfumed feminine hygiene products
- Wearing tight clothing
- Not peeing when you need to or holding it in
There are certain sex positions that could increase the chances of you getting the pesky infection, sex experts say, especially those with greater friction between bodies.
Ruby Rare told The Sun about a few you might want to be aware of if you're prone to UTIs, and suggested you also check your condoms are lubricated, which can reduce risk, and the cleanliness of your sex toys.
Meanwhile, Prof Stergios Stelios Doumouchtsis told The Sun the way you pee and wipe might could be the cause of your bladder problems.
The symptoms of a UTI
- Needing to urinate more frequently and more urgently than usual
- A burning sensation or discomfort when you pee
- Pain in the abdomen, accompanied by a sickly and tired feeling
- Getting up to pee in the night
- Stronger smelling urine or a colour change appearing darker or cloudy like apple juice
- Vaginal irritation or discharge
There are a few things you can do to ease these symptoms:
- take paracetamol up to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature – it's recommended over ibuprofen or aspirin for a UTI
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
- avoid having sex
- while everyday consumption of cystitis sachets and cranberry drinks may prevent UTIs from happening, they probably won't ease symptoms if you already have one
You can speak to a pharmacist about how to treat a UTI, NHS guidance says.
They might suggest painkillers and drinking extra fluids, or they might point you towards seeing your GP.
You should see a GP if you have symptoms of a UTI for the first time, if they don't improve or get worse after two days and if they come back after treatment.
They're likely to give you a prescription for a short course of antibiotics, although they might suggest you wait 48 hours to take them in case the symptoms go away on their own.
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Schedule an urgent appointment with your GP or call NHS 111 if you have a UTI and:
- a very high temperature, or feel hot and shivery
- a very low temperature below 36C
- are confused or drowsy
- pain in the lower tummy or in the back, just under the ribs
- can see blood in your pee
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