The dreaded urinary tract infection: We'd be willing to do just about anything to avoid one. Well, turns out one of the most common tips for preventing a UTI is likely to backfire on you in the worst, most burning and painful way. Have you been laboring under this colossally bad health advice?
"Urinate before you have sex."
Wrong! Here's why that's terrible advice, and what you should do instead.
1. DON'T pee BEFORE you have sex. Urologist Dr. David Kaufman tells Yahoo Health that urinating before sex “is the #1 cause of post-coital urinary tract infections, also known as honeymoon cystitis." Having sex can push clingy, tenacious bacteria up your urethra.
2. DO pee AFTER you have sex. You're probably already familiar with this tip, but it's worth repeating. At the risk of sounding indelicate, you need a strong, heavy stream of urine to push that bacteria back out after sex.
3. Do drink water. A glass of water right before you get busy isn't a bad idea. If anything, this is another good reason to stay well hydrated throughout the day.
4. Don't "prep" your lady parts before sex. There's no need to clean or disinfect yourself before sex to prevent a UTI -- if anything, that will wipe out the helpful bacteria that helps keep you healthy.
5. Do wipe front to back. When you do have that post-coital bathroom break, remember to wipe front to back to prevent pushing bacteria back into your urethra.
6. Don't assume that "feeling" means you need to pee. When you're aroused, your urethral sponge becomes swollen, insulating your urethra so you don't urinate, says sex educator Dr. Emily Nagoski, author of Come As You Are. Pressure on that area (which some say is where your G-spot is located) during sex can feel like the urge to pee -- but it's not! Learn to recognize the difference.
All of this said, many of us have gone to the bathroom right before sex without getting a UTI. It's not going to happen every time. It's just that if peeing before sex has been part of your strategy, you can stop that now. It's not helping!
Had you heard this advice for preventing a UTI before? Have you ever had one?