When trying to conceive, it's common to implement some old wives' tales you've heard in order to get a positive result on the pee stick. There are many myths about increasing the odds of getting pregnant, from wearing socks when doing the deed to having sex during a full moon. One common "trick" is to skip the bathroom post sex, as it's said that your partner's sperm has a better chance of reaching your egg if you hold it in. But what if you really have to go? Should you pee after sex if you're trying to get pregnant? The facts help answer these questions.
According to Planned Parenthood, "going to the bathroom after sex does absolutely nothing to lower your chances of getting pregnant." So you can still become pregnant even if you pee right after. And you may way to. "You should pee right after sex regardless if you're trying to get pregnant otherwise you are at risk of a UTI," Dr. Leah Millheiser, OB-GYN, tells Romper.
Planned Parenthood also reported that, "once the semen goes into the vagina, there’s nothing you can do to get it back out again." So, peeing isn't going to make the sperm come out and decrease your ability to get pregnant. But does the sperm need help traveling?
The answer is no. You do, however, have to consider the amount of sperm a man can make and that not all of them get to finish line. In his study, The Mechanisms Of Sperm Motility, Dr. Charles Lindemann found that the average man produces 180 million sperm per ejaculate. It takes five to 68 minutes for the sperm to get to the point where they need to go to fertilize the egg. This is why women do not become pregnant with 180 million babies — the journey is long, and not all the swimmers are viable.
"Ejaculated sperm remain viable for several days within a woman's reproductive tract", according to Mayo Clinic. Therefore, many women think staying horizontal could help the swimmers get where they need to go with more accuracy and give every last sperm a chance. I was one of those women who thought holding your pee and inverting your body would get the sperm to travel more efficiently. The efficiency was questionable, but I can tell you that it was fun to try.
It's important to listen to Millheiser and your body — if you have the urge to pee after sex, then pee. Your health is important in your journey to getting pregnant, and a UTI could infringe upon that. But if you can wait just a moment, cuddling with your partner could give every last sperm a slightly better chance to travel to the egg. According to Very Well, "if you're trying to conceive faster, you may want to at least try lying on your back after sex for a few minutes." Or, you know, do like I did and invert your body to get more creative in the process.
Gravity doesn't impede pregnancy, so you can and should get up to pee when you have to. Remember, there are millions of sperm looking for their chance with your egg. But when you're trying to conceive, it's OK to give thought to all the old wives' tales when considering the facts, too.