When I was trying to conceive (TTC), I got the worst urinary tract infections. Every time I went to the bathroom, it was like I had dagger-wielding ants that wanted to push through my bladder, but got stuck. Was it my mistake? There's a lot of sex happening when you're trying to make a baby, so should you pee before sex if you're trying to get pregnant? I definitely did not, and I wondered if I should have.
I think about a lot of things before I have sex when TTC: Are my legs smooth? Did I brush my teeth adequately? Did my husband brush his teeth adequately? What time does Property Brothers come on? I'll admit, most of the time when I'm wondering about who needs to pee and when, it's because my daughter unfailingly always needs to go to the bathroom whenever we reach our destination. It's not something I think about before I try to make a baby.
Um, my bad? Apparently, I'm not the only one who forgot to go potty pre-coitus, because it seems to be quite the popular topic on TTC forums. But is there a real correlation between emptying your bladder and getting a urinary tract infection, or is it just the speculation of TTC and pregnant ladies? Should you pee before sex if you're trying to get pregnant?
I spoke to certified nurse midwife Hanna Hay to get to the truth of the matter. She tells Romper, "Absolutely. You should always go to the bathroom and try to urinate before and after sex, especially if you're engaging in sex more frequently, as you would be if you're trying to get pregnant." She went on to say that the friction and bacteria associated with intercourse are known causes of urinary tract infections, and that draining the bladder before and after sex helps keep the tract free and clear of possible pathogens.
"You want to urinate before sex so that the urge to urinate is diminished during sex and so those muscles aren't needing to be used during intercourse and can stay relaxed and do what they're designed to do," she adds. "You want to urinate after sex to flush out bacteria that might have entered the urethra during sex." She tells Romper that most women can still urinate after sex, even if they've urinated shortly before sex, pointing to a study that shows that for at least some women, the bladder can spontaneously refill just before an orgasm. She says that most women she's treated have no issue urinating at least a little bit just post-coitally.
If you find you're struggling with even the occasional urinary tract infection, it's best to call your provider as you might require an antibiotic, but as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.