Should you wait to shower after sex if you're trying to get pregnant
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Should You Skip The Shower After Sex If You’re Trying To Get Pregnant?

Don’t wait too long with your legs up in the air.

by Lindsay E. Mack
Originally Published: 

Trying for a baby means stressing about all of the things you should or could be doing to maximize your chances each month. With it actually being harder than high school sex ed made it sound to get pregnant, it’s easy to worry about everything from peeing after sex to showering after sex if trying to get pregnant. Will soaping up after intercourse affect your chances of getting pregnant? Can the heat of the shower disturb any sperm that are making their way to your uterus? There’s a lot to think about when trying for a baby, like timing and ovulation, but try not to get too caught up in this idea — and shower after sex if you feel like it.

Will showering after sex hurt your chance of conception?

“Showering wouldn't have a significant impact on conception rates since it would mainly be washing away any semen outside the vagina,” Dr. Sanaz Ghazal, MD, FACOG, Co-Founder & Medical Director of RISE Fertility, tells Romper. If you feel like it, taking a shower right after sex is totally fine if you’re trying to conceive, Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine, adds. It isn’t likely to make a big difference either way — and sperm getting washed away on the outside of your body was already a goner.

Because it’s supremely helpful to remember that sperm are pretty dang fast. “Sperm are pretty good swimmers and studies have shown that sperm deposited at the cervix can travel to the fallopian tubes in as little as 2 minutes,” says Dr. Ghazal. It’s entirely possible that any conception-ready sperm will already be in place by the time you turn on the shower faucet.

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What about a bath after sex if you’re trying to conceive?

Taking a soak in the tub is a different story, however. “The impact of a bath on a person's ability to conceive depends partially on timing. If you take a bath immediately after sex, water can enter the vagina and wash some of the sperm away. However, some of the sperm may have already passed through the cervix, which means that you could still conceive,” says Dr. Ghazal. For the most part, “we wouldn't recommend” bathing right afterwards, says Dr. Minkin, who recommends waiting about 10 to 15 minutes to give the sperm a “head start” toward the cervix.

Conception 101

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what to do and not to do after sex if you are trying to conceive,” says Dr. Ghazal. “With fertility, there are things you can control and things you can't, and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work for everyone.”

In the “things you can control” category, peeing right after sex is not likely to hurt your chances of conception because urination isn’t going to wash out all the sperm or anything. But douching right after sex is one of the top things your OB-GYN wishes you’d stop doing after intimacy, because it rinses out good bacteria and sets the stage for an infection.

If you have any specific questions about conception and what lifestyle factors can affect it, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor for guidance. The journey to conception can be a stressful one sometimes, but at least you won’t have to give up hot showers after sex anytime soon.


Dr. Sanaz Ghazal, MD, FACOG, Co-Founder & Medical Director of RISE Fertility

Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine

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