We can often tend to rush off to the loo before sex, in order to feel more at ease. However, emptying your bladder before sex could increase the risk of developing cystitis.
David Kaufman, a urologist in the United States, claims that emptying the bladder before making love increases the risk of contracting cystitis, the most frequent urinary tract infection, which involves inflammation of the bladder. The reason is quite simple: if we go the toilet before sex, we don’t tend to go afterwards. And not peeing after sex opens the door to bacteria such as E. coli and other germs. The urologist believes that it is “the main cause of post-coital infections of the urinary tract, also known as honeymoon cystitis”, as he explained during an interview given to the Huffington Post.
The risk is much higher for women than for men (with cystitis affecting one in two women), due to anatomical reasons: the urethra measures between 20 cm and 25 cm in men, but only 4 cm in women. Furthermore, during vaginal sex, the man’s movements facilitate the spread of bacteria from the lower vagina towards the urethra. “Bacteria have little hairs made up of proteins which function as harpoons. They can stick to the entry of the urinary tract”, explains David Kaufman.
In order to prevent this from happening, the urologist recommends holding your pee until after sex, and ideally drinking a large glass of water. “The more resistant your urinary system is, the more chances you have of getting rid of bacteria.” If it isn’t possible to go beforehand, you need to drink afterwards. “Any liquid will do the trick, you don’t have to drink water. A glass of white wine is fine too. The important thing is that the volume of the bladder increases.” Taking a shower is also recommended, if you weren’t able to hold it in beforehand. “I advise my patients to take a shower, if they really want to do something before sex. They need to wash the outer labia and the perianal area, to eliminate a maximum of dangerous bacteria.”