If there's one thing I've learned so far in life, it's that moms know pretty much everything... except when it comes to myths about your sexual health, which is why I wasn't exactly shocked to read that, contrary to the advice my mother gave my horrified 14-year-old self way back when, peeing before sex can give you a urinary tract infection. You might have heard all your life that you're supposed to go to the bathroom before and after sex, because theoretically an empty bladder will somehow prevent bacteria from building up, but in reality, doctors say doing that does more harm than good. So if you frequently go from "kinda have to pee" to "get me to a bathroom now or I'm going to urinate in the corner like a puppy" in about three seconds, congratulations! You can blame all that sex you're having for the constant UTIs. Hey, there are definitely worse reasons. (Also: get it, girl.)The myth is so widespread that according to urologist David Kaufman, MD, it's one of the "biggest misconceptions" he has to correct among patients, Jezebel reports. In fact, he told Yahoo Health that peeing before sex is the "No. 1 cause of post-coital urinary tract infections." He then proceeded to refer to it as honeymoon cystitis, a phrase that I find way too amusing.
While squeezing the lemon before sex is a no-no, Kaufman says it's actually hugely important to do it afterward. It takes a strong stream of urine to dislodge the bacteria from where they've got their pilli hooked into the urethral lining (ugh), and when you use the bathroom before gettin' busy, you give the bacteria more time to find its way up to your bladder because you won't be able to pee again immediately after.
As you're probably uncomfortably aware, UTIs are extremely common in women because our urethras are so damn short. While dudes have urethras that are typically eight-ish inches, ours are only one and a half inches long, which is a much shorter distance for bacteria to travel. And if you feel like you notice infections down there way more than any of your other female friends, it might not just be because of your WebMD addiction. Kaufman told Yahoo Health that some women get them more often than others because their vaginal openings are closer to their urethras. In fact, some women get them almost every time they have sex.
And because being a vagina owner isn't hard enough, there are a million other ways to get UTIs even if you don't have sex, including being allergic to your tampons and being dehydrated. But don't worry! They're also fairly easy to treat unless you ignore it too long, and I happen to have a handy list of ways to prevent UTIs right here. So there's no need to consider celibacy as a solution if you're prone to infections; just make sure to chug a bunch of water during your next date. Hydrated skin is sexy anyway!