More sex, more UTIs: how timing affects your risk of bladder infection

“Pee after sex” is perhaps one of the most memorable pieces of advice I’ve picked up in conversations with female friends over the years. The theory is that peeing right after sex will help to flush out any bacteria that may have entered your body during sex and prevent them from infecting your urinary tract.

Electron microscopy of UPEC binding to the surface of the bladder (Source)
Electron microscopy of UPEC binding to the surface of the bladder (Source)

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, commonly refers to infection of the urethra or bladder and affects mostly women. It’s estimated that roughly half of all women will experience a UTI at least once in their lifetime. Of these women, 25-40% suffer from repeated UTIs and must take antibiotics continuously to prevent a recurrence. The most common cause of UTIs is uropathogenic E. coli, or UPEC. UPEC can enter the body through the urethra and then move into the bladder. Left untreated, the bacteria can spread from the bladder to the kidneys and cause serious health complications. Continue reading

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