Pain When Peeing After Sex

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Many women have heard the advice, “Pee after sex.” But does it really work?

Pain or burning when you pee is known as dysuria. It can have several causes, from a sexually transmitted disease (STI) like chlamydia or gonorrhea to a urinary tract infection, also called a UTI.

A UTI can be painful to pee because of bacteria in the urethra, which carries urine from your bladder.

Causes

The prostate gland — located just below the bladder and around the urethra — sometimes gets infected. If this happens, it can make peeing painful for men over age 50. You may also notice a burning sensation while you pee or a thick yellow discharge from the penis (in men) or vagina (in women). This can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medication.

A urinary tract infection — usually caused by bacteria, but sometimes by a virus or even a parasite — can cause pain while you pee. This can include a burning sensation in your lower back, hips or upper thighs. It’s also possible that you have an allergy to a condom or the lubricant used during sex.

Other symptoms of a UTI include cloudy urine, bloody urine or a high fever. If you have these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away.

If you have a UTI, your doctor will treat it with antibiotics. He or she will also test you for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Chlamydia and gonorrhea are common STIs that can cause a burning sensation when you pee. Syphilis can also cause a burning sensation when you pee and a painless open sore called a chancre on the penis or anus (in men). If you have syphilis, your doctor will treat it with antibiotics to prevent you from passing the infection to your baby during pregnancy or at birth.

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Treatment

Painful urination after sex, or dysuria, is a common symptom of sexually transmitted infections like herpes, chlamydia and gonorrhea. But it can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. The good news is that a UTI can usually be treated with antibiotics.

If you’re a woman, pain when peeing after sex is more common than in men because women’s bodies fit together differently, especially the vagina and urethra. This means that they’re more likely to get irritated, and sometimes infected by lubricants or condoms that aren’t right for them. It’s also easier for bacteria to enter the urethra or bladder from outside the body through the vagina, because the area is more accessible.

In some cases, a woman’s pelvic pain after sex can be caused by internal problems, such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis or retroversion of the uterus (when it is tilted backward instead of forward). These conditions are more common in women than in men.

For men, pain when peeing after sex can be a symptom of prostate problems like prostatitis or an enlarged prostate. Having rough sex or using too little lubrication during intercourse can cause friction sores in the area, which may hurt when you pee. You can help prevent these types of problems by being sure to use a safe, effective lubricant during foreplay and always using lubrication when having sex.

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Prevention

Painful peeing after sex can be embarrassing and even distressing. Fortunately, it’s rarely a sign of something serious if you figure out what’s going on and seek treatment promptly. Pain and burning during urination are most often symptoms of urinary tract infections, or UTIs, which occur when bacteria invades the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. UTIs can lead to serious health issues, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or infertility.

To prevent UTIs, make sure you pee before bed and try to urinate within 30 minutes after sexual activity. This helps flush bacteria out of the urethra and reduces your risk of infection.2

It’s also a good idea to use condoms during sex to reduce your risk of sexually transmitted diseases, or STIs. STIs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause vaginal inflammation and painful peeing.

Some people are more prone to UTIs, including women who are postmenopausal. You may also need to take antibiotics to treat certain types of UTIs, such as those caused by a yeast overgrowth. If your symptoms don’t respond to home treatment, talk to your doctor about antibiotics. She or he may want to swab the inside of your urethra to look for bacteria and yeast, or recommend cystoscopy — a procedure that uses a thin tube to see inside your bladder.

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Other Symptoms

Feeling pain or a burning sensation when you pee after sex is called dysuria and can have several causes. It may be an internal irritation related to the skin around the opening of your bladder or the tube that carries your pee out (urethra). It can also occur if you’re using lubricants, condoms or sponges with latex or rubber which can irritate the area or cause a reaction. It can also happen if you’re having rough sex, which can scratch and irritate the skin around your genitals.

It can be a sign of an infection such as a urinary tract infection, which is often a result of bacteria entering the bladder through the urethra. It can also be a symptom of STIs like chlamydia or herpes, which can be spread through sexual activity. Symptoms of these infections include itching, swelling, sores on the vagina or penis, and pain or burning when you pee.

Urethritis, which is an infection of the urethra, is another cause. Symptoms of this condition include a burning or painful sensation when you pee, pain in your lower abdomen, back, or pelvic bone, and chills or fever. It’s important to visit your doctor if you have these symptoms. They can prescribe medication that will treat your infection. You can also reduce your chances of getting a UTI or STI by practicing good hygiene, including always wiping your anus with an unscented toilet paper and never using douches, sprays or powders in the area.

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