Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pee After Sex

It sounds funny, and a bit annoying, I know. But, hear me out.

For years, my wife experienced painful urinary tract infections. As (what seemed like) luck would have it, these would develop overnight and I'd end up driving her to the emergency room at 2am because it was too painful to stand.

She talked to various ob/gyn doctors about the problem, often receiving the standard, useless (to her) advice of wearing cotton underwear, keeping the area very clean, wiping from front-to-back after using the bathroom, avoiding tight-fitting pants, and drinking cranberry juice. She was given an antibiotic at each emergency room visit to temporarily fix the problem, but she hated having to rely on antibiotics. She couldn't believe it when one ob/gyn recommended a constant, low-dose antibiotic preventative treatment.

After much searching, one doctor suggested that she pee after sex. He said that pee is highly acidic and will likely kill any bacteria that is growing around the urinary tract. It sounded painful/difficult. The last thing you want to do after sex is get up, drink lots of water and wait on the potty until something comes out! But, UTIs were more painful, so she gave it a try. A few months passed and she diligently followed the doctor's suggestion. No UTIs.

A few months later, I came down with some sort of painful infection in my scrotum. Unlike my wife, I hadn't been peeing after sex. I saw my doctor, but he didn't any particularly useful advice, and the infection resolved on it's own after a few days. But, this infection convinced me that I ought to be joining my wife in the after sex ritual.

Now, it's been over three years since we've been committed to peeing after sex and neither of us have UTI or similar infections. I see that peeing after sex is a standard recommendation for UTIs. But, it's somewhat buried. It'd be nice if they had some sense of the practical effectiveness, possibly organized by which strategies are more likely to work for different races, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. 'course, that might alarm the political correctness police...

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