Should You Pee After Sex If You Are Trying to Conceive?

using the bathroom

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You’ve probably heard that it’s a smart idea to pee right after sex because it can prevent urinary tract infections. But you may be unsure if this is a practice you should continue when you are trying to conceive. After all, aren’t you supposed to lie down flat after sex to maximize your chances of conception?

If you are wondering if peeing after sex is okay or not, you are far from alone. Lots of people who are trying to conceive have that same question! We reached out to experts to help us find the answer, and to understand if there are any after-sex practices that can help—or harm—your chances of getting pregnant.

Should You Pee After Sex If You're Trying to Conceive?

According to Monica Grover, DO, OB/GYN and Chief Medical Officer at VSPOT, the idea that peeing after sex could affect your ability to get pregnant is basically a myth. Peeing after sex doesn’t decrease your chances of conceiving, Dr. Grover emphasizes.

“When sperm is ejaculated, it is at a very fast and strong force, and also very highly concentrated in the average male,” Dr. Grover explains. “Therefore, despite the gravitational pull upon urination, and loss of some seminal fluid, there is still a very negligible effect on the concentration of the sperm within the vaginal canal that could impair any chances of conception.”

Another reason this line of thinking doesn’t add up is because of basic anatomy, says Karla Robinson, MD, a family medicine physician and medical editor at GoodRx. Essentially, your pee comes from a different place than where sperm is deposited.

“Your urine does not leave the body through the vagina,” Dr. Robinson describes. “There is another opening for that.” Your pee leaves your body from the urethra, which is a small opening right above your vaginal opening, she explains. “Any sperm deposited after sex is in the vaginal canal; it doesn’t ever mix with urine.”

Does Peeing After Sex Prevent Pregnancy?

In the same way that peeing after sex won’t harm your chances of conception, peeing after sex cannot be used as a contraceptive method. As soon as sperm is deposited in your vaginal canal, you can get pregnant—and peeing after sex won’t expel that sperm.

“There are myths out there that peeing after sex can either kill sperm or wash it away before you can conceive, or that it can be used as birth control,” Dr. Robinson says. “These are all false.”

It’s important not to use peeing after sex as a way to prevent conception, and instead turn to a medically-approved method of birth control, such as condoms, birth control pills, or IUDs. Please connect with your healthcare provider to discuss options that are best for you.

Do You Need to Lie Down After Sex When Trying to Get Pregnant?

One reason why people think that it’s a bad idea to pee after sex if you are trying to get pregnant is because many of us have heard that you need to actually lie down instead. The idea is that if you stand up, semen will leak from your body, and there will be fewer sperm available to fertilize the egg.

But there isn’t proof to back up this claim either, as Dr. Robinson explains.

“There is no evidence that positioning has any influence on your chances of conception,” she says. “This includes your positioning during sex or laying in a certain position after sex.”

This is in line with a statement from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's (ASRM) committee opinion on optimizing natural fertility, which asserts that there is “no scientific foundation” for the claim that lying down after sex increases your chance of conception. ASRM explains that sperm reaches the fallopian tubes within minutes after conception—sometimes as quickly as two minutes.

Some of the advice about lying down after sex likely comes from a 2009 study that found that people who lay down for about 15 minutes after intrauterine insemination were more likely to conceive. However, a larger, randomized 2016 study out of Finland found that lying down for 15 minutes after intrauterine insemination made no difference when it came to successful conception.

What Are the Benefits of Peeing After Sex?

Although there is no relationship between peeing after sex and getting pregnant, there may be a relationship between between peeing after sex and preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). The fact is, UTIs are common, especially among those with female anatomy, with 40% getting a UTI at some point in their lives.

Sexual intercourse can increase your chances of getting a UTI because friction and contact from sex can spread unwanted bacteria to the urethra. According to the National Institutes of Health, this is why it makes sense for people with female anatomy to pee after sex. In essence, urine flow can help wash bacteria away.

Of course, if you are prone to UTIs, peeing after sex isn’t the only preventative measure you should take. Other options include making sure to wipe from front to back, emptying your bladder frequently, staying hydrated, and switching to cotton underwear. Sometimes spermicides can contribute to UTIs, so if you are using them and are getting frequent UTIs, talk to your healthcare provider about other birth control options.

A Word From Verywell

Wondering if peeing after sex with harm your chances of conception is a common concern. Thankfully, it’s really not something you need to worry about. If you need to pee after sex, you can go ahead and do so. It may be especially important if you are prone to UTIs.

Additionally, you don’t need to lie down for a certain amount of time after sex to maximize your chances of conception. This is another myth that you can let go of.

Trying to conceive can be stressful, and it’s natural to have lots of questions. You want everything to go just right, and that’s totally understandable. If you have any further questions or concerns about trying to get pregnant, please reach out to your OB/GYN, midwife, or healthcare provider.

8 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bono MJ, Leslie SW, Reygaert WC. Urinary Tract Infection. In:StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. 2022.

  2. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Optimizing natural fertility: a committee opinion.

  3. Nguyen JD, Duong H. Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Female External Genitalia. In:StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. 2022.

  4. Planned Parenthood. Will peeing after sex kill the sperm?

  5. Custers IM, Flierman PA, Maas P. Immobilisation versus immediate mobilisation after intrauterine insemination: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2009;339:b4080. doi:10.1136/bmj.b4080

  6. European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. A short period of bed rest after intrauterine insemination makes no difference to pregnancy rates.

  7. Foxman B, Chi JW. Health behavior and urinary tract infection in college-aged womenJournal of Clinical Epidemiology. 1990;43(4):329-337. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(90)90119-a

  8. Office on Women's Health. Urinary tract infections.

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.