Why It Hurts To Pee After Sex: 13 Reasons Why This Keeps Happening To You

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If no one has ever told you before, here's a little secret: peeing after sex isn't just a good idea, it's an important thing for men and women alike to make sure they do.

Sometimes, you may experience painful urination and/or a burning sensation in your vagina or penis when you pee after having sex. When that happens, it can be not just physically uncomfortable, but downright scary.

Why does it hurt to pee after sex?

Dysuria, the medical term for pain and/or burning during urination, may be caused by STIs like genital herpes, gonorrhea, or chlamydia, but is most commonly a symptom of a bacterial infection of the urinary tract, i.e., a UTI.

This condition is fairly common among women, and more common in women than in men.

Important note: While most causes of painful urination post-sex can be easily diagnosed and treated, it's important to see a doctor so you can get tested as soon as possible in case medical treatment is necessary.

RELATED: What To Do When Your Girlfriend Complains About Pain During Sex

Experiencing a stinging sensation when peeing after sex happens to women more often than it does to men for the same reason your bodies fit so nicely together — they are designed differently. The shape and mainly internal nature of the vagina, ureter, and urethra mean women's bodies are more vulnerable to bacterial or viral infections and irritation.

If you've never experienced burning or pain when you pee after sex, consider yourself lucky. If you have, there's nothing to be ashamed of.

It's estimated that 50-60 percent of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime, and one in three will require treatment with antibiotics before the age of 24.

While experiencing pain when urinating is cause for concern, is it normal to be sore after sex? If you're sore after sex it could either mean your pelvic floor needs to be worked out, you may be too dry, you're dehydrated, or you're putting too much strain on your back. However, if it seems unusual and there's a more intense pain, get yourself checked out.

While painful urination is most commonly a symptom of a urinary tract infection, there are several other reasons it sometimes hurts to pee after sex. As noted above, the only way to know for sure what is causing your pain or burning is to see a medical professional, as many factors come into play.

Here are 13 common causes of painful urination and burning in your vagina or penis after sex:

1. Urinary tract infection (UTIs)

UTIs are the most common cause of painful urination in women. In the most basic terms, a UTI is defined as "an infection in any part of your urinary system, which includes your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra."

There are three types of UTIs:

Cystitis: An infection of the bladder. This is the most common type and is most likely to occur in women between the ages of 20-50.

Pyelonephritis: An infection of the kidneys, also known as an upper urinary tract infection.

Urethritis: An infection of the urethra.

UTIs can be the result of a bacterial infection or inflammation introduced during sex or from improper wiping after using the toilet. As the urethra is shorter in women than in men, there is less distance for bacteria to travel in order to reach the bladder.

When you wipe from back to front rather than from front to back, "Bacteria from the large intestine, such as E. coli, can sometimes get out of your anus and into your urethra. From there, they can travel up to your bladder and, if the infection isn't treated, can continue on to infect your kidneys."

It stands to reason that if there are lingering bacteria in the area post-coital sex, the act of penetration serves to move that bacteria further inside your urinary tract.

If you're used to heading for the lady's room before sex, save yourself the trip.

Not only is it unnecessary, but there's a chance it could actually cause you some trouble, as doctors say peeing before sex is the number one cause of post-coital UTIs in women.

Urinating before sex means your stream is unlikely to be as strong as it would be otherwise after sex, making it less likely your body will expel as much of the bacteria pushed into your vagina during sex as it would if you wait to pee until after.

There are, of course, many reasons you may develop a UTI that having nothing to do with sex, including pregnancy, diabetes, medications, kidney stones, and radiation treatment. Antibiotics are the most common treatment for UTIs, but you should always be sure to follow your doctor's advice.

2. Douching or pH disruption

If you experience pain when you pee and have been using a "natural" douche, that may be the cause of your pain. Douching can cause your vagina to be irritated because of fragrances and it can throw off the balance of your natural pH in your vagina. 

Douching can also increase your risk of getting a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis. Your vagina naturally cleanses itself, so there is no need for any douching, no matter how many ads you might see about it. 

3. Urethritis

Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, while vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina.

Urethritis is most commonly the result of an STI, but can also be caused by irritation from chemicals in products such as bathing products, douche, latex condoms, spermicide, lube, and sex toys.

4. Irritation of the vulva, vagina, and/or urethra from rough sexual activity

Sometimes it's fun to get a little freaky in the bedroom, and there are things you and your partner can do to enjoy yourselves while honoring your body's needs and boundaries when exchanging bodily fluids during various types of sexual activity.

As a rule, that means you and your partner should both be tested for STIs, you should always use a condom, and your partner should not go from anal sex to vaginal sex without a clean transition between penetrations.

RELATED: 7 Reasons For Vaginal Pain During Sex — And How To Fix Them

5. Hormonal changes

Imbalanced hormones can cause traces of blood to cross paths with your urine stream or may increase vaginal dryness.

If your hormones are changing due to pregnancy, medications, birth control, menopause, or other factors, this may be the cause.

6. An allergic reaction to semen

Yes, you can be allergic to semen, or more specifically, to the proteins contained in a man's semen.

An allergic reaction to semen may also be accompanied by itching, swelling, redness, pain, and a burning sensation and could even lead to hives, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis.

7. Atrophic vaginitis in women

Also known as vaginal atrophy, atrophic vaginitis is a thinning of the vaginal walls caused by a decrease in estrogen that most commonly occurs often during or after menopause.

In addition to painful or burning urination, vaginal atrophy may cause itching, irritation, light spotting, frequent urination, incontinence, and/or frequent UTIs.

8. Prostatitis in men

Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland.

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In addition to pain or burn during urination, additional symptoms of prostatitis include difficulty urinating, chills, fever, and pain in the lower abdomen, lower back, or rectum.

9. Having sex without enough lubrication

Depending on many factors, such as when sexual intercourse takes place, the attraction between partners, stress, or a woman's reproductive stage, natural lubrication may not be enough to avoid small scratches and tears caused by friction during sex.

The end result is that it can hurt to pee immediately afterward, and sometimes even for a few days after intercourse.

If your discomfort seems to go away a little more each day, there's a possibility this could be the reason and there's nothing to worry about. If you're a perimenopausal or postmenopausal woman and/or this happens frequently, be sure to bring it up with your gynecologist on your next visit, or give the doctor's office a call to find out what to do.

The most important thing to remember is that if it hurts, stop. Pain is always a sign that you need to pay attention to your body. Don't be embarrassed. Take the time to take care of yourself.

10. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

STIs are infections in the vagina that may cause pain and burning when you're having sex or after you have sex. If it hurts or burns when you pee, that could be a symptom of chlamydia, herpes, or trichomoniasis.

Be sure to get checked if you experience any itching or swelling, sores on the vagina or penis, unusual bleeding, unusual discharge (yellow or green in color), or pain in your lower abdomen.

Both chlamydia and trichomoniasis are curable with antibiotics, but herpes isn't and is only manageable with prescription medication.

11. Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a condition that can mimic a UTI because it causes bladder and pelvic pain, which makes sex painful.

Talk to your doctor to see if you have interstitial cystitis if you experience more than just burning when you pee, but also have frequent urination, pain as your bladder fills, and accidental urine leakage. It can be cured through a doctor's prescription, but don't let it fester or you might need to get surgery. 

12. Hormonal birth control or imbalance

Hormonal birth control affects how thick the tissues are inside the vagina, as well as lubrication. Women experience vaginal dryness, frequent UTIs, irregular menstruation, hot flashes, and tender breasts when their estrogen levels are low.

If you're experiencing this, ask your doctor about the possibility of getting an estrogen pill, shot, or suppository to help, or you might want to switch to a different form of birth control. 

13. Vaginitis caused by infection, allergies, sensitivities, and other irritants

Vaginitis may also be caused by the irritants mentioned above, as well as by low levels of estrogen after menopause, a tampon that was improperly inserted or not removed, bacterial vaginosis, atrophic vaginitis, and yeast infections.

When should you see your doctor or healthcare provider?

If your problems or symptoms aren't going away or you experience one or more symptoms besides pain when you urinate, it may match up with any of these serious infections, meaning you should consult with your doctor right away.

If you're experiencing a pattern of pain or the pain will not go away, seek medical attention from your doctor as soon as possible, as you don't want anything to go from bad to worse. 

RELATED: What It Means If Your Body Aches After Sex

Aria Gmitter, M.S, M.F.A., is a Senior Editor for YourTango.