Q: My girlfriend usually gets up to pee after we have sex, but the last few times she hasn’t. Is she trying to get pregnant?
A: Fear not – your girlfriend’s bathroom break has nothing to do with getting pregnant.
Sexual intercourse is one of the biggest risk factors for women developing a urinary tract infection (“UTI,” “bladder infection”). The urethra, which is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body, is right next to the vaginal opening. Bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract can sometimes colonize the vagina, and during sex this bacteria can work its way up the urethra and infect the bladder or kidneys.
Although research studies have never actually proven its benefit, most women have been told by their healthcare provider to urinate immediately after intercourse to help prevent an infection – hence the quick trip to the bathroom when you’re done.
Of course, the best way to know if your girlfriend is trying to get pregnant is to ask her. While it is often difficult to talk about sex stuff, if you’re really worried about something as serious as that, you’ve got to speak up or zip up before you end up in a terrible situation.
John A. Vaughn, MD