While your sex-ed teacher probably didn’t pass along this pearl of wisdom, there’s an unwritten rule that the first thing you do after you hit it is hit the bathroom. 

It’s not the sexiest move, but it can help you avoid painful, burning urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are even less sexy and happen to be most commonly associated with getting laid. That’s because you aren’t just swapping fluids with your partner, you’re sharing bacteria, too.

“Sexual activity often involves friction, fluids and body parts all moving around the genital area,” said Lyndsay Mercier, Ph.D., a sexologist and sexual health educator. “All of this contact can very easily move bacteria—from the anus, mouth, fingers, sex toys, etc.—toward the urethra.” 

Your urethra is the little passageway that transports urine out of your body, and if bacteria makes its way inside that tube, it can lead to an infection. Most infections occur in the urethra or the bladder, but it is possible for bacteria to reach the ureters (which connect the kidneys to the bladder), kidneys and prostate. 

Going to the