Urethral Sounding Troubleshooting

I wrote this post for r/peehole because over the years, I’ve seen a fair number of posts from people who are panicking that they might have hurt themselves while sounding, so I wanted to have an easy place to look for info.

This is written to apply both to male-assigned and female-assigned bodies. If you’re specifically looking for information on sounding for AFAB people, since you may have seen a lot of urethral sounding advice elsewhere which assumes that a penis is involved, check out my post Urethral Sounding Tips for AFAB Folks.

If you have a related question that isn’t answered here, you’ve had mishaps in the past that might be useful for others to know about, or if there’s something you think should be added to this post, please come on over to r/peehole and join the conversation! I’m happy to receive questions as comments on this post also, but the marvelous thing about reddit is that you’ll get a variety of opinions.

Here are some common questions & my thoughts

I just tried sounding for the first time, and it stung, or the next time I pissed there was stinging!

This is pretty normal, and should go away over the next few times you try sounding. The mucous membrane lining your urethra really isn’t used to you sticking things in there yet! It will become more tolerant.

Drink plenty of water, so that you’ll pee regularly and keep your system well flushed out. Do not try to avoid peeing!

The last time I sounded myself was a day or two ago, and it still hurts when I pee, or I feel like I need to pee really often!

There’s a chance you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). In the future, make sure your toys are clean (boiling them is a great idea) and you’re using sterile lube. Some people use different lubes, but it’s important to know what works for your body- if you’re getting UTIs, it’s a sign to adjust your habits to be more careful. Making sure you pee after playing with your urethra will also help a lot to prevent UTIs.

The straightforward answer here is to go see a doctor, get tested for UTI, and get antibiotics if needed. If for some reason you prefer not to seek medical attention right away, make sure you’re drinking lots of water, and you may want to buy some at-home urine test strips, which are available online or in drugstores. You’ll still need to see a doctor and get antibiotics if the pain continues, though, or test strips show an infection.

If you start having a fever, or low back pain that doesn’t change when you stretch/move, these are signs that the infection has moved to your kidneys. This is serious; please get medical attention today.

Azo UTI test strip package lying on top of a small hegar sound

I think I was too rough with myself- I saw blood!

Urethras are abundantly supplied with blood, so they can occasionally bleed quite a bit, and a tiny scratch can mean very visible blood. If you see gushing or spurting, yes, please see a doctor, and apply pressure to the area as best as you can in the meantime. Otherwise, though, you’ll almost certainly be fine. (If you see blood in your urine for days, be aware that it’s possible that this is the result of a UTI, not a scrape.)

Just as with other situations, the main answer is to drink plenty of water- peeing frequently might hurt a bit, but it will also keep the area rinsed while it heals.

Even more of my thoughts about making urethral sounding more enjoyable & safer:

Silicone is higher-friction than metal, so some people have more stinging during or after using silicone toys.

Cranberry juice is usually sweetened, and sugar tends to make UTIs worse, not better. Some people like to take cranberry pills to prevent UTIs, I do this myself sometimes, but they generally cannot cure a UTI that has already started.

Surgilube irritates a lot of people because of the chlorhexidine. Other folks find that polyethylene glycol/polyethylene oxide irritates their urethra or bladder, while some tolerate it well. Glycerine can cause UTI in some people, but others have no difficulty with it. We’re all different! Generally, though, water-based lubes are recommended, because oils or silicone lubes won’t rinse away with urine and could harbor bacteria.

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