After getting it on, it’s understandable that you’d wanna revel in that post-O glow with your boo—hey, they don’t call it a sex flush for nothing. But while your doc. is Team Post-Coitus Cuddles #oxytocin, they say after getting down to busin-ass, you’ve got some business to attend to.
Here, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology Jennifer Conti, MD, MS, MSC and Felice Gersh, MD, author of PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness share their top post-sex tips for keeping your vagina in tip-top shape.
What you’ve heard is true: going to the bathroom after sex really can reduce the risk of getting a UTI. “The urethra is very close to the anus, so during sex some of that bacteria can spread and get into the urethra, which can increase risk of UTI in some people” explains Dr. Conti. “Peeing after sex is natural way to flush out any of that bacteria.” And if nature doesn’t call? Chug some H2O and then hit the dunny.. seriously, research shows a post-play pee can actually reduce the risk of UTI, so you’re not gonna wanna skip this tip.
Peep The Condom
When you’re too busy , it can be hard to notice when a condom breaks. While data is limited, one survey found that about 3% of condom-users have had a condom croak during sex. So, if you and your partner used a condom, take a peek at it after the deed. If the condom did break, you’re at a higher risk for contracting an STI spread through bodily fluids like HPV, HSV, chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis. Dr. Gersh explains, “There is nothing that you can do to wash out that infectious agent right this moment.” But, if your partner doesn’t know their STI status or if they have HIV, talk to your healthcare provider about taking an antiretroviral medication (ART) which you can take with 72 hours after potentially being exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected, she explains. Just note: Dr. Gersh explains, “Some infections can take up to three months to show up, so it’s really important on top of your testing.”
Take A Bird Bath
Between lube and saliva, if your bits are feeling, for lack of a better word, “gunky”, Dr. Conti says go ahead and take a warm-water bird bath. “Splashing some water on your vulva is totally fine.” But she says, “There’s no need to go spelunking!” Basically, if you're wiping and cleaning motion could be equated with “scooping”, you’re doing it wrong Sis. That ish is unnecessary.
And if you reach for soap—which BTW is definitely *not* a must—make sure its fragrance-, chemical-, and paraben- free, because those things can irritate the vulva and/or mess with the pH of the vagina, increasing your risk for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, says Dr. Conti. “The vagina maintains its own perfect pH balance, and it certainly isn't meant to smell like fresh flowers or rain.” LOL.
Also V important: splashing water≠douching. “The vagina is a self-cleaning organism that comes fully equipped with everything it needs to maintain a healthy environment, so no need to get interior with your cleaning.” Got it?
Check In Down There
Face it, there’s more friction during penetration sex than there is between my short-clad thighs in the summertime. And getting down can get pretty rough and rowdy. So, if your hoo-ha is feeling a little raw or sore after-the-fact, that’s completely normal. Dr. Conti says in this case, “An ice pack or bag of peas can be soothing and is a totally acceptable part of post-sex care.” You can even use a little bit or organic aloe vera on the labia skin if your vagina has that “puffy taco” look.
But if experiencing pain or sensation that you’d describe as more intense than “sore”, are bleeding, have green or yellow-ish discharge, are itchy, or have lesions, it could be a sign of something more serious like ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis, or an STI—especially if the pain continues or is frequent after sex, says Dr. Conti. “With any of those symptoms be sure to see your health provider because it could be an infection, STI, or other vaginal issue.”
Change Into Cotton
Let your coozie breathe by donning some cotton undies. Trust, this isn’t time to put that lace pair back on. Actually, Dr. Conti says, in general, breathable cotton underwear are best whether you’re getting laid or not. Noted?
Get Tested For STI’s
Okay, this doesn’t have to happen like N-O-W, now. But, Dr. Gersh says, if this is a new bedmate, you didn’t use protection, and/or you’re not exclusive, it’s a good idea to get tested post-fornication. “You should get tested for STI’s once a year, or after every sexual partner, whichever comes first,”