Understanding what your vagina needs before and after sex could make the experience more comfortable, pleasurable and safe.
In the heat of passion, it’s easy to forget, but vaginal health is important, so here’s what you should be doing before, during and after sex to ensure your vagina doesn’t hate you.
- Check your lube
In many cases, lube can be a practical addition to sex if you need a little more slide down there, not to mention lots of people like it because it feels great.
Using vaginal lubricant can help if you experience vaginal dryness and reduce your risk of catching UTIs because the friction can irritate the bladder.
- Practice safe sex
It’s been drummed into us from our school days, but in the throes of passion, it can be easy to forget to use a condom.
Whether your concern is unplanned pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), using a condom is the only way to prevent both.
Other forms of birth control can help prevent pregnancy but will not protect you against STIs if you are having penetrative or oral sex, so don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your partner about your sexual histories, and discuss using condoms to help keep your vagina healthy!
- Be safe
There’s not much you need to remember about keeping your vagina healthy while you’re in the middle of sex – just do your thing and enjoy.
- Use the bathroom within 30 minutes
In real life, you may find yourself needing to use the bathroom soon after sex. And if you don’t, you should still go.
It’s actually quite important to urinate soon after you have penetrative sex, because, during sex, bacteria can make their way from the genitals to the urethra, and can cause a UTI.
Although larger studies haven’t exactly proved that peeing after sex can prevent getting an infection, it certainly can’t hurt! In fact, 60% of recurrent UTIs begin after sex, so it’s worth a try if you can avoid that pesky burning.
By weeing after sex, you are flushing the bacteria out of the urethra, which can prevent any issues later on.
We’re not talking immediately after the deed is done, but within around 30 minutes should do the trick.
Keep in mind that females are up to 30x more likely to get a UTI than males, so even if your partner doesn’t fancy getting up to go to the loo, you still should.
- Skip the douching
Sometimes the vagina can feel a bit icky after sex, and some people like to ‘douche’ afterwards to feel cleaner, or because they believe it is the best way to clean inside and remove any unwanted semen if they have had unprotected sex.
Douching can mean different things to different people, but generally, it involves spraying water into the vagina, or even a mix of water and other ingredients or cleaning products like soap.
Douching, whether it’s a high-pressure shower situation or a less intense method, is never the way to a clean vagina. The inside of your vagina is actually self-cleaning and doesn’t need any help.
Douching is associated with an increased risk of many health conditions, like bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and even pregnancy complications.
- Use a simple wipe
With the inside taken care of, if you want to freshen up you may prefer to clean the outside of your vagina after sex.
Showering isn’t necessary from a vaginal health perspective, but feel free to do it if you want.
Alternatively, a simple wipe-down will do. The best thing for this is unscented baby wipes, and remember – don’t worry about the inside, just stick to the outside.