After 'SEX' Always Do These 5 Things -Health Sex Tips
What to do after sex for a healthy vagina
You'll want to use the bathroom before and after sex.
Still, there are easy things you can do to keep your pH balance in check and minimize your risk for UTIs, said our experts. According to Dr. Hill and Dr. Bohn, you'll want to "empty your bladder after intercourse to flush out bacteria which may have been pushed into the urethra during sex. If left there, it can lead to a bladder infection or a UTI."
How you wipe is important.
Drs. Hill and Bohn remind us to "wipe from front to back so that you don't contaminate the vagina with bacteria from the rectum, which could ultimately lead to a UTI."
You can clean the area, but be gentle.
All you need is mild soap and water. Bhakpong/Shutterstock
Urinating after sex is the most surefire way to minimize the risk of infection, but there are other ways to keep things clean. Dr. Hill and Dr. Bohn recommend that you "allow excessive semen to drain from the vagina" if having penis-in-vagina intercourse without a condom "so that your vaginal pH stays in balance. This helps to prevent yeast and bacterial infections and UTIs."
They add, "We recommend you clean the vulva [the external part of the female sex organs] gently with warm water and mild soap on a washcloth to remove sweat, semen, and bacteria," adding that you should "wipe from front to back when cleaning."
And even though you can find plenty of fragrant feminine hygiene washes, creams, oils, and cleansers lining drugstore shelves, all of our experts suggest using plain soap and water with no fragrance or harsh chemicals for the delicate vulva area.
Scented products aren't a great idea.
There's an inherent sexism associated with vaginal health, namely that your vagina should smell like flowers or fruit or, well, anything but a vagina. But there's nothing wrong with your vagina's natural odors, despite the myriad of products that suggest otherwise.
Dr. Minkin told us that these products are unnecessary at best, and problematic at worst. She said, "This is probably the most important issue for most women. The vulvar and vaginal tissue is just about the most sensitive in the body, so try to avoid scented products, such as bubble baths, and most strong soaps, which in general have a very high (basic) pH."
"I know this sounds crazy, but 'acidic' is what a healthy vagina is - not basic. Seminal fluid is basic, and that can disturb a healthy 'ecosystem' for some women's vaginas. Trying to keep the vagina acidic is good."
Keep your pH levels healthy.
A doctor can test your pH levels. Universal Pictures
With so much mention of your vagina's pH levels, you might be wondering exactly how you can know if yours are normal or out of whack.
Drs. Hill and Bohn said, "The normal vaginal pH is around 4 - which is quite acidic compared to the rest of our body (pH near 7). When the vaginal pH is too high, bacteria can overpopulate, leading to vaginal or urinary infections. Probiotics like Florajen can replenish our body's good bacteria which are responsible for maintaining a healthy pH. Also, recurrent vaginal infections are signs of possible pH issues. A doctor can check pH with a strip. Some pH strips are available for purchase for self-checking."
Don't try douching.
All of our experts advise against douching, which "removes the 'good' bacteria from the vagina and can actually cause pH issues," said Drs. Bohn and Hill.
In fact, douching does not prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases and can increase your risk for infection or even pregnancy complications.
"One of the biggest myths about vaginal health is that the vagina needs to be thoroughly cleaned when, in fact, it is self-cleaning. You do not need to use strong soaps or perfumes. If there is a strong odor, it may be the sign of an infection which should be addressed by your doctor. Putting anything foreign into the vagina upsets the natural balance of the vagina."
After cleaning, properly dry the area and wear breathable material.
After you've used the bathroom and washed with warm water and mild soap, Drs. Bohn and Hill suggest drying with a clean towel and wearing clean underwear because excess "moisture on the vulva can [also] lead to yeast infections or UTIs."
You'll want to wear underwear that is "loose-fitting and made of breathable material such as cotton," and all experts suggest sleeping without any underwear at all. Underwear that is too tight or in fabrics like nylon can be irritating.
Clean your sex toys.
Sex toys can carry bacteria. Viacom Media Networks
If you've used any sex toys, those "should be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap, and same for sheets and hands. Sex toys should not be shared between partners unless they are cleaned or a condom is used."
You should be regularly cleaning your sheets, but there's no need to do extra laundry post-sex if you weren't already planning on it.
There's no special diet to follow for optimal vaginal health.
Although there are several supplements and foods marketed towards vaginal health, our experts agree that eating a balanced diet is best.
"We don't know of any foods to avoid post-sex, but women with diabetes who have high blood sugars are more prone to yeast, so watching a diet that is high in carbohydrates may help prevent yeast. Also, foods with probiotics (including many types of yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and others) will be helpful in maintaining a normal vaginal pH balance."
Dr. Minkin added, "if a woman is prone to getting bladder infections, taking supplements that include cranberry extract (like Cystex Urinary Health Maintenance) can be helpful" since they don't feature as much sugar as most bottled cranberry juices do.
There's one key thing to dobeforeintercourse for your sexual health.
Our experts recommend one important thing before having intercourse. Drs. Bohn and Hill said that "communicating with your partner about their sexual history - including any STD's they may have contracted - is keybeforeengaging in sex."
If you experience unusual pain, discharge, or bleeding, check with your doctor.
"The major concern of having unusual pain or discharge is if you could be harboring a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Bleeding also can be associated with an STI as well," said Dr. Minkin, with Drs. Hill and Bohn adding, "Pain, discharge, and bleeding after sex can have many causes such as vaginal trauma or infections," aside from the chance of infection.
If you experience any symptoms that worry you or are unusual, you should check with your doctor, who can help determine what is going on and get you back on the road to optimal vaginal health.
Video: ►►5 Things You Should Always Do After Sex ✡✡ Secret Tips ✡✡
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