Right after having sex, you’re probably luxuriating in the post-coital flood of hormones that make you feel sleepy. But even if you’re feeling tired, there are several things you should be doing – and not doing – right after sex to help keep your body as healthy as possible.
Don’t forget to use the bathroom after having sex.
It might not feel super sexy to immediately step away from your partner to use the bathroom but emptying your bladder post-sex is actually pretty important because sexual activity can push bacteria up the urethra, which can lead to bladder infections or urinary tract infections. Using the bathroom flushes out the area, lowering the risk of infection.
Avoid bathing in super-hot water.
Taking a bath or a shower after sex is fine, but you might want to skip a post-sex soak in the hot tub, especially if you have a vagina. Excessive water exposure can elevate your risk of contracting an infection.
Don’t use perfumed or scented products on your genital area after having sex.
While there’s no shortage of scented soaps, gels, washes, lotions, and other products marketed for genital health, these products can irritate internal and external skin and should be avoided immediately after having sex, especially for those with a vagina.
Don’t ever douche.
Even though douching after having sex is often marketed as a safe and healthy way to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, douching alters your normal vaginal flora and will increase your risk of UTIs, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis, which is a condition caused by vaginal inflammation when there is an overgrowth of bacteria.
Don’t put your sex toys away without thoroughly cleaning them.
Certain sex toys need to be cleaned differently than others. Just as you should clean your body after sex, you should clean any sex toys you used because they are usually synthetic and can hold bacteria. Keep them clean and they will not increase the risk of infection. Paying attention to the toy’s specific directions for keeping it clean is crucial.
Don’t put on any tight-fitting clothing or lingerie immediately after sex.
Donning anything tight-fitting before or during sex is fine. But wearing them immediately after sex isn’t the best idea because there is an excess of bodily fluids and the friction spreads the bacteria around. It’s a good idea to allow free drainage and air to allow the body to naturally cleanse itself. Either wear nothing or loose clothing.
Don’t wait until after sex to speak to your partner about their sexual health.
Regularly being tested for STIs is a crucial part of sexual health, but you shouldn’t wait until after having sex to have open and honest communication with your partner about any concerns you might have. Talking about STI testing is a good idea, so if you get tested and have the results, then it is easy to ask that they be tested.
Don’t immediately grab your phone or the TV remote.
Even if you’re not planning on sticking around or need to leave shortly after sex, you might want to avoid immediately grabbing your phone or turning on the TV after having sex. The moments after sex can be a great way to bond with your partner. Scrolling through social media or watching TV limits your chances of enjoying those post-coital feelings of bliss, so savor them while you can.
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