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  3. Pleasure

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Things to Do After Sex: The Ultimate Checklist

After a night of passion, maybe all you really want to do is cuddle up to your partner. But there are a number of important things you should do after sex. Here’s a glimpse of Flo’s best tips on how both of you can keep your sex life — and your health — in tip-top shape. 

If you’re wondering what you should do after sex for your health and safety, here is the list of the most important ones:

If you have a sneaking suspicion or feel like something was different this time, take a closer look at the condom to see if it broke. This rarely happens when condoms are stored and used correctly, but it’s far from impossible. One research study found that 7.3 percent of men tore condoms during application or use, and 4.4 percent reported the condom slipping off during intercourse. 

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Of all the things to do after sex, checking the condom for tears probably brings the most peace of mind. And if it turns out it was compromised, you’ll have time to consider next steps, like emergency contraception, and know to keep an eye out for your period.

Another one of the most critical things to do after sex is to disinfect any sex toys you used with hot water and mild soap. Carefully review each product’s care instructions so you know how to clean it properly. If you don’t practice good hygiene, sex toys can spread fungi, viruses, bacteria, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

Just as there are certain things you should do after sex, there are probably just as many things you shouldn’t do.

In French, the word “douche” means to shower or wash. Vaginal douching sprays a cleaning solution (composed of water and other fluids) into your vagina. Douching products often contain fragrances or antibacterial ingredients that may help you feel “fresher” and “cleaner” after use. However, vaginal douching is not recommended by most doctors.

Your vagina is naturally self-cleaning, and using harsh soaps or other foreign substances on it disrupts its delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. That’s why experts recommend that you wash gently around your genital area with nothing more than warm water.

If you notice an unpleasant odor coming from your vagina, it could be a sign of infection. Rather than douching, which won’t treat an infection, please see your health care provider for diagnosis and treatment.

While it’s imperative to be open and honest with your partner, conversations regarding physical intimacy should occur before, not after, sex. Of course, if you had sex before you had an opportunity to ask critical questions, it’s OK to go ahead and ask them now. But, whenever possible, you want to hash out these super important details before engaging in any form of sexual activity.

Learn as much as you can about your partner’s sexual history, like how many partners they had before you and whether they’ve ever contracted an STI. Lastly, decide together on the specific type of contraception you prefer to rely on. 

If you’re wondering what to do after sex, it’s wise to get in the habit of taking these precautionary steps. Remember, it’s all for the sake of your long-term health and your partner’s.

“Sexually Transmitted Infection Symptoms (STIs).” Family Doctor, 25 Apr. 2019, familydoctor.org/condition/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis.

“What’s the Best Way to Clean Sex Toys?” Brown University, www.brown.edu/campus-life/health/services/promotion/content/whats-best-way-clean-sex-toys. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

“Can Cranberry Stop Your UTIs?” Cleveland Clinic, 5 Feb. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/can-cranberry-juice-stop-uti.

“Feminine Odor Problems? What Every Woman Needs to Know.” Cleveland Clinic, 10 June 2021, health.clevelandclinic.org/feminine-odor-problems-what-you-should-know-about-douching.

“Keeping Your Vagina Clean and Healthy.” NHS, 18 Oct. 2018, www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy.

“Does Your Vagina Really Need a Probiotic?” Harvard Health Publishing, 1 July 2019, www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/does-your-vagina-really-need-a-probiotic.

Richters J, Donovan B, Gerofi J. How often do condoms break or slip off in use? Int J STD AIDS. 1993 Mar-Apr;4(2):90-4. doi: 10.1177/095646249300400206. PMID: 8476971.

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