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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 as well as your health in tip-top shape. 

The following list of things you should do after sex can significantly reduce your chances of getting an infection:

You’ve probably come across this tip before. It’s good advice that’s often passed down from girlfriends. Make a quick trip to the bathroom to urinate (even if you don’t feel like you have to) after intercourse. Sex can drastically raise your chances of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI).

That’s because in the process of intercourse, bacteria is sometimes transmitted from your genitals to your urethra. It then migrates from your urethra to your bladder, causing a UTI. It’s a potentially serious issue which is capable of creating other medical complications, such as acute cystitis

But if you always remember to urinate after sex, you’ll flush this bacteria out of your urethra, lowering your likelihood of infection. To take it one step further, drink a glass of water so you pee more frequently and really clear things out. 

Although it doesn’t have to happen immediately after sex, don’t call it a night without washing up. By gently cleaning the genital area, you and your partner will protect yourself against various types of infections. 

Washing effectively removes sweat, lube, and other UTI-triggering impurities that remain on your body, especially near your genitals. Note that for women, it’s crucial to cleanse around your vagina, rather than inside it. 

Another one of the most critical things to do after sex is to disinfect sex toys with hot water and mild soap. Carefully review each product’s care instructions so you’ll 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). 

Sometimes, you’re tempted to fall asleep with your lingerie on. Or, if you were completely naked for your sexual rendezvous, you’ll likely throw your clothes back on and never give it a second thought. 

The problem is, though, that most people work up a bit of a sweat during sexual activity and wearing tight or restrictive clothing traps yeast and bacteria. The surface of your skin then becomes the perfect environment for fostering an infection, which may even result in an unpleasant vaginal odor. Sticking with loose garments after sex helps to prevent this. 

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

Of all the things you should do after sex, checking the condom for tears brings some added peace of mind. Furthermore, if it was compromised, you’ll have time to consider next steps and keep an eye out for your period.

Believe it or not, there’s another side to this coin. 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 mixture (composed of water and other fluids) into your vagina. Douching products often contain fragrances or antibacterial ingredients that help you feel fresher and cleaner after use. However, vaginal douching is not recommended by most doctors. 

Your vagina is naturally self-cleaning, and introducing harsh soaps or other foreign substances ruins its delicate balance of good and bad bacteria.

Your vagina is naturally self-cleaning, and introducing harsh soaps or other foreign substances ruins its delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. Instead, experts recommend that you wash gently around your genital area with nothing more than warm water. 

If you observe an unpleasant odor coming from your vagina, it could be a sign of infection. Rather than douching, please see your doctor 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 intercourse occurred 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. 

Sure, the list of things to do after sex might seem a tad long, but 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. 

https://familydoctor.org/condition/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis/

https://www.brown.edu/campus-life/health/services/promotion/content/whats-best-way-clean-sex-toys

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-cranberry-juice-stop-uti/

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/feminine-odor-problems-what-you-should-know-about-douching/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/does-your-vagina-really-need-a-probiotic

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8476971

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