So you've done the deed and are preparing to fall into a deep sleep between your partner's arms and the mountain of pillows on your bed.
Not so fast! For personal and sexual hygiene reasons, there's a multitude of things you should be doing after sex. Why, you ask? Because sex can introduce a host of new bacteria to your nether regions — and it's hard for your vagina to fend them off all by herself.
Check yourself against this list to see if you're keeping your vagina happy.
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Use the restroom after sex! It helps to rinse E. coli bacteria that may have moved toward your urethra during sex. If you have to go immediately after sex, go for it. Otherwise, don't force it; wait until it comes naturally, even if that means waiting an hour after sex.prevnext
Wipe with soap and water.
Dab a wet washcloth with non-scented soap and lightly wipe down your lady parts, moving from front to back. You could also just use warm water if you're not comfortable using soap.
"Sexual lubricants and bacteria from the fingers, mouth, and rectum can increase your chance of developing a yeast or bacterial infection," Santa Monica-based ob-gyn Sherry Ross told Women's Health.
Reminder: Soap is for external cleaning only! It's true what they say about your vagina being like a self-cleaning oven.prevnext
Take a bath.
Not only will you feel like a queen while relaxing in a bubble bath, you're also giving your lady parts a chance to recoop.
Squirt a little extra virgin coconut oil into the water to help hydrate the skin of the outer vagina and sooth any vaginal swelling or irritation. You're getting a chance to relax and reducing your risk of infection at the same time!prevnext
Drink some water.
Sex is more similar to hitting the gym than you might think! Not only are you getting your heart rate up and burning calories, but you're also going to need to replenish your fluids afterward.
Chug a pint or two of good old-fashioned H2O to hydrate and flush out UTI-causing bacteria from your bladder.prevnext
Fuel up on probiotics.
Foods rich in probiotics, aka the "good" bacteria that helps keep things balanced in your gut and lady parts, can decrease your risk of a yeast infection. Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi and kombucha can help replenish the bacteria found in your vagina.prevnext
After sex, you want to let your vagina breathe. Don't suffocate her with nylon undies or tight-fitting PJs! Clothes like those trap moisture and allow bacteria to grow where you least want it.
Instead, go commando for the night. If you're uncomfortable with that, opt for cotton or loose-fitting PJs instead.prev