Getting cosy under the sheets may be all fun and games, up until you contract a UTI or suffer inexplicable pain during or after intercourse! Now, now, we’re not saying that this will happen every time you have sex. But as it happens, taking precautions for healthy and safe sex is not something that should be done only prior to the activity. There are a couple of things you shouldn’t forget to do even after you’ve had your fun!
9 Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Do After Having Sex
Health is often considered to be in physical terms only, but that’s not the case. Sex, as much as being a physical exercise, is very much a mental activity too. This means that it affects both your physical and mental health. So while you’re sure to follow the hygiene tips below from here onwards (if you’re not already doing them), make sure you also take the effort to ensure that you and your partner benefit mentally from your sexual relationship.
1. Make a trip to the bathroom.
This doesn’t mean you need to rush to pee as soon as you and your partner have had your moment! Sit back and relax for a bit but ensure that you do make the effort to get off the bed and flush out the bacteria that would have entered your urethra during intercourse. Once you’re done, wipe from front to back to avoid germs from travelling back to the urethra. Peeing after sex is especially important for women, since the risk of contracting urinary tract infections is so much higher for them. But hey, there’s no harm in men doing the same either!
2. Wash up well.
Your cleansing routine need not be filled with exquisite-smelling products and a super-hot shower – in fact, the simpler you keep it, the better for your private parts. It’s best to wash the area around (and only around!) your genitals with warm water. Keep the fragrant soap and the myriad of genital wash products you may have aside; warm water will work just fine, while other products will alter the good bacteria and flora in your vagina. It’s important that women do not douche, i.e., clean inside their vagina with products or even water, because it can actually lead to more infections. Men with foreskin need to gently pull it back and wash with warm water as well.
3. Avoid hot water for cleaning up.
While the fact that boiling water kills germs holds true for other purposes, the same logic doesn’t apply in this case. In fact, exposing your genitals (especially the vagina) to super-hot water right after sex can make it more prone to contracting infections, because the skin’s antimicrobial barrier gets compromised. Therefore, nice and warm does the trick!
4. Wash your hands.
We know that’s something you never forget to do after visiting the washroom, but it needs to be mentioned because it should be an important part of your post-sex routine. During sex, germs from your partner’s body, especially the genitals, may have gotten transferred to your hands. Leave them ignored and you’re setting yourself up for unwelcome infections. Why take the chance? Simply wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water so that you can go back to bed in peace!
5. Get a drink of water.
Yes, hydration counts here as well! Sex counts as exercise, so drinking a cup of water doesn’t only help replenish your strength, but also contributes to flushing out bacteria that may still be around in your urethra. If you think you’re going to be too tired to go to the kitchen to get a cup of water, keep a bottle filled and ready on your nightstand so you don’t miss out on this step.
6. Wearing loose clothing.
Your private parts are bound to be slightly sensitive and prone to moisture after sex, so covering it up with tight undies made of non-breathable fabric would be a little cruel! Also, bacteria thrive in warm, sweaty areas, i.e. what your genitals will be like when caged in tight underwear. Instead, choose breathable cotton underwear which will not just be comfortable but also absorb moisture. You can also actually do the best thing, which would be to skip underwear altogether – no better time to go ‘commando’, really (well, except during sex, of course!)!
7. Keep those phones and devices away for a while.
Don’t come back to bed from the bathroom and immediately open WhatsApp to watch some video that has been forwarded to you. The moments right after sex call for some intimacy. Dopamine and oxytocin (better referred to as the ‘feel good’ and ‘bonding’ hormones) are released during sex in a good quantity. They make the post-coital cuddle session much more relaxing and promote a lot of love between you and your partner. So instead of staring at the phone or rolling over to sleep off, take the time to stare at each others’ faces and have a nice conversation. Compliment each other, giggle to your heart’s content, hold each other tight – that feeling of closeness is something you’ll cherish!
8. Touch upon ‘touchy’ subjects in your conversation.
Most people avoid ‘the conversation’, which is addressing something that they don’t like about sex or actually want, or even ignoring excessive pain thinking that it’s normal. By doing so, not only are you cheating yourself out of having a wonderful experience but you’re also not doing justice to your partner who’s trying to satisfy you. Be honest right from the beginning about your wants and concerns; it helps to bypass any awkwardness in the future. As for any unusual pain that you may notice, doing breathing or Kegel exercises regularly can help calm cramps or minor pain. But if it’s getting to be too much and too regular, it’s best to seek medical attention.
9. Pay attention to symptoms of yeast infections.
Both you and your partner can be prone to contracting yeast infections due to causes such as wearing the wrong kind of underwear, not practising basic hygiene, staying in sweaty clothes and so on. If you find that there is some itching, redness, pain, swelling, rashes or discharge from your private parts, it’s best to get it treated at the earliest. While yeast infections don’t really cause permanent damage, it can’t be very comfortable going about your day with an itch in your pants, can it?
Take Extra Care During Pregnancy
While it’s important to do the above things every time you have sex, being pregnant calls for more caution. Sex during pregnancy is not unsafe, but the chances of contracting infections are certainly higher. Ensure that hygiene and health are given as much priority as having a good time!
Now that you’re well-equipped with what needs to be done after having a cosy session with your partner, you’ll see that the good effects of having sex don’t just stop with the activity itself. A little extra effort goes a long way!