Sex is one of the most amazing things in the entire universe, and it is also one of the messiest. Sex is a breeding ground for both pleasure and bacteria — but thankfully, there are a lot of different steps you can take in order to keep yourself as healthy as possible following a ~lovemaking~ sesh. Unfortunately, a lot of things can distract us in the moments immediately following sexual intercourse, and we'll forget to do certain things to take care of ourselves. What are some of the post-sex mistakes that you might be making?
Well, the result of these mistakes is typically an infection — often, a urinary tract infection, especially in the case of ciswomen. "Post coital UTI is the most common issue in those women prone," Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, a practicing OB/GYN and an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, tells Bustle. It's something that Dr. Dweck sees frequently in her patients when they don't take certain precautions.
From not checking the condom to not cleaning sex toys, here are some of the big mistakes we make after sex. Keep reading to learn more from Dr. Dweck and to make sure you are being as careful as possible post-sex.
1. Not Peeing Following The ~Event~ (Especially If You Are Prone To UTIs)
This isn't to say that you immediately have to run to the nearest toilet as soon as you and your partner finish. But if you know you have to pee, then it's really not smart to hold your urine — even if you're exhausted. And even if you don't think you have to pee, you should at least try. Why? Because urinating after sex is one of the best ways to prevent a UTI — which, as Dr. Dweck previously mentioned, is a very common post-coital health issue that she sees in patients. Urinating soon after sex helps your body wash away the bacteria that could contribute to a UTI.
However, Dr. Dweck also notes that some women are more prone to UTIs than others — and those women should take extra precautions. Dr. Dweck says, "For those women who are prone to urinary tract infections, I typically advise urinating both before and after sex as soon as it's feasible. ...For those really prone to UTIs, I will often recommend a single dose antibiotic after sex to prevent infection."
And for those women who aren't prone to UTIs, Dr. Dweck says it's OK to take a little extra cuddling time before you head to the bathroom.
2. Not Washing Your Genitals (Or Taking A Full Shower)
This is pretty simple — just take a quick trip to the bathroom at some point to wash off your genitals. Dr. Dweck says, "Aside from urinating after sex, showering or washing off after sex is helpful for those prone to infection." And UTIs aren't the only infections that can develop for some women after sex, as Dr. Dweck says yeast infections and other bacterial infections can happen in some women. But cleaning up after sex will leave you feeling more comfortable and it can be really cute. Dr. Dweck notes, "Showering with your partner can make it even more fun!"
3. Not Washing Away Any Lube Or Spermicide
Make sure to think about your individual body. Do you have a sensitivity to latex or to certain chemicals in lubes (glycerin — found in most lubes — can contribute to yeast infections)? It is especially important that you remember to wash up. "For those women who are sensitive to condoms, spermicide, or lubricant, washing may be beneficial, "Dr. Dweck says.
Your sensitivity or allergy may require more than washing up (perhaps you should stop using that product, etc.), but there is no harm in taking this extra precaution before you know what your body needs.
4. Not Checking The Condom (If You're Using A Condom)
While condoms are 98 percent effective when used perfectly, they can also break. If you and your partner are using condoms — for STD prevention, pregnancy prevention, or both — you should always double check the condom for breaks after sex. That way, you can make sure to do whatever you need in case the condom failed — whether that is getting an STD test or using emergency contraception.
5. Ignoring Soreness
It is great that you and your partner are greatly attracted to each other and have a fabulous time in the bedroom. But if you are feeling sore, don't try to convince yourself that you can handle another round. Not only will you feel discomfort for longer than necessary, but having sex too many times can cause painful little tears on your vaginal wall.
6. Not Cleaning Sex Toys
If you incorporate sex toys into your routine but don't clean them after use, you may give yourself a yeast infection (or another bacterial infection) the next time you fool around with them. Bacteria naturally builds up on the toys, so just remember to wash them regularly!
7. Not Getting Tested And/Or Ignoring Potential Infection Symptoms
We tend to be so afraid of getting STD tests — but getting an STD test will either quell all your fears, help you cure an infection, or help you protect yourself and your partner during all future encounters. Don't be nervous — be grateful for access to health care!
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (7)