When the moment is right and you're in the mood, there seems to be no reason why you shouldn't go ahead and become intimate with the person you're with — given that you have the proper protection and all that good stuff. However, there are a number of times you actually shouldn't have sex, some of which you may have never realized. In addition to both parties consenting, making sure you're clear of STDs, and using your preferred form of birth control (unless you're trying to make those babies, of course), there are a number of other factors to consider before hastily hitting the sheets. Avoiding sex during these times can help protect you and your partner to make sure you're maintaining optimal health.
"Generally, there are certain times you shouldn’t have sex for both emotional and physical reasons," says Paula Bilica, D.O., an OB/GYN with the Institute for Women’s Health, over email. "First and foremost, you should never have sex if you aren’t fully willing. This includes not being emotionally ready, not being in a lucid enough state of mind or simply just not being in the mood."
Sometimes the moments are obvious, but some other instances where you should abstain might surprise you. Here are eight times that you shouldn't have sex that you may not have realized.
1Right After Shaving Or Waxing
"Shaving, waxing, plucking, and pulling can leave your skin raw," says Jamie Knopfman, MD over email. "Although you may be fine to go at it after you go to the spa, it may make sense to give it a day or to, especially after a Brazilian wax." Since hair removal can leave micro abrasions in the skin, you could also be at a higher risk of infection or STDs immediately after.
2Before Your Gynecologist Appointment
"We ask our patients to abstain from sexual relations 24 hours before their appointment for a reason," says Bilica. "Semen can change the pH balance of the vagina and interfere with test results, which can lead to inaccurate conclusions."
3When You're In A Pool Or Hot Tub
Enjoying a steamy night in a hot tub can lead to some spontaneous intimacy, but you'll want to proceed with caution. "There are actually a number of risks associated with sex in a pool or hot tub," says Bilica. "First, the added chlorine can irritate your vagina. Next, if the water isn’t properly chlorinated enough, you risk getting a bacterial infection. Lastly, water actually reduces lubrication, which can lead to vaginal tears and increased chances of infection."
4When You Have A Yeast Infection
"When you have a very heavy yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis and you have a lot of discharge and generally feel like your vagina is already irritated, it is best to abstain until the situation is under control," says Marashi. "The vagina is very prone to pH balance disruption, and by having sex, you could just be prolonging the issue."
5You're Having Stomach Problems
A stomach ache might not put you in the mood to do very much in bed, but if you are feeling up for it, you might want to think again. The penis can graze the rectum, and if you have a gastrointestinal bug, you could add a bladder infection into the mix, according to gynecological surgeon Nicole Williams, MD who spoke to Prevention.
6When The Condom's Not A Perfect Fit
"While carrying protection with you is always encouraged, condoms that have been stored in a wallet for an extended period of time can begin to break down due to body heat and natural age," says Bilica. "Additionally, condoms that are the wrong fit — either too big or too small — can drastically reduce the effectiveness of protection."