7 Things Your OB/GYN Wishes You’d Stop Doing In Your Relationship
It's wonderful to enter a relationship where you have a regular routine with someone and you begin to feel comfortable with what is going on in the bedroom. But just because you're not single anymore doesn't mean you should stop paying attention to your health. When looking to advice from an OB/GYN, there are number of things they might caution you from doing in your relationship. Paying attention to your sexual health — and your sexual satisfaction — matters even when you're not single, and there are certain habits that are especially common in couples that you might want to consider ditching.
"Lack of self-care in general, and neglect of sexual heath specifically, can indicate dissatisfaction with life," gynecologist Debra Wickman, MD, FACOG, at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, Women’s Institute, tells Bustle. "Less attention to sexual health can be a form of denial, creating a disconnection between the psychological frame of everyday function, and the physical needs of her body. Sexual health is much more than physical demonstration, and needs to reflect the full expression of body, mind, emotion and connection — to self, partner, and life overall."
When in a relationship, it's important for you and your partner to work together to make sure you are both healthy and satisfied. Here are seven things your OB/GYN wishes you would stop doing in your relationship.
1. Faking Orgasms
Having a healthy intimate relationship means having intimacy that is gratifying for both partners, and achieving orgasm is an important part of that satisfaction. "By faking, you [you can be] demeaning your own importance in the relationship, and you are also giving incorrect information to your partner about how to satisfy you," Jessica Vaught, MD, gynecologist at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, tells Bustle. "Women can’t expect their partners to try harder or try something different if they are giving them false results." That's why communication is always key, so you can help your partner know what you like in bed.
2. Falling Asleep Right After Sex
It's tempting to cuddle right after intimacy, but make sure you go to the bathroom first. "Stop falling asleep after sex," Dr. Mary Rosser, OB/GYN at ColumbiaDoctors Midtown, tells Bustle. "Please get up and empty your bladder to reduce risk of UTI." It make seem like a nuisance at the time, but one quick trip to the bathroom can prevent issues later.
3. Ignoring Discomfort
Pain during sex should never be ignored. "There can be slight discomfort with sex, sometimes occasional spotting depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, but in general warning signs of problems that need medical attention are persistent pain with intercourse, or new pain with intercourse that didn’t happen before; bleeding that is persistent after or during sex, odorous vaginal discharge that is green or yellow in color, new lesions or bumps on the outside of the vagina," says Dr. Vaught. "If ever in doubt, call your doctor and get it checked out."
4. Using Fragrant Products
"Women are often concerned about the natural scent of their bodies, and try to cover it up with artificial scents that can irritate sensitive vulvar skin and predispose [them] to infection," says Dr. Wickman. "Besides, these products mask the natural pheromones emanating from the genitals, which are important in that spark of attraction between couples."
5. Believing Sex Is Similar To What You See In Movies
Remember that TV and movie sex is definitely not real life. "As an OB/GYN who asks every patient about her sexual health, I find our perceptions of sex and how women are supposed to magically achieve orgasm the same way that men achieve orgasm fascinating," says Dr. Vaught. "I guess this goes back to not faking orgasms." Sex, in reality, is completely different, and will often require a lot more communication — and maybe a few mishaps — before you and your partner get it right.
6. Pretending Unprotected Sex Won't End In Pregnancy
If you are not trying to get pregnant, plan on using a form of birth control that works well with your lifestyle, always. "Sex without protection leads to pregnancy," says Dr. Vaught. "[...] just because you didn’t use protection two times and you didn’t get pregnant does not mean those rules will apply to that third time. So if you are having intercourse and do not want to be pregnant, you need to be using some sort of contraception."
7. Neglecting Your Own Sexual Response
Women often put their own sexual needs on the back burner, deferring to the everyday needs of their partner, kids or employer. "Often women are too fatigued to [engage in] sex," says Dr. Wickman. "This is a mistake, as intimacy is the glue that binds a relationship. It is also important for the relationship we have within ourselves, fostering self-esteem and satisfaction. Nurturing our own sexual response helps us engage with life as healthy, fulfilled beings. We must be intentional about making time to engage our sexual wiring, keeping the mind-body pathways primed and functioning."
When it comes to your sexual health and satisfaction, gynecologists know best. Avoid these habits in your relationship, and your body will thank you.