Here are some things to consider after a raunchy session for your own health.
Let's talk about sex, baby! Actually, let's focus on what happens after. Penetrative sex often steals the spotlight in discussions about the intimate act but there's so much more to it. Especially in terms of sexual health and wellbeing what you do after sex can make a huge difference. Sure you might feel sleepy or more relaxed after a postcoital flood of hormones, but here are some important things to consider after a steamy session, for your physical and mental health.
The most obvious one, that you've probably heard many, many times: empty your bladder! This is so important because sexual activity can push bacteria up the urethra, which can lead to bladder infections or urinary tract infections. "It is a good idea to empty your bladder after sex, because the activity is known to help bacteria transfer from back to front, from the anal area to the vaginal/urethra. Using the bathroom flushes out the area, lowering the risk of infection," explained Dr. Carolyn DeLucia, an OB-GYN to Insider.
Hydrate! You can even keep a bottle of water on your nightstand before a session. “Drinking a minimum of eight ounces of water after sex play can help you hydrate and keep your energy levels up, since sexual stimulation can definitely deplete strength,” said Sunny Rodgers, a certified sex coach and ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association, according to HuffPost. “It can also help flush out bacteria from urinary tracts.”
This is a great time to cuddle up with your partner and bond. Why waste it scrolling through your phone or being distracted by something else? Be present and enjoy time with your partner. Sex leads to the release of oxytocin which is a bonding hormone. "When you're first becoming intimate, you're releasing lots of dopamine and oxytocin. That's creating that link between the neural systems that are processing your facial cues, your voice, and the reward system," Larry Young, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University in Atlanta, told WebMD. Use this time wisely.
Let those intimate areas breathe! Cotton is your go-to fabric. “Being a natural fiber, cotton is also hypoallergenic, highly absorbent, and won’t irritate your most sensitive regions ― which are prone to heightened sensitivity and moisture after sex,” said Rogers.
"Toys are usually synthetic and can hold bacteria," DeLucia said. "Keep them clean and they will not increase the risk of infection." Check the instructions before cleaning. Most toys can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap if indicated.
Douching is washing or cleaning out the inside of the vagina with water or other fluids. Many experts advise against the act as it "alters your normal vaginal flora and will increase your risk of UTIs, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis." DeLucia said douching "wipes out" natural bacterial flora, leaving the area "prone to any bacteria or yeast," or "just about anything.
Sure it sounds a bit corny, but why not? Being playful with your partner is a great way to connect. Joke around, compliment each other, and snuggle. “Immediately after sex, oxytocin is still high,” said Karla Ivankovich, a couples therapist and clinical counselor at OnePatient Global Health. “Share with one another what it is that you really enjoyed about your intimacy, physically or emotionally, is a great way to keep bonding. In the post-coital state of euphoria, everything seems better anyway. Tell a corny joke, be silly, and extend the time in intimacy. That extra time is important; if one partner leaves too quickly, someone feels like their high just crashed to the bottoms.”