No, you don’t need a yoni egg to keep your vagina healthy! But understanding what your vagina needs before and after sex could make the experience more comfortable, pleasurable, and safe. In the heat of passion it’s easy to forget, but vaginal health is important, so here’s what you should be doing before, during and after sex to ensure your vagina doesn’t hate you.
In many cases, lube can be a practical addition to sex if you need a little more slide-y slide down there, not to mention lots of people like it because it feels great. Using vaginal lubricant can help if you experience vaginal dryness and reduce your risk of catching UTIs because the friction can irritate the bladder. Lube is easily available in shops and online, but you may find that the ingredients don’t always agree with you, such as scents and flavourings which can cause rashes or itching.
One ingredient that may pose a problem is glycerin, which is added to give lube that long-lasting moist feeling. Unfortunately it can also affect the balance of bacteria in the vagina, increasing the risk of infections like thrush and BV.1 You’ll also want to keep an eye out for petroleum products, which affect the vagina’s natural pH level - fine in the moment, but you could end up paying for it later. Check the label for the ingredients in your lube, and if you need to, opt for a lube with more natural, body-safe ingredients that are less likely to cause irritation.
It’s been drummed into us from our school days, but in the throes of passion it can be easy to forget to use a condom. Whether your concern is unplanned pregnancy or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), using a condom is the only way to prevent both. Other forms of birth control can help prevent pregnancy but will not protect you against STIs if you are having penetrative or oral sex, so don’t be afraid to have the conversation with your partner about your sexual histories, and discuss using condoms to help keep your vagina healthy!
There’s not much you need to remember about keeping your vagina healthy while you’re in the middle of sex - just do your thing and enjoy! However, if you choose to have anal sex, it is advisable to change the condom before moving from the anus to the vagina. This is because bacteria in the anus doesn’t belong in the reproductive tract, and can lead to issues such as UTIs, bacterial vaginosis or even pelvic inflammatory disease. These may take longer to treat if introduced by bacteria that does not originate in the vagina. Sorry to spoil the fun, but it’s a commonly forgotten yet important tip!
Picture it; a super passionate love scene in a film, the romp is over, and someone says… “I’m just gonna nip for a wee!” You definitely don’t see that sort of thing in movies, but in real life, you may find yourself needing to use the bathroom soon after sex. And if you don’t, you should still go. It’s actually quite important to urinate soon after you have penetrative sex, because during sex, bacteria can make its way from the genitals to the urethra, and can cause a UTI. Although larger studies haven’t exactly proved that peeing after sex can prevent getting an infection, it certainly can’t hurt! In fact, 60% of recurrent UTIs begin after sex, so it’s worth a try if you can avoid that pesky burning!
By weeing after sex, you are flushing the bacteria out of the urethra, which can prevent any issues later on. We’re not talking immediately after the deed is done, but within around 30 minutes should do the trick. Keep in mind that females are up to 30x more likely to get a UTI than males, so even if your partner doesn’t fancy getting up to go to the loo, you still should.
Sometimes the vagina can feel a bit icky after sex, and some people like to ‘douche’ afterwards to feel cleaner, or because they believe it is the best way to clean inside and remove any unwanted semen if they have had unprotected sex. Douching can mean different things to different people, but generally it involves spraying water into the vagina, or even a mix of water and other ingredients or cleaning products like soap.
Put. Down. The. Shower-head. Douching, whether it’s a high-pressure shower situation or a less intense method, is never the way to a clean vagina. The inside of your vagina is actually self-cleaning, and doesn’t need any help. Douching is associated with an increased risk of many health conditions, like bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, and even pregnancy complications,
One study published in the Journal of Women’s Health even found that women who clean their vaginal canal have heightened concentrations of potentially harmful chemicals in their blood. Embrace the self-cleaning nature of your vagina and let it do its thing. It’s got this!
With the inside taken care of, if you want to freshen up you may prefer to clean the outside of your vagina after sex. Showering isn’t necessary from a vaginal health perspective, but feel free to do it if you want. Alternatively, a simple wipe-down will do. The best thing for this is unscented baby wipes, and remember - don’t worry about the inside, just stick to the outside, so the vulva, labia, and surrounding areas. You know, like a festival-style shower!
And voila! Clean and healthy vagina. Got a question about vaginal health? Chat to us over at our private Facebook group or drop us a note on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period subscription box can get organic tampons, pads, liners (and more) delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox. That leaves you more time to think about...other things.
1. Hung KJ, Hudson PL, Bergerat A, et al. Effect of commercial vaginal products on the growth of uropathogenic and commensal vaginal bacteria. Epub ahead of print 2020. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-63652-x.
2. Boeri L, Capogrosso P, Ventimiglia E, et al. Six Out of Ten Women with Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Complain of Distressful Sexual Dysfunction-A Case-Control Study OPEN. Nat Publ Gr. Epub ahead of print 2017. DOI: 10.1038/srep44380.
3. Martino JL, Vermund SH. Vaginal douching: evidence for risks or benefits to women’s health. Epidemiol Rev 2002; 24: 109–124.
4. Ding N, Batterman S, Park SK. Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds and Use of Feminine Hygiene Products among Reproductive-Aged Women in the United States. J Women’s Heal 2020; 29: 65–73.
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