4 Simple Ways To Prevent Vaginal Infections After Sex

4 Simple Ways To Prevent Vaginal Infections After Sex

After sex, all you want to do is just relax. As inviting as that might be, there are certain hygiene essentials that should be taken care of first.

Whenever it comes to our health, it's usually the functioning of organs like the liver, heart, lungs, and kidney that we mainly worry about, and go for annual health check-ups to ensure they are functioning well or not. Yet, we don't pay as much attention as we should when it comes to our sexual and reproductive organs, more so after intercourse.  A study published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice, reveals just how sexually active women in various age groups are.  28.57 percent of women in their 40's and 50's were reported to be fully sexually active, while 57.14 percent were said to be partially sexually active. Irrespective of whether a woman is sexually active or not, it is imperative to know the dos and don'ts after indulging in intercourse. With several upcoming bizarre vaginal trends, one cannot be sure which one's helpful and which ones not. What might seem like a harmless habit could actually have a negative impact on our bodies? Here are a few points explaining the activities women should refrain from, after having sex.

1. Don't forget to take a leak

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We often forget about the germs that are exchanged between you and your partner when they are pushed inside your urethra and vagina. This may sound a little gross, but the germs then get a fertile ground to spread and fester, which may even lead to urinary tract infection (UTI). But peeing can reduce that risk while ensuring a healthy environment for your vagina. In addition to peeing, if you wipe yourself from the back to the front after, it helps keep the harmful bacteria from transferring to your sensitive vagina from your anus. "Due to swelling and micro-abrasions that can occur during intercourse, your vulva and vaginal skin are particularly tender and prone to infection," says Leslie E. F. Page, a Kansas-based gynecologist to Women's Health Mag

2. Refrain from "douching"

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Vaginal douching is a method used to wash the vagina, usually a mixture of water and vinegar to eliminate foul smells and "clean" the organ, according to WebMD. Around 20 percent to 40 percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 reportedly use vaginal douche, which is an unsafe practice. By douching you place your vagina at high risk of contracting many infections like yeast infections as "cleaning" process disrupts the necessary balance of healthy bacteria (vaginal flora) and natural acidity of your vagina. Using these harmful methods could lead to more severe health conditions, which pose a higher risk of ovarian cancer, according to a study published in the journal Epidemiology, cited by NCBI.

3. Don't wash your vagina with soap immediately after

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Many women clean their lady parts promptly after having sex, which is good. However, using wet wipes or soap for the same is not. The strong chemicals present in them could irritate your sensitive skin and even trigger allergic reactions. One may even experience rashes in some cases. "When the vaginal tissues have been lubricated, swollen, and rubbed against during intercourse, it changes how that tissue reacts to the environment," says Page. "Primarily, you run a much greater risk of infection. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, and needs to be treated very, very gently - if you wouldn't put it in your mouth, you shouldn't put it in or around your vagina."

Furthermore, she suggests making your own "wipe with warm water and vinegar." You can either use plain water or, "Mix one teaspoon of vinegar with a quart of water, pour some on to a washcloth and wipe your vulva over the toilet, and then pat dry. The vinegar is mildly cleansing and helps maintain the skin's natural acidity."

4. Avoid getting into a bath with or without your partner

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Although a warm bath after intercourse sounds inviting, it isn't recommended. Speaking to Women's Health Magazine, Page said, "When your vulva swells in response to sexual stimulation, it reveals the opening of the vagina, which means you have a greater chance of infection." This stimulation is similar to the kind that a warm bath gives you. Getting into a warm bath with your partner can increase the risk of infection from the shared bacteria and "extensive water exposure reduces the efficiency of your skin’s antimicrobial barrier," she said. 

If you start experiencing rashes, redness or itching around your groin or vagina, visit a doctor immediately. They will be able to diagnose the problem and give you the appropriate treatment.

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