When you’re in the heat of the moment, it’s pretty easy to forget that there’s a lot of health that goes into sex. Aside from the emotions and mental health you can experience after some time with your partner, there’s a lot of physical health that can get ignored. Whether you just can’t bring yourself to leave bed (guilty!) or want to spend that extra time with your partner, it’s common to forget that the spread of bacteria and infection is so easy. Here are six mistakes you need to change in your sex routine (it’s a thing, I swear).
1. Not discussing contraception or getting tested for STI’s
If you’re with a new partner, this is especially important, but if you’re looking to prevent pregnancy it’s still something to bring up with your significant other. If you’re not on birth control or didn’t use a condom, it’s important to discuss your options with your partner. A copper IUD is 99% effective as emergency contraception if inserted within seven days, but there are other options for you! Discussing with your partner what is going to work for you and how you want to approach the situation not only is an important conversation for your physical health but also creates trust and a mutual understanding in your relationship.
2. Not washing up or showering
Certain lubricants and bacteria and germs from fingers increase the likelihood of yeast or bacterial infections, so keeping the vagina clean after sex is important. Instead of using harmful douches or oils, make sure you use fragrance-free soaps if you’re showering, or opt for feminine hygiene wipes if you’re not able to totally wash off. Also, wash your hands, girl! Bacteria can get there too and will spread as soon as you touch anything.
3. Not peeing after intercourse
This is a common one, but I still hear people say that they forget to do this, and let me tell you, it is CRUCIAL if you want to prevent UTIs. During intercourse, bacteria can travel towards the urethra. Urinating (literally) flushes out that bacteria and makes sure it doesn’t travel.
4. Brushing off pain or swelling
Pain after sex is NOT normal, so don’t treat it as such! There are many reasons you could be experiencing pain or swelling after sex, and getting it treated will not only make your sex life more enjoyable, but it might answer other unsolved questions. This also applies to bleeding or any other abnormal feelings down there after sex.
5. Ignoring discharge
Post sex discharge can be normal, but pay attention to the texture, smell, and color. If it’s dark in color, is milky, looks like cottage cheese (I know, gross comparison, but there’s no other way to say it!), or starts to smell abnormal, this could be a sign of an infection or certain STIs, and leaving those dormant for long can lead to serious health risks later on. This goes for most health issues in life, but if your body feels off for whatever reason, it’s time to see a doctor.
6. Not sanitizing your toys
Okay, think about it. Now you’re grossed out, too. I know it’s easy to forget afterward, but it’ll make sure that next time you go to have your time, you won’t have to worry about bacteria or infections ruining the mood.
For silicone, stainless steel, or glass motorized toys, use a mild, unscented soap and a damp washcloth. If it’s not motorized, you can give your toys a deep clean by placing them in boiling water for 10 minutes. If you really wanna make sure it’s good for your next play date, toss it in the dishwasher so the hot steam can sterilize it. Plastic toys can still carry bacteria even after being washed with soap and water, so using a condom when sharing with a partner is a good idea to keep that bacteria at bay.
Once your toys are clean, make sure to store in a case or silk bag and keep away from bacteria prone areas, like a bathroom.