At this point, if you had a dollar for every time someone told you to pee after sex, you’d have enough to buy a truckload of AZO. But beyond the whole sex-then-pee routine, what else is there to do post-romp? Apparently, there’s a lot.
As it turns out, locking down a post-sex routine can be the difference between a super-steamy sex life—and a perma-vengeful vagina.
“Good hygiene should always be the rule, not the exception, especially after sexual contact,” says Sherry Ross, M.D., ob-gyn and women’s health expert in Santa Monica, California. “Sex can bring a host of new bacteria, which is challenging for the vagina to fend off,” she says.
And, as we mentioned, peeing after sex isn’t the only thing you can do to ward off UTIs and other unpleasantness.
Here, five more super easy and actually enjoyable post-nookie rituals to keep your vagina happy and healthy (and your sex life stellar).
1. WIPE DOWN WITH NON-SMELLY SOAP AND WATER
“Sexual lubricants and bacteria from the fingers, mouth, and rectum can increase your chance of developing a yeast or bacterial infection,” says Ross, who recommends using a non-fragrant soap around your lady parts after sex. Simply take a warm washcloth and gently dab the area with soap and water (or just warm water), moving from front to back. Internal cleaning isn’t necessary: The vagina has its own internal wash cycle that keeps it clean and balanced, she adds. In other words, no douches allowed.
2. SOAK IN THE BATHTUB
Besides making you feel like the pampered sex queen that you are, adding extra virgin coconut oil to a warm bath can help hydrate the skin of the outer vagina and sooth any vaginal swelling or irritation that occurs after doing the deed, says Ross. Again, this reduces your risk of infection, she says. (Check out our selection of sex accessories at the Women’s Health Boutique.)
3. CHUG A PINT OF WATER
“Just like with exercise, you may need to hydrate after a vigorous romp,” says Nicole Scott, M.D., ob-gyn at Indiana University Health. Dehydration affects your entire body, so if your mouth is dry and/or your vag felt like sandpaper during sex you definitely need to refuel with water. Right after your roll in the hay, chug a pint or two of H2O. That will hydrate you and help flush pesky UTI-causing bacteria from your bladder.
4. EAT PROBIOTIC-RICH FOODS
“Yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and other fermented foods have the same good bacteria that are found in the vagina,” says Kelly Kasper, M.D., ob-gyn at Indiana University Health. Getting into the habit of snacking on these foods after sex can help to replenish the body’s good bacteria, helping to decrease your risk of a yeast infection.
5. GO COMMANDO
Once you’re so fresh and so clean-clean, ward off UTIs and other infections by wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting PJs to keep your privates dry—or better yet, go commando for optimum air circulation. At the very least, avoid nylon underwear and tight-fitting sleepwear, which can trap moisture and help bacteria grow, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.