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Family Planning

After engaging in an intimate moment with your partner all you’d like to do is relax, lie back enjoy those blissful post-coital moments. But if you’re a woman, this could be bad for your health. Come again? Yup, that’s right – after a round of vigorous sexual activity, you’re actually more prone to infections. To ensure that doesn’t happen, here are five things you should include in your after sex hygiene routine.

5 After Sex Hygiene Habits for Women

1.Go to the toilet

Number one: do a number one. During penetrative sex, bacteria can be introduced into your vagina. It’s warm and moist inside there, which is the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. If you don’t want to end up with a painful bladder infection, pee within an hour of having sex, which helps to flush out your vagina. And of course, wipe from front to back to avoid faecal contamination.

Feeling uncomfortable after sex? Book a Women’s Wellness appointment at your nearest Marie Stopes Centre for a full sexual health and STI/HIV test and consultation.

2.Avoid soap down there

Not just after sex (although your vagina is particularly sensitive then), but always: don’t wash with soap. Your vagina is a self-cleansing organism and using soaps, douches or other products can interfere with its delicate pH levels. Soap can also lead to irritation and dryness – in fact, as a rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it near your vagina. After sex (and always), rinse only with warm, clean water.

Book an appointment online for a full contraceptive consultation to find out exactly what the best after sex hygiene practices are for your chosen method of contraception.

3.Ditch the cute lingerie

Most types of lingerie are made from non-breathable fabrics like nylon or polyester. Slap them on after sex, and you’re creating the perfect environment for germs to grow. Remember, your vagina is warm and damp after getting down, and that’s when bacteria is likely to thrive, especially when trapped by non-breathable materials. Go commando or stick to cotton undies so your nether regions can breathe free.

Find your nearest Marie Stopes Centre and call 0800 11 77 85 to book an HIV and STI screening if you’re starting to feel uncomfortable or itchy.

4.Avoid wet wipes

While it might be appealing to swipe yourself clean using wet wipes, the chemicals and fragrances can irritate your sensitive genital area, especially after sex. If you want to use something other than plain water to clean up, try mixing a little vinegar with warm water. Vinegar is cleansing and won’t disrupt your body’s pH levels. Dry gently afterwards.

5.Skip the sexy bath

Sinking into a hot bath with your sweetheart sounds like the ultimate way to end off a romantic sesh, but it could spell serious trouble for your vagina. When your vulva swells in response to sexual activity, it opens your vagina up more, increasing your chance of infection. Combine that with your germs and your partner’s germs floating around in the water, and it’s not a pretty picture. Rather, soap each other up in the shower (but remember, avoid soap on your vagina!).

Get more healthy sex advice and treatment at Marie Stopes

Whether you need advice, want to get tested or need to have your annual women’s wellness check-up, you can do it all at Marie Stopes – easily and confidentially. Find your nearest centre, make an appointment online, and pop in to see us.

Source: Marie Stopes South Africa (Safe Abortion and Post Abortion Family Planning)

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