Vaginas can be a lot of work — especially if you’re prone to yeast or other issues. Anyone who’s had these little suckers knows they’re no fun, and that you’d do just about anything to get rid of them. Fortunately, we’ve got good news. If you tend to get pain or yeast issues after sex, there are several things you can do during and after sex to reduce your risk and keep your vagina happy and healthy.
Use (the Right Kind) of Lube
If you’re sensitive to certain lube ingredients, consider lubes made with gentle formulas like ASTROGLIDE Sensitive Skin Ultra Gentle Gel, which has been allergy tested and is made without glycerin, parabens, fragrances or alcohol. For a soothing and hydrating experience, you can also try ASTROGLIDE Naturally Derived Liquid Liquid, which is packed with soothing botanical ingredients and doesn’t contain glycerin, parabens, fragrances, or flavours. You might also want to check out ASTROGLIDE X Silicone Liquid, which is hypoallergenic with only two ingredients, has a nice, silky feel and is extremely long lasting.
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Hit the Bathroom to Prevent Burning After Sex
A common complaint among women is that their vagina burns after sex.
Tola Fashokun, at Johns Hopkins, says this can happen for a few different reasons.
In some women, just the act of sex itself is enough to introduce matter into the urinary tract. For menopausal women, changes in vaginal pH can sometimes alter the body’s natural flora, making pain more likely. Tola Fashokun also says a weakened immune system can raise a woman’s risk of experiencing burning urination after intercourse.
Peeing after sex can help flush out any unwanted matter from the urethral opening and keep any burning sensations to a minimum. As soon as you’ve finished in the bedroom, the bathroom should be your next stop. Tola Fashokun adds that wearing loose clothing can also help, so you might want to skip the G Strings for a while if you feel any kind of burning after sex.
It’s also important to go right away whenever you have the urge to pee. In other words, holding it is something you should avoid. Holding your urine over extended periods of time gives matter a chance to multiply, which can lead to a pain.
A Cranberry Supplement May Prevent Burning After Sex
If you’re a sexual pain 'pro', you’ve most likely heard this one before.
Before you guzzle a glass of cranberry juice, however, experts say it’s important to check the label, as many cranberry juice manufacturers add sugar to their products. These sugars can actually encourage bad matter to multiply, raising your sexual pain woes to a whole new level.
However, a cranberry supplement might help.
Cranberries contain a natural substance that stops unwanted matter from adhering to the bladder wall, which might help prevent burning after sex. Some studies show that cranberries can inhibit adherence by 75 percent or more.
Unlike cranberry juice or cocktails, supplements are less likely to contain sugar. Even so, it’s important to check the label carefully before you buy — and you should always talk to your Medical Professional before starting a new vitamin or supplement.
If cranberry supplements don’t deliver the good vaginal health you’ve been hoping for, Courtenay Moore at the Cleveland Clinic says a good probiotic might be an excellent alternative. According to Courtenay Moore, you’ll want to pick one that contains lactobacillus, which is a good bacteria that helps colonise the vagina and restore proper pH.
If you don’t like taking supplements, you can also get probiotics the natural way by eating foods like plain Greek yogurt and cheese. The drink kefir also contains probiotics that may promote good vaginal health.
Douching Won’t Help Burning After Sex
Despite those breezy commercials featuring walks on the beach, douching isn’t really all that good for your vaginal health — and it can sometimes hurt it.
Douching can lead to a host of issues, including an increased risk of sexual pain and worse . It can also make it more difficult to get pregnant if you’re trying to conceive.
Douching has also been linked to yeast issues, as it washes away good bacteria and natural flora in the vagina.
While some women believe they need to douche to clean their vagina, this is inaccurate. The vagina is self-cleaning, and it’s naturally equipped to expel blood, semen and vaginal discharge.
Douching can actually disrupt the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria, which can lead to sexual pain.
You probably already know that water is good for your health. Avoiding sexual pain and the discomfort it brings can be as simple as staying hydrated.
A new study from the University of Miami reveals that women who drank enough water during the day had “a significant reduction in their odds for a recurrence of the common sexual issues.”
So how much water do you really need? The Mayo Clinic recommends about 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) for women each day and 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) for men. If you find it tough to chug water throughout the day, you can try adding some non-sugary fruits for flavour. Many people enjoy water with cucumber and lemon or even a few sprigs of mint. You can find a treasure trove of flavour-infused water recipes online that will actually make you look forward to getting your recommended daily water intake.
Wear Loose-fitting or Cotton Underwear
We all need some air from time to time, and your vagina is no exception. Tight or ill-fitting underwear can actually leave you vulnerable to sexual pain and yeast .The same goes for workout clothes, which can trap moisture close to the body and create a breeding ground for unsavoury matter.
It’s also important to choose the right kind of fabric, cotton is best because of its breathability. By contrast, synthetic fabrics tend to trap moisture, which can encourage the growth of bacteria.
Experts say you can also reduce your chances of developing sexual pain or yeast after sex by going commando at bedtime. This gives your delicate parts a chance to breathe and keeps bacteria away from the vagina. You should also change out of wet clothes or a bathing suit as soon as possible, as trapping moisture close to your lady parts could cause yeast issues.
Wipe the Right Way
That is, front to back — every time. Because the female urethral opening is located so close to the rectum, it’s easy forunwanted matter to make their way into the female tract and cause burning after sex. Because about 90 percent of all tract issues are caused by E. coli infections, keeping this bacteria away from the urethra can stop many flare-ups in their tracks.
You should also avoid cleansing wipes or other kinds of damp wipes, as they can contain harsh chemicals that may irritate sensitive vaginal tissues. Sprays (which usually contain perfume or other fragrances) are also a no-no for the same reason.
The front to back rule also extends to sex itself. If you engage in any kind of anal sex or play, it’s important to avoid introducing bacteria into the vagina through contact with the rectum.
This means you should never move sex toys or parts of the body from the anus to the vagina without thoroughly washing them first. Check out our guide to sex toys for couples for tips on keeping them clean.
Hit the Shower After Sex
After a bout of mind-blowing sex, showering may be the last thing on your mind. You might prefer drifting off to sleep in your partner’s arms, but this can lead to a painful and inconvenient sexual pain by morning. This is why it’s important to shower after sex. Rinsing off or even wiping down with a damp cloth can help you avoid a nasty issue down the road.
Many people like to use scented soaps or other hygiene products, but experts say you don’t need them — and anything scented has the potential to prompt an infection if you have sensitive skin. Mild soaps might be okay, but you can get just as clean with plain water.
Jumping up for a shower after sex doesn’t have to ruin the mood. You can extend your play time with some kinky shower sex or a steamy scrubdown session for two.
11 Symptoms of Sexual Pain
When it comes to this, it’s always important to take them seriously, as they can progress rapidly. Even if you’ve had an issue before, it’s important to be aware of the full range of possible symptoms. According to Everyday Health, you should keep your eye out for symptoms like:
- Pain or discomfort
- Frequent urge to pee, even when you don’t need to go
- Pressure or cramping in the abdomen
- Pelvic pain
- Blood in your urine
- Stinging or burning when you pee
- Cloudy urine
- Fever or chills
- Urine that smells bad
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Burning pain during sex
If you feel any of the possible signs of an issue, you should see a Medical Professional right away.
If you can’t get an appointment for a day or so, you can minimise any discomfort by drinking plenty of water. This helps dilute your urine and may start flushing out bacteria, so you can get a head start on working towards eliminating the issue.