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Here's How To Care For Your Vagina AFTER Sex

Here's how to love on your vagina after you get a lil' lovin' in...

Women's Health

Although I'm typically not a fan of phrases like "tear it up" or "beat it down" in references to sex, let's be real—when sex is good and longer than a couple of minutes, our vagina really does take a bit of a beating (in the best way possible, of course), doesn't it? All of that penetration, all of that friction, all of that moving around—especially if you and yours decide to go a few rounds—can totally wear "her" out. And, for most of us, instead of checking in to make sure that ole' girl is alright, we might do the first sexual-aftercare thing that's on this list that I'm about to share but then…we'll just roll over and…fall asleep.

Our vagina is good to us. That's why, we've got to be more intentional about being good to it in return (check out "What Your Vagina Wishes You Would Do More Often"). One way to do that is to offer up a little bit of TLC following sexual activity. These eight tips will totally show you how.

Pee After Sex

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Even if you don't engage in anal sex, the reality is your rectum and your vagina are pretty darn close together and yes, bacteria from your backside can easily flow into your "frontside". Something that you can do to prevent that, umm, transference from turning into an all-out urinary tract infection (UTI) is to make sure that you pee right after you have sex; that way, your urine can wash that bacteria out. And what if you don't have to go at the moment? Things like turning on your faucet, washing your hands in cold water and—get this—getting a whiff of peppermint essential oil are all things that can trigger your bladder to cooperate with you.

Wash Your Hands After Sex

Hopefully, if you're gonna urinate right after sex, you're going to follow that up with washing your hands (…right?). But even if you decide not to pee, still make a point and practice to wash your hands anyway. If you want to read more about how sex and bacteria are so closely connected, there is a very detailed scientific definition here. For those who just want the Cliff's Notes, chances are, there was also some bacteria on your hands before you even started having sex and then, when the "juices got to flowing", there's an abundance more. If you don't want to spread bacteria even further, especially to your vaginal region, washing your hands can stop it in its tracks. Regular soap is fine. Just make sure that you lather up well, that you get in between your fingers, and that you do this for no less than 20-30 seconds. If you follow these tips, you should be all good.

Take a Bath After Sex

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If the sex was so good that it totally wore you and your vagina out (kudos, if so, sis), then you might need to take a bit of a soak in the bathtub.

Warm water has a way of soothing irritated tissue and, if you add a few drops of virgin olive oil into the mix, not only will it deeply hydrate your vaginal skin but the antioxidants in the oil will help to heal your vulva and vagina too.

Just make sure that you bathe with olive oil only. The last thing that your vagina needs right after sex is bubble bath products or heavy perfumes. This brings me to my next point.

Leave Scented Stuff Alone After Sex

Over here, in xoNecole world, we're big fans of taking bathing experiences to the next level. But since penetration oftentimes leaves tiny tears around our vagina and vulva, that means our genital region is more vulnerable than usual. That means strong perfumes, body washes and body sprays can upset the pH balance of our vagina which can result in burning or even trigger a yeast infection. If you don't feel right with simply allowing good old-fashioned H2O to cleanse your vagina, something that I use (and really like) is Pangea Wash. Or, if you're a DIY kinda gal, I wrote an article on vaginal washes that you can make yourself. You can check it out here.

Eat Some Probiotics After Sex

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I once heard a woman talk about describing sex to her child as being an amusement park and toxic waste dump rolled into one. When you really stop to think about it, that's a pretty spot-on explanation. While there is probably no better—and by "better", I mean more fun—way to spread bacteria around than participating in coitus, it's still important to "feed your vagina" with foods that will replenish it with good bacteria so that things like yeast infections won't occur. One way to do that is to eat foods that are high in probiotics. While yogurt traditionally leads the list, if you're curious about what some other foods are, check out our article, "The Foods Your Vagina's Been Craving".

Drink Water and/or Pure Cranberry Juice After Sex

Did you know that sex can dehydrate your va-jay-jay? It might sound crazy but if you ever notice that, once you're done with round one and about to go into round two that your vagina isn't as wet as before, a part of that could be due to the fluids your body lost from the first session. One way to replenish your system is to drink a couple of glasses of water. Oh, and if you are UTI-prone, substitute one of those glasses for pure cranberry juice. Its acidic level has a way of knocking out any bacteria that may try to irritate you and your vagina up the pike.

Clean Your Sex Toys After Sex

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While a lot of the bacteria that comes from our bodies will die on a sex toy once the bacteria dries up, there are things like Gardnerella vaginalis (the bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis) that can linger on one for up to 48 hours (yuck).

That's why it is imperative that you thoroughly wash your sex toys after using them. For tips on how to do that effectively, feel free to check out Health's "The Essential Guide to Cleaning Your Sex Toys (Yes, There's a Right Way to Do It!)". Your vagina will thank you later.

Sleep Naked After Sex

While I know some people who are quick to put some sort of clothes on after gettin' it in, it really is best to stay naked instead. From a health and wellness perspective, going commando while you sleep does everything from reduce your stress levels and give your skin a chance to breathe to help you to sleep faster (and better) and even keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Since we're specifically talking about vaginal health today, let me share why your vagina would be thrilled if you didn't cover it up either. All of us naturally produce yeast in our vaginal area. Well, when we're wearing confining items, that can cause yeast—yeast that is already in a warm, wet and dark environment—to multiply which can also cause a yeast infection. If you'd still prefer to have something on at night, at least make sure it's not nylon panties, a thong or anything that's tight (like lingerie). Organic cotton would be your best bet. But again, naked is really what would make your vagina extra happy; especially right after you have sex.

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Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

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Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

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