Even if nature doesn’t call for it, women with persistent UTIs are encouraged to go to the bathroom after sex, advises Alyssa Dweck, MD, a physician in Westchester, New York, and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V. “If you have sex, rectal bacteria, which are very close to the urethra and vagina, can come into contact with the urethra and cause infection, especially in women who are prone to urinary tract infections,” Dweck said.
Here is another method for women who tend to get urinary tract infections after every sex. (So annoying.) Once a day, cranberry concentrate, cranberry pills, or an over-the-counter supplement can help prevent UTIs, says Dweck. But she cautions against drinking sweetened cranberry cocktail juice.
If you have oily or saliva after sex, and it doesn’t seem fresh, you should wipe it off quickly. “Fingerial, oral, and rectal oils and bacteria increase the likelihood of yeast or bacterial infections,” says Sherry Ross, M.D., a women’s health specialist in Santa Monica, California.
She recommends using unscented soap around the female genitalia after sex. Simply take a warm washcloth and gently wipe your vagina with soapy water (or just warm water) and move it from front to back. Skip the interior, though: She adds that the vagina has its own internal flushing routine to keep it clean and balanced. In other words, draining is prohibited.
Feel like a pampered sex queen by pampering yourself after sex. Tip: Add extra-virgin coconut oil to a hot bath to moisturize the skin outside of the vagina and reduce vaginal swelling and irritation, says Ross. Although unhygienic, this pleasant practice can help reduce the risk of infection, he said.
Don’t overuse bath oils, floral foams, or scented balms, says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproduction at Yale School of Medicine. Too much can cause vaginal irritation. After the holiday season, Minkin says, when patients use the gifts they receive, the irritation associated with bath products often increases.