Keep It Fresh: Post Sex Care & More
When I think of sex, I think of the sensual erotic feeling possessing my body whenever I feel feisty. I think of the couple on my drama television looking at each other with passionate desire. I think of all the feelings, emotions, pleasures, and “oh-la-la” energy. However, we may be missing a vital part of the conversation relating to our vaginas. I'm talking about the aftercare that can sometimes go neglected. We know the typical sayings: pee after a night out and make sure not to use scented soap, but surely there is more we can learn. If you’re just as curious about the increasing market for vaginal suppositories and organic washes as I am, you’re in luck. I chatted with licensed OBGYN Jocelyn Slaughter on the aftercare of your Vagina, breaking down what once felt taboo (to me) into an informative conversation.
GF: We have a lot of conversations as women on what's a taboo subject and open up more on different topics. My first question goes on the topic of the rise and popularity of vaginal steaming and “vajacials”. Celebrities have backed them, and they are now services in upscale salons. Would you say these are impactful and recommended for post-sex care?
JS: From our medical expertise, we don't know everything yet. Our studies have not been proven to improve vaginal ph or order. Some transient changes may happen, such that smoke or steam can temporarily change the Vagina. However, in 2042 they may come up with ways to help the vagina smell and feel better.
GF: Related to this question, there are different herbs used when steaming. Are there any safety tips you can recommend when using these herbs around your Vagina?
JS: We have to get back to the biology of the Vagina. The Vagina was designed to be the pathway for life to go in and out. The Vagina has an exceptional job of keeping the path very safe. There are certain PH levels the Vagina likes to be at to reduce bacteria. Trying to use different herbs to smell better that weren't supposed to go in our vaginas. Our vaginas sometimes don't like sperm. Many of these herbs don't belong in the vaginal PH of your tissue; when you frequently use these things, it can cause more irritation. Sometimes it may help to bring your Vagina back to where you want to be.
GF: Boric acid is highly popular on the shelves, and more brands (Love Wellness & Honey Pot co.) are making these suppositories. Are these methods preventative for yeast infections, Bacterial Vaginosis, and PH protectants after sex?
JS: Let's talk about the history of boric acid. Boric acid was the first medicine and remedy in the old medical days. This original tried-and-true thing helped women get over ph changes from their vaginas, usually from sex, soaps, and different things. Boric Acid can help return it to the Vagina's baseline. It is safe, won't hurt you, and will return your vagina ph. But as a physician, I don't think every time you have sex; you should use it. Your body may have a genuine reaction caused by an undetected STI or STD.
GF: More women are vocal on social media and are sharing their BV journey & their remedies and making it seem more familiar. How common is BV, and how can it affect your sex life?
JS: So Bacterial Vaginosis is very common, and there is a spectrum to it. It can be self-relieved. It is the overgrowth of the natural bacteria in the Vagina. Overgrowth occurs due to your period, sex, the soap you use, stress, and even diet. Now your Vagina is a host where the Gardnerella [vaginal bacteria] can overgrow. It is pretty standard and very common when you have sex with your partner, and they ejaculate within you. Have a sexual routine; after sex, urinate, take a baby wipe, and remove bodily fluids. Don't shove a washcloth up there. Gently wipe on the outside. Urinating helps clear out any liquids from your partner. Keep your Vagina dry as possible with patting down or vaginal deodorant.
GF: How important is aftercare after masturbation or foreplay?
JS: If you are using your own hand or toys, this can change your body's PH. The lubrication during masturbation can still change the PH in your body. That moisture sitting there can still create a PH change. People are especially having oral sex. Washing and urinating will help remove the bacteria after any activity.
GF: When inspired to try a new move from an adult film where we know they are professionals, what advice do you recommend to people?
Any organ you're using down there for sex, there can typically be friction. The best way to combat friction is using lubrication. More friction can tear the tissue. Bacteria can get into microscopic tears. Microscopic tears can cause bacteria and infections.
GF: Any last advice?
JS: Everybody's body is different. If something works for you, keep doing it. If you use something that works for you, keep doing it. See us if you know a smell or something that doesn't feel right. If you keep product jumping, it may be time to come to a gynecologist so we can help you.
Vaginas don’t smell like roses; vaginas sometimes don’t feel as pretty as advertised to us, but they're ours, and that’s what makes them more memorable. So with every pleasure-filled excavation, we should make sure they’re taken care of after because they are a POWERFUL organ in our anatomy.
Check out Dr. Jocelyn Slaughter’s practice, The Healthy Woman, and make sure to ask your Gyno about your routine at your next appointment.