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Things You Shouldn’t Do Before And After Sex

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

A healthy sexual relationship feels great and brings you closer to your partner. Regular intimacy is also beneficial to your mental and physical health. Making love can improve your heart function, reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate aches and so much more. Unfortunately, some seemingly innocent habits before and after sex can lead to issues, ruining your healthy fun. Here are a few considerations you may want to make before and after sex.

things you shouldnt do before and after sex

Things You Should Avoid Before Sex

1. Avoid Spicy Food

If you intend to have sex, reduce the amount of hot sauce you use. Spicy foods, such as curry and peppers, can cause acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn and a burning sensation in the throat, making it difficult to relax. Rich, heavy foods high in fat like fried chicken, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks and caffeinated beverages can all cause heartburn because they are more difficult for your body to digest. So, take it easy on your stomach. Bananas, oatmeal, apples and graham crackers are less likely to cause heartburn.

2. Avoid Drinking Too Much

While a beer or two may get you in the mood, men should avoid drinking too much before sex. Alcohol is a known risk factor for erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that makes it difficult to obtain or maintain a strong enough erection to perform the deed. Though a few alcohol-related incidents do not necessarily indicate that you have ED, frequent heavy boozing can lead to long-term problems.

3. Don’t Shave Right Before

Is shaving your preferred method of grooming your lady parts? No problem, but you should plan ahead of time. Shaving makes the skin around your genitals more fragile, sensitive and prone to irritation from sex friction. Reduce your risk by shaving the day before you’re going to be intimate.

Did you know?

  • It is important to communicate with your partner about any discomfort or pain experienced during or after sex. source: plannedparenthood.org
  • Not using condoms consistently and correctly can increase the risk of STD transmission. source: Planned Parenthood
  • It is recommended to urinate after sex to help flush out any bacteria and reduce the risk of urinary tract infections. source: plannedparenthood.org
  • Avoid using harsh soaps or douches in the genital area after sex, as they can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria and cause irritation. source: plannedparenthood.org
  • Engaging in risky sexual behaviors can lead to HIV infection, STDs, and unintended pregnancy among youth. source: CDC

Things You Should Avoid After Having Sex

You’re probably revelling in the postcoital flood of hormones that make you sleepy and relaxed in the moments immediately following sex. Even if you’re tired, there are a few things you should not do right after sex to keep your body as healthy as possible. So let’s take a look at what not to do after sex:

1. You Shouldn’t Forget to Use the Bathroom

It is a good idea to empty your bladder post-sex because the activity is known to aid in the transfer of bacteria from the anal area to the vaginal/urethra. Using the restroom cleans the area and reduces the risk of infection.

An after sex shower is good; however, jumping into a warm bath tub right after sex is not good. As a response to sexual stimulation, the vagina opens a little more. But when you take a warm bath or shower just after that, you become more vulnerable to infections.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

2. Avoid Using Perfumed or Scented Products on Your Genital Area

While scented soaps, gels, washes, lotions and other genital health products are good, they can irritate internal and external skin and should be avoided after sex. Soaps and products with a lot of added fragrances can alter the good and normal bacteria. Washing the genitals with simply normal to lukewarm water is recommended. To avoid irritating the genital area with harsh scents or chemicals, keep your post-sex cleansing routine as simple and gentle as possible.

Cleaning and possibly having a shower before sex, especially if the partner is uncircumcised is important to get rid of urinary tract infection causing bacteria.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

3. You Should Never Douche After Sex

Although douching after sex is frequently marketed as a safe and healthy way to prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, experts advise against it because it alters your normal vaginal flora and increases your risk of UTIs, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis, a condition caused by vaginal inflammation caused by bacterial overgrowth.

Also Read: How to Get Rid of Hickeys: Research-Backed Remedies and Prevention Tips

4. Avoid Wearing Tight-Fitting Clothing Post Sex

Because there is usually an excess of bodily fluids and friction spreads bacteria, it is a good idea to allow for free drainage and air, because of which tight-fitting nightwear or lingerie should be avoided.

Being present with your partner at the moment increases your intimate connection and is a great way to bond with one another. Scrolling through social media or watching TV limits your chances of enjoying post-coital bliss so that’s not a very wise option. Regular STI testing is also an important part of sexual health, but you shouldn’t wait until after you’ve had sex to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about any concerns you may have.

Also Read: Bleeding During Sex With No Pain: A Comprehensive Guide to Underlying Causes

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I eat a heavy meal before sex?

It’s advisable to avoid heavy meals before sex as digestion may divert blood flow from intimate areas, affecting performance and comfort.

Is it safe to consume alcohol before sex?

Excessive alcohol can impair judgment and physical function. It’s best to limit alcohol intake to ensure a more enjoyable and safe experience.

Can smoking affect sexual activity?

Smoking can reduce blood flow and impact arousal. Quitting or avoiding smoking before sex can lead to a better intimate experience.

Should I skip foreplay to speed things up?

Foreplay is important for arousal and comfort. Skipping it may make the experience less satisfying for both partners.

Can I use any lubricant for sex?

Not all lubricants are suitable for intimate activities. Choose water-based or silicone-based lubes for a smoother experience. Avoid oil-based options as they can damage condoms.

Can I exercise intensely before sex?

Intense exercise may lead to fatigue or reduced energy for sexual activity. Opt for light exercise to maintain energy levels.

What happens after sex to a woman?

After sex, a woman’s body experiences various physiological responses, including the release of oxytocin and endorphins, which can promote feelings of closeness and relaxation. Additionally, the vagina may undergo changes such as increased lubrication and potential contractions of the uterus.

Why does my stomach hurt after sex?

Stomach pain after sex can result from various factors, including vigorous activity causing strain on abdominal muscles or underlying conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment if the pain persists or worsens.

Should you shower after sex?

Showering after sex is a personal preference, but it can help maintain hygiene and reduce the risk of bacterial or fungal infections, especially if there’s sweat or bodily fluids involved. However, immediate showering isn’t always necessary unless you prefer it, as long as proper hygiene practices are followed.

Why does it burn after sex?

Post-sex burning sensations can stem from various causes like friction, inadequate lubrication, or allergic reactions to condoms or lubricants. Additionally, urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted infections may lead to discomfort, emphasizing the importance of consulting a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can sex cause bleeding?

Yes, sex can sometimes cause bleeding, especially if there’s friction or if the vaginal tissue is irritated or injured. It could also be due to conditions like vaginal dryness, infection, or cervical issues. If bleeding occurs frequently or is severe, it’s important to seek medical advice for proper evaluation and treatment.

Can sex delay periods?

Sexual activity typically doesn’t delay periods, but stress, hormonal changes, or underlying health conditions can affect menstrual cycles. While some anecdotal evidence suggests sex-related hormonal changes might influence periods, scientific consensus on this is limited. If concerned about irregular periods, consulting a healthcare professional is advisable.

Can sex cause UTI?

Yes, sex can sometimes lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to bacteria entering the urinary tract during intercourse. Factors like improper hygiene, not urinating before or after sex, and friction can increase the risk. Maintaining good hygiene practices and emptying the bladder before and after sex can help reduce this risk.

Can sex increase weight?

Engaging in regular sexual activity itself doesn’t directly lead to weight gain. However, the calories burned during sex are relatively minimal and unlikely to significantly impact weight. Weight changes are more influenced by overall diet, exercise habits, and individual metabolism.

Can sex cause miscarriage in early pregnancy?


Sexual intercourse typically doesn’t cause miscarriage in early pregnancy unless there are underlying complications such as cervical insufficiency or a history of recurrent miscarriages. In uncomplicated pregnancies, sex is generally considered safe during the first trimester. However, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare provider for personalized guidance and reassurance.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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