Every once in a while, you may notice that things seem a little…different below the belt after you have sex. When that happens, it’s natural to wonder if everything is OK or if it’s a change that warrants medical attention.
(I mean, we all want our vaginas to stay healthy, right?) That’s why we asked ob/gyns to weigh in on the some of the common vaginal changes women can experience after sex. They told us what to look out for, and why most of these changes are really nothing to worry about. Here is what they told us:
Your vagina burns when you pee.
Your insides may feel a little fiery when you hit the bathroom after sex. While it’s tempting to assume something is seriously wrong (if you’ve ever had a UTI, you know the panic that creeps in when you think you might have contracted one), Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and director of minimally invasive gynecology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, says it could be due to micro-abrasions (i.e., little cuts) that women can get during sex. Maybe your partner’s pubic hair was abrasive or things got a little rough—whatever it is, Shepherd says, it will usually go away on its own.
Just be sure to pat, not wipe, when you use TP to prevent injuring your vagina more. (Note that a teensy bit of blood may occur with these abrasions, and is not cause for concern). If it’s super uncomfortable to pee, Whelihan recommends pouring some lukewarm water over your vulva while you go to dilute the acid in your urine that causes the sting.
Post-coital itchiness could be due to a few things, Whelihan says: irritation from friction while you were getting busy, a sensitivity or allergy to the lube you used, or an issue with latex condoms.
The first one is no big deal and will gradually subside. But if you find that this is happening often, try switching out your lube to a hypoallergenic variety or use non-latex condoms and see if it makes a difference. If not, talk to your ob/gyn.
You’re really dry down there.
This could be a sign that you were never really all that lubricated to begin with, Shepherd says. There’s no reason not to use lube—it pretty much always makes things more comfortable. Note that you can use lube after sex too if the dryness is irritating. Overwashing your vagina or using chemical wipes can also cause this to happen, Whelihan says, so ease up on those habits if this becomes a problem for you.
Of course, sometimes a trip to the ob/gyn is in order. If you have a problem that’s persistent, you suddenly start bleeding after sex, you develop a fever, or if you have painful urination that gets worse, Shepherd says it’s a good idea to see your doctor.