Why Having Sex With a New Partner Can Mess with Your Vagina In More Ways Than One

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While carrying sex with a new partner can be fun and exciting, it can also be a tiny nerve-wracking. Turns out, a weirdness isn’t usually in your head: Sex with a new partner can indeed weird out your vagina a bit too. (And we’re not articulate about STDs.)

It’s not anything to worry about—and positively not a reason to refrain forever. However, progressing healthy hygiene and meaningful what’s normal for we down there inside and out (yep, literally) can assistance we keep tabs on what’s function after a new hookup.

What do we mean, it “freaks out?”

ICYDK, there’s a healthy change of germ in your vagina—just like in your gut—and when it comes in hit with an unknown “package,” that change can get thrown off.

“Sex with a new masculine partner introduces new germ (about 10 million germ per ml of semen), mostly ensuing in a change of a [vaginal] microbiome,” says Kathryn Wells George, M.D., a gynecologist in New York City. This specific series of germ is usually a box for defenceless sex if a masculine partner ejaculates inside of you; however, “pre-cum is applicable to throwing off your microbiome given it contains and introduces new bacteria, too,” says Dr. George.

This imbalance competence afterwards lead to a horde of side effects such as a change in pH, odors, bacterial vaginosis (a.k.a. BV, a super common infection), urinary tract infections, leavening infections, burning, and itching.

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Most women’s vaginas enclose a lot of lactobacilli, a healthy germ that helps furnish lactic poison and keep a vaginal pH low (

Maintaining this offset ecosystem is what keeps new, outward organisms from flourishing out of control. Get this: Sometimes HIV and HSV-2 (herpes) can even be inactivated by a low pH, she adds. (Yep, it’s that powerful.) Unprotected sex with a new partner, however, can chuck off your vaginal pH, that can interrupt your vag’s germ-fighting powers and lead to a expansion of unfamiliar bacteria. (Related: Why Condoms Are Good for Your Vaginal Health—and Not Just Because of STDs.)

This isn’t usually a P-in-the-V issue, either: If you’re carrying sex with a new womanlike partner, their vaginal germ can chuck off your microbiome, too. Plus, there’s a same risk of flitting germ that could lead to infections: “Whether your new partner is a male or woman, a same common infections can occur,” says Sherry Ross, M.D., ob-gyn and women’s health consultant in Santa Monica, CA, and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health.

What can we do to forestall it?

Let’s face a facts: You’re not going to stay innocent for a rest of your life (or—gasp!—go behind to an ex) in a name of gripping your vaginal germ ~chill~. However, if we find that sleeping with a new partner leaves we with a garland of irritating symptoms, a good news is that there are things we can do to minimize them. (And, luckily, in a long-term, monogamous relationship, a vaginal microbiome typically stays in a solid state, says Dr. George.)

“Of course, separator methods, such as condoms, will forestall a introduction of new microorganisms,” says Dr. George. (Besides, we unequivocally should be regulating condoms with a new partner, anyway.) Condoms can assistance extent your bearing to antipathetic germ from a new partner—just make certain we go with a non-lubricated one. “Condoms though liniment will not interrupt a vaginal microbiome, though condoms with liniment (or liniment in general) can change a pH turn and make a pH some-more alkaline, unfortunate a microbiome,” says Dr. George. Look for lubricants that have a pH matched to a vaginal pH, she says. (Try GoodCleanLove BioNude Personal Lubricant, $12; goodcleanlove.com)

As always, before jumping into bed, it’s critical to be upfront with a new partner about both parties’ passionate history, STD status, and any infections possibly chairman competence now have, explains women’s health consultant Roshini Raj, M.D., an ob-gyn in New York. (And that’s usually partial of carrying sex safe, period.) Just one example: “A leavening infection can be tainted if your partner has thrush or a leavening infection of a penis,” says Dr. Raj. (She also recommends resources like KeepHerAwesome.com to learn some-more about specific vaginal infections and ways to keep yourself purify and protected.)

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Probiotics can assistance revive a healthy microbiome, says Dr. George. You can take verbal probiotics (the same ones that boost your tummy health) or vaginal probiotics, that can be taken orally or extrinsic topically, to directly aim a vaginal microbiome. 

Regardless of either it’s a new partner or not, there are some passionate hygiene practices we should always do to keep your vagina balanced:

  • Peeing or soaking your vagina with H2O after sex can assistance purify a vagina and keep germ balanced. Just don’t douche, that can serve dissapoint a vagina’s pH levels and bacteria. “I also always tell my patients to refrain from regulating scented soaps and douching. Plain H2O typically suffices to purify your vulva, though if we cite to use a soap, make certain it’s peaceful and unscented,” says Dr. Raj. 
  • Refrain from sex if we cut yourself shaving. “The skin in your vagina is really supportive and if we have any arrange of cut it can lead to exasperation or risk of STIs,” she says. “It’s best to equivocate carrying sex until it’s entirely healed since an open cut will concede for germ to enter your bloodstream,” she explains.
  • Bring your possess condom. “The infancy of condoms are done out of latex,” says Dr. Ross. “A tiny commission of women have a latex allergy that can means vaginal swelling, itching, and pain during sex.” If we knowledge any of these symptoms after sex with a condom, we competence be allergic. Try regulating enamel condoms as an choice for stable sex, she says.
  • Wash your hands before and after sex. “Bacteria from a fingers, mouth, and rectum can boost your possibility of building a leavening or bacterial infection. Hands and fingers need special courtesy before being intimately active. Your hands and fingers are overwhelmingly unwashed with unwelcomed bacteria,” says Dr. Ross. “One of a many common germ found on your hands and fingers is E.coli, that comes from fecal (poop!) matter. If E.Coli is upheld into a vagina it can means a vaginal or urinary tract infection,” she says.

Something’s really off… now what?

“If we find yourself with non-STD vaginal symptoms after sex with a new partner, such as a yellow-green liberate with tainted odor, it competence be BV,” says Dr. George. “There are both at-home remedies and medication treatments,” she says, so as prolonged as we mark a symptoms, a infection will transparent adult flattering quickly.

It can also be a leavening infection, that looks a bit different. “Yeast infections will benefaction with a thick, white, lodge cheese-like liberate typically with prickly and/or burning,” says Dr. George. “Treatments for leavening infections embody during home remedies, over-the-counter medications, and prescriptions,” she says. Again, super easy to treat. (Here’s how to decode your vaginal fragrance and a tone of your vaginal discharge.)

Lastly, we competence knowledge a UTI. “UTIs will typically benefaction with unpleasant and visit urination and need prompt medical analysis to forestall a kidney infection,” she says.

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If we don’t have an infection, we could still notice some signs signaling that something’s off down there. “If it is not a liberate that is immature and foul-smelling (BV), and if it is not white and lodge cheese like, causing prickly and burning, (yeast), and if there are no signs of an STD, it competence be that we need to wait for a [menstrual] cycle or wait a few weeks to see if your microbiome recorrects itself,” says Dr. George. If we consider it could be an STD or symptoms don’t go divided after a few weeks, pronounce to your ob-gyn for some-more suggestions for treatment.

The good news: If we do notice some weirdness after sex with someone new, you’re not allergic or doomed. Your magical, self-cleaning vagina (maybe with a assistance of some probiotics) will expected arrange itself out and adjust to your new partner naturally.

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