Here's How To Properly Clean Your Vagina After Sex, According to Experts

Your after-sex routine should always be something you are comfortable with. Whether it's showering immediately after you've finished, or cuddling and enjoying the moment for a bit before getting up to pee, one thing that's important for every person with a vagina to know is how to properly clean your vagina after sex, and it's actually easier than you might think! I spoke to experts, and their advice on how to properly clean your vagina post-coital? Don't.

"You don’t need to clean your vagina, as it naturally cleans itself via its normal discharge," Dr. Jess O’Reilly, host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast, tells Elite Daily. "In fact, you don’t want to wash it out, as it can disrupt the good bacteria and its natural pH that helps to ward off infection. Washing your vagina can increase the risk of infection (and associated 'fishy' discharge)." Vaginas are self-sufficient AF, and they don't need to be cleaned after sex because there are plenty of "built-in" tools that help vaginas get rid of unwanted bacteria, Lindsay Wynn, vaginal health and wellness expert, tells Elite Daily.

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These tools include the ability to produce various forms of discharge, which carry "dead cells and various bacteria out of the body," Wynn says. But just because your vagina releases various forms of discharge to clean itself, doesn't mean you shouldn't be mindful of what may seem like an "abnormal" amount of discharge. This "can be a sign of infection or STI," Wynn says. "That being said, instead of 'cleaning your vagina,' pee after sex. This clears the urethra and can prevent UTIs. Take a shower and use natural products to get rid of any extra or unwanted bodily fluids or sweat to help prevent bacterial infections."

Instead of washing your vagina (read: the vaginal canal where penetration often takes place), Dr. Maria Sophocles, OB/GYN and medical director of Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, recommends cleaning the labia. "Clean outside and [the] 'lips' (labia) gently with water and a very gentle wash like baby soap or Aveeno," Sophocles tells Elite Daily. "You should not douche and should not [put] soap or other cleansers inside the vagina. Sex can cause your pH to become unbalanced, a product like RepHresh can be helpful, as it helps make the vagina more acidic again and brings it back to a healthy range."

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O'Reilly echoes Sophocles' advice and further explains how to properly clean and dry your labia. "You can separate your lips and wash in between them using your fingers," she says. "Some people like to air dry or use a soft towel to dry the area in between their lips." Cleaning your vulva after having sex can help rinse out your sexual partner's leftover bodily fluids, and/or your own ejaculation.

Long story short: You don't have to go full-body cleanse after having sex. Instead, you may want to clean your vulva with water and mild soap, but let your vagina do its own cleaning. And remember, the one thing experts stress you absolutely should do after sex if you want to avoid a UTI is pee. Always pee!