If you’re freaking out after having sex with a new partner, you are not alone, literally. Your mind may take a low-key approach by texting your besties in a group chat to work out your feels, but your vagina is feeling anxious too. Since she doesn’t have a data plan, the only way to say “Hey, what the actual fuck is happening here” is in the form of a yeast infection. Try not to be resentful — we all have our own coping mechanisms.
My vagina and I usually agree on everything: We both recoil at the site of ironic beards and grown men who still go by Bobby. But when it comes to introducing her to someone new, she’s on some next-level shit while I’m as cool as a cucumber. And It’s come to my attention that my vagina isn’t the only one with an attitude problem, which begs the question: Why the hell are they throwing tantrums?
It’s time to look to the experts: Jennifer Wider, M.D., is a nationally renowned women’s health expert, author, and radio host — basically, she’s fluent in the passive aggressive language our vag’s are speaking. According to Wider, it’s totally normal for your vagina to freak out after sex with a new partner, and it’s usually nothing to worry about if you’ve used protection. “In healthy women, the vagina has a specific pH and healthy bacteria that keeps everything in check,” she says. Sexual intercourse brings bacteria into your vagina’s fragile ecosystem of healthy bacteria, but it’s not all about pH levels. According to Dr. Wider, it also has to do with the balance of good and bad bacteria, and that goes for anything you use for pleasure, including saliva and accessories.
She says condoms are “hands-down the best way” to avoid an imbalance that could cause a yeast infection. However, “it’s important to note that condoms with a lubricant can also screw up the pH and bacteria in the vagina. There is some research that suggests that yeast infections are more common with a condom, but again, you can lower that if you avoid condoms with built-in lubricant.”
Condoms will give you peace of mind, regardless, and if you do happen to still feel the onset of a yeast infection after the deed is done, you can rest assured that it’s probably nothing more serious. “It’s important to always have protected sex with a new partner. If you’ve engaged in unprotected sex, it’s vital to check in with your doctor. Not all infections will show symptoms, so getting tested for STI’s is very important,” Wider advises. Now you know how to limit the likelihood of a vaginal anxiety attack with condoms and regular testing, but you still need to protect your mind.
When you’re caught up in the moment, you may be tempted to move things to the next level without any conversation about safe sex or physical and emotional boundaries. You may be freaking out because you aren’t totally sure where you stand with your new boo. Make “the talk” sexy by using it as foreplay. There’s enough going on in a new fling, relationship, or connection without the added stress of a sexually transmitted disease.
And afterward? Even if your profile claimed you are the perfect little spoon, you have one last thing to do in order to keep your vag’s emotions in check: go to the bathroom. “It’s not a legend,” says Wilder. “Research shows that urinating after sex can help flush out any fecal bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract.”. Once you’ve taken care of business, you can go back to taking care of business… and repeat those steps in order, please.