What Your Vagina is Dying to Tell You

Odd down-there behavior is your vadge's way of telling you that something's off. But since the messages can be subtle, you need to listen up.

"Could you do me a favor and pee right after sex?"

You've probably heard that to prevent a urinary-tract infection, it’s a smart idea to hit the bathroom both pre- and post-booty. But it's not entirely true. “Urinating after intercourse, even if you don’t have a strong urge to go, helps flush infection-causing bacteria out of your system,” explains David M. Kaufman, a urologist in New York City. “But peeing beforehand makes your urine stream weaker after intercourse, so microbes are likely to be pushed out.”

Next time you’re ready to rock the bed, resist the urge to hit the loo (unless you really have to, of course; sex with a full bladder is definitely a pleasure buster). Afterward, force yourself out of the sack and into your bathroom, so you flush out harmful bacteria. If UTIs persist, Dr. Kaufman suggests a quick shower before sex to wash away any lingering germs. “These simple measures can drastically reduce your UTI odds,” he says.

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“Girl, you need to eat more yogurt.”

A day or so after sex, your lady bits itch like crazy. You’re pretty sure it’s a yeast infection, but the underlying cause is tricky to suss out. One possibility: your man’s semen. “Semen can alter the balance of bacteria normally present in your vagina, allowing yeast to flourish,” explains Dr. Ghofrany. It’s not just semen that can trigger yeast overgrowth; saliva screws with the bacteria-yeast balance too. Soaps and body washes with chemical scents are offenders as well. Although killer itching is the main giveaway, you’ll know yeast is the culprit if you also have a chunky discharge and the itch is centered around your vaginal opening.

“Those jeans are too freaking tight.”

You know how your crotch has been feeling tingly lately? No, not the kind of tingling that tells you you’re ready for action but more of a prickly sensation, like when your foot falls asleep.

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It’s all because of those stovepipe-skinny denims. “If the jeans are tight enough, they’ll compress a nerve in your pelvis, and that leads to low blood supply and not enough oxygen getting to your vagina,” explains Dr. Bratter. There’s actually a name for this condition: meralgia paresthetica. Keep wearing them and you may end up with lingering, chronic pain around your privates as the nerve becomes damaged.

Time to trade up a jeans size or two so they’re a little roomier. But if that doesn’t end the on-again, off-again tingling, check in with an internist, suggests Dr. Bratter. There could be some nerve damage from another cause, like an accident or disorder.

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