Spoiler alert: It’s not just STDs and pregnancy you have to think about. Having sex with a new partner brings a whole host of other possible problems (no, we’re not just talking about an awkward morning after encounter). Ahead, experts weigh-in on what can happen after your first time. And, FYI, the best way to avoid all of these potential intimacy-related issues is to, one, have an open an honest dialogue about your sexual health and history prior to doing the deed, and two, to use condoms.
An allergic reaction
More specifically, you can have an allergic reaction to the type of condom or lube you’re using, especially if it’s one you haven’t used before, explains Lakeisha Richardson, MD, OBGYN. Not being aware of your new partner’s personal hygiene habits can also be problematic, she adds: “If he or she is using any lotions, sprays, or gels, that may cause vaginal irritation or an allergic reaction.” In other words, if he’s loading up on body spray down there, you may be in trouble. It’s worth noting that all of these products can also increase your risk of contracting a yeast infection, too.
A urinary tract infection
While simply having sex with a new partner doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll contract a UTI, a new partner often means new sexual positions, which can up your risk. “His or her techniques or positions may be different and result in the urethra getting rubbed directly, encouraging bacteria to enter it,” say Felice Gersh, MD, OBGYN, author of the upcoming book PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness. “Those microbes may find a new home in the bladder, causing an infection.” And, in general, rough sex ups the likelihood of contracting a UTI, adds Dr. Richardson.
Other infections that aren’t necessarily classified as sexually transmitted
“It turns out that semen can be the unintended vehicle for far more than the obvious evil culprits, such as HIV, hepatitis, herpes, syphilis, and chlamydia,” says Dr. Gersh. “We’ve come to learn that semen can harbor and transmit a host of viruses and bacteria not normally considered to be sexually transmitted.” Mildly unnerving, yes, especially given that men likely won’t know that this is a risk, she adds. This is where condoms come up big, and, if you’re not using them, the withdrawal technique (in other words, lowering contact with semen) can help, says Dr. Gersh, though that’s obviously not a surefire way to prevent pregnancy or other STDs and STIs.