Sex should be about pleasure and love, but we can’t get ignorant about howsweat and other bodily fluids get involved in the process. You may even feel like washing up soon after having sex. But a full body bath is not something you always need after sex. Still, don’t ignore sexual hygiene as it is considered to be important for your overall health and well-being. There are things to keep in mind to maintain cleanliness and prevent infections following sex. Read on to know the rules of sexual hygiene!
What is sexual hygiene?
Sexual hygiene refers to a set of practices and habits aimed at maintaining cleanliness and health in the genital and surrounding areas, says Dr Arpana Jain, Director – Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi. It involves personal care and safety measures to prevent infections.
Neglecting sexual hygiene can lead to various complications:
• Bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhoea can occur.
• Poor hygiene can result in unpleasant odours, itching and discomfort, affecting self-esteem and sexual confidence.
• Improper hygiene may introduce harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections.
Common sexual hygiene mistakes
Some women make sexual hygiene mistakes that should be avoided. Here are some of them:
1. Vaginal douching
You might think of vaginal douching to clean your private area, but it disrupts the natural vaginal flora and can lead to infections, so it is best to avoid it altogether, says the expert.
2. Ignoring symptoms
Neglecting symptoms such as vaginal itching, unusual discharge or pain down there can lead to more severe health issues. So, seek medical advice if you notice these changes.
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3. Skipping post-sex clean-up
Failing to clean up after sex can allow bacteria to thrive. Always clean the genital area gently with warm water and mild soap after sex.
Important sexual hygiene tips
Practicing safe sex is a must, so use barrier methods such as condoms to protect against sexually transmitted infections and maintain sexual health. As for hygiene, you can do the following:
1. Urinate before and after sex
Emptying the bladder before and after sex can help to flush out potential bacteria and reduce the risk of UTIs, says Dr Jain. You can keep a glass of water next to your bed, so that you drink it whenever you can.
2. Shower after anal sex
Maintaining regular personal hygiene by washing the genital area with mild, unscented soap and water is a must. But if you have had anal sex, take a shower after it. That’s because anal sex can cause tears to your sphincter, and if the bacteria from your anus gets into those tears, it can lead to an infection.
3. Clean sex toys
Sex toys can spice up your sex life, but after using them clean them to remove bacteria. All you have to do is follow the instructions to clean them.
4. Trim and maintain pubic hair
Sexual hygiene is not just about cleaning up after sex. You also need to keep your pubic hair trimmed to reduce the risk of trapping moisture and bacteria. This will decrease the chances of any kind of infection, says the expert.
5. Wipe front to back
There is a way of wiping off your private area. After using the toilet, wipe from front to back so that bacteria doesn’t spread from the rectum to your vagina.
So, maintain your sexual well-being and enjoy a more fulfilling sex life while reducing the risk of any complication.