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Disease prevention and treatment

Eight Sexual Hygiene Habits for Women and Men after Intercourse

Washing your hands is more important today than ever, but do you do it before and after having intimacy with someone?

It can be uncomfortable - like interrupting the act and asking your intimate partner, "honey, did you wash your hands?" - but sexologists insist that this rule of personal hygiene is essential in intimate relationships.

It is a simple step to avoid, for example, candidiasis (a genital infection caused by a fungus).

Cleaning your hands, mouth and teeth is vital, since these organs usually intervene during sexual relations.

In addition to your hands, you should clean your genitals daily. But here a "quick wash" is no use.

Sexual hygiene is of primary importance, as it can curb sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Hygiene is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac and a stimulator of the libido.

And the cultivation of eroticism begins with the importance we attach to the care of our body and the attention we pay to our sexual and personal hygiene.

Below are some tips on how to put this into practice.


The UK's Public Health Service (NHS) explains on its website how men and women should properly care for their intimate areas.

For men, doctors recommend washing the penis with warm water every day during bathing, paying special attention to the area under the foreskin to prevent the buildup of smegma, an antibacterial agent that also acts as a lubricant.

The main treatment for esmegma is based on good penile hygiene care. If it builds up, it can start to smell and become an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. This can translate into redness and swelling of the head of the penis, which is called balanitis.

It's very surprising how many men don't wash under the foreskin. Not only do they tend to have complications derived from poor hygiene, but it is also very unpleasant for their intimate partner.

Male intimate hygiene doesn't always get the attention it deserves. Whether due to lack of information or ignorance, some men make the mistake of not washing their genitals properly, despite the negative consequences this can bring: smells, discomfort and infections.

The genital region of men is prone to the appearance of infections and other urological problems. Not only because through it we expel urine and semen, the accumulation of which can cause infections, but also because it is the skin that is especially sensitive to friction.

And to all this is added that on it we accumulate sweat, which facilitates the proliferation of bacteria and fungi if it is not washed daily.

The NHS advises against using excessive soap and shower gel; warm water is sufficient.

But if soap is used, it should be "mild or unscented to reduce the risk of skin irritation."

It is not enough to clean the surface of the penis, but that the foreskin needs to be retracted so that the water and soap also act on the glans region.

Especially on the parts of the penis that are most hidden by the penile frenulum, it is convenient to use a mild soap to clean the sexual organs and rinse with plenty of water.


As for women, sexual health experts agree that there is misinformation, despite the huge industry dedicated to vaginal hygiene.

The vagina is designed to be kept clean with the help of natural secretions (vaginal discharge). It doesn't need douches or vaginal wipes. There are many bacteria inside the vagina that are there to protect it.

In fact, many sexologists consider these products not only unnecessary, but also dangerous.

The vulva (the outer part of the female genitalia) can be cleaned with soaps and specialized products for the area.

Still, depending on the person, they can cause irritation and increase the risk of infections. What experts recommend is washing with water at least once a day.

Regarding the internal part, the sexologists advises against douche: The risks are much greater than the benefits they offer, so they recommend not using them.

Among the possible risks or adverse reactions, experts lists the following:

- changes in PH (the hydrogen potential of the skin);

- burning and itching;

- decreased cervical mucus (which is responsible for lubricating the vagina);

- allergic reactions;

- increased risk of developing infections;

- complications that can arise during pregnancy, such as increased risk of premature birth.

Our body is so wise that it knows how to maintain its internal hygiene. Although there are moisturizing or repair creams to combat irritation or itching in the female intimate region, what should be avoided are those useless tendencies to perfume your parts with deodorants, colognes or soaps with odors that favor skin irritation and make it more vulnerable to possible bacterial attacks.

Experts also advises against using sanitary douches or scented pads. The vagina normally cleans itself. The walls produce their own fluid that carries dead cells and other micro-organisms out of the body. And intimate care should be taken more carefully on menstrual days.

Men and women:

One sexologists' tip for men and women is to urinate before and after intercourse.

Urinating after intercourse is one of the best measures to avoid contracting unwanted infections, whether in the form of microbes, bacteria or secretions.

Going to the bathroom at the end of intercourse helps expel everything that came up, purifying it and preventing it from reaching sensitive organs like the bladder.

And urinating beforehand is vitally important, especially to have satisfying relationships and not have uncomfortable sensations. This practice is a good preventative for some urinary tract infections, but not all.

Sexologists recommends urinating immediately after intercourse to protect ourselves from disease and reduce the chances of contracting an infection. In fact, failing to do so is one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections.

According to experts, women are more prone to this type of infection and should get used to urinating 15 minutes after intimacy.

Research published in The Journal of Family Practice (2002) says that healthy women who urinate 15 minutes after intercourse may be slightly less likely to develop a urinary tract infection than those who do not.

And while there is apparently no medical reason to go straight to the shower or bidet after intimacy, it is still healthy to have a post-intimacy protocol in mind.

Main recommendations:

- Daily cleaning of the genital organs with water;

- Clean hands, mouth and teeth;

- Wear clean underwear and, if possible, not made of synthetic fabric;

- Consult your doctor and have routine exams once a year;

- Self-examination by direct observation and palpation to identify changes in shape, color, secretions, size and/or texture;

- Use of condoms during intercourse;

- If you choose anal intimacy, you should avoid inserting the penis into the anus and then into the vagina, as this favors the development of infections;

- Shaving all pubic hair is not recommended, as pubic hair is usually a protection for the genitals, it is better to trim it, but not remove it completely.

(Reference -,,

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