Adopting a good post-sex hygiene routine is important for multiple reasons, like STD prevention, reproductive health management, and preventing UTIs. In order to ensure quality sexual hygiene, here are some guidelines for the most important things to do after sex.
CHECK THE CONDOM
If you’re using a condom, always make sure there hasn’t been a condom mishap post-sex. Check to ensure the condom didn’t break, and note that if a piece or the whole condom is retained in the vagina after sex, it defeats the purpose of using a condom and puts you at greater risk for infections and pregnancy.
PEE AFTER SEX
Peeing flushes bacteria out of the body, which may help prevent a urinary tract infection from developing. It also flushes out any stray sperms, lessening the possibility of pregnancy. There is an increased risk of urinary tract infections as bacteria may ascend the urethra during intercourse. So, make it a routine to use the bathroom pre and post-sex. Drink plenty of water so you’ll pee more, which means that more bacteria will wash out of the body before infections can flare up.
GENTLY CLEANSE THE GENITALS
The vagina is self-cleaning, but there are some things you can do for a healthy vagina and vulva. After sex, gently wipe down the outside of the vagina with warm water and/or fragrance-free soap, to avoid irritating the vagina. To maintain a clean and healthy vagina, use a mild, unscented soap (like Cora’s One Wash), avoid douching, wipe from front to back, and wear cotton underwear (or opt to go without while sleeping).
ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS
Washing your hands might seem like a no brainer but it’s essential in protecting from any bacteria they might pick up from touching your partner’s genitals or your own. This is key to stopping infections from spreading. Wash with soap and water, and make it part of your post-sex clean-up routine.
KEEP SEX TOYS CLEAN
After using sex toys, bacteria, viruses, and fungi can hang around. That means toys could spread STDs and other infections. Remember to clean each toy after every use—check the packaging for cleaning instructions. It’s best not to share toys with others, but if you do plan to share toys with a partner, try to cover the toy with a new condom each time you use it. But even with a condom, it’s necessary to clean the toys between uses.
PUT ON A FRESH SET OF CLOTHES
Body fluids that stain undergarments and clothes are a breeding ground for infection, so always make it a point to wear a fresh set of clothes post-sex.
CLEAN THE BED
Wash your bed sheets roughly once per week to remove any sweat, semen, and other bodily fluids, as well as oil and dirt. However, if there is obvious soiling following sex, it is probably best to wash them right away. Advise readers to reduce the risk of staining and soiling, lay towels on the bed before having sex and always wash bed sheets between sexual partners.
CONSIDER GETTING TESTED
If you notice any lesions around your private parts, any burning or itching sensation, fever, lumps, odd smells, etc, to report to their doctor immediately. If you’re sexually active, and especially if you’ve been with a new partner, it’s a good idea to get tested for STDs.