Sexual Hygiene: Why is it important?

Hygiene. Ever since we’re kids we’re told about the importance of having good hygiene, so the adults in our lives tell us to wash our hands before a meal, shower daily, wear clean clothes and brush our teeth. As we grow up, we develop habits that help us maintain this hygiene; up to the point where our parents no longer need to remind us to do things that allow us to achieve this. Hygiene and health become things that we want to maintain and improve on our own, but what we don’t realize is that it’s sometimes necessary to start new habits regarding our hygiene, especially when we become sexually active.

You might be wondering why it’s important to maintain good sexual hygiene. To answer simply, it’s the same reason why we’re always told to use a condom:

  1. It helps us reduce our chances of getting STDs (Sexually transmitted diseases).
  2. It allows us to evade all sorts of infections.

Of course, good sexual hygiene will help avoid other sexual health issues too, which emphasizes its importance in our daily lives. It’s also significant to note that good hygiene is essential for safe sex and can also make intercourse more enjoyable for both you and your partner. To make it easier for you, here are some tips that you can use, in order to easily improve your sexual hygiene and even your sex life.

First, regardless of your sex, it goes without saying that it’s important to wear clean undergarments, but it’s also advised to change out of sweaty underwear, because it can not only produce bacteria, but block skin pores, causing folliculitis. Ventilation is also important for the same reasons and cotton underwear provides this, which is why it’s often recommended. Also along the same lines, it’s a good idea to dry off well after showering, swimming, sweating, etc. in order to avoid bacterial infections.

Something that might surprise you is that urinating helps clean and get rid of bacteria! For this reason, it’s actually good to pee after intercourse or any sort of physical activity. Finally, there’s certain things that you can do to keep clean that differ depending on your sex.

MEN

It’s important to wash the penis, especially around the head, to avoid smegma, which is a combination of dead skin cells, body fluids and bacteria. Although smegma is usually harmless, if too much of it builds up, it can cause irritation, bad odors and even infection. If you’re uncircumcised, cleaning under the foreskin is essential to remove any residue that has built up. What you want to do is gently pull it back in the shower, in order to properly clean the area.

 

Did you know that tight underwear can actually be harmful for your sexual health? As it turns out, tighter fitting underwear causes overheating and restriction, which in turn may lead to infections, so for better hygiene, it’s better to switch to boxers.

WOMEN

Women, on the other hand, should make sure to clean externally, but not over clean, because this can actually have negative effects on their pH, creating infections. Like men, women can also develop smegma from not cleaning their genital region, which means that showering is good, but you don’t want to excessively clean and perfume your vagina.

Most women already know this, but the direction in which you wash yourself is important. Women want to wash from the vagina to the anus, in order to prevent bacteria from transferring from the anus into the vagina. On the same note, thongs can actually allow that transfer of bacteria to happen more easily, so it’s better to use underwear with more coverage, at least every once in a while.

As women, I’m sure none of you are too fond of menstruating…but what you probably don’t know is that menstruation cleans the urethra, uterus and vagina, decreasing your chances of getting an infection. Either way, it’s a good idea to change tampons or sanitary pads every 3 to 6 hours, depending on your flow. This will help prevent bad odor and not allow bacteria to grow, leading to a healthy vagina.

Finally, don’t forget that after intercourse it’s always a good idea to have a shower, but when there isn’t one available at the moment, Aftercourse wipes will do the trick by making sure that your sexual health isn’t compromised by any type of sexual relation.