8 things women should do after sex for good hygiene
The Star/Asia News Network / 01:23 PM December 31, 2018
Even if you really don’t feel like getting out of bed, practicing these good habits after sex could save you from very unsexy consequences.
Practicing good post-coital (after sex) hygiene in the long run, will help you to ward off infections and germs that may create bigger health issues.
It might be tempting to skip that part and fall straight to sleep, but that window right after intercourse is when you want to take action in order to ensure that no undesirable bacteria can fester, especially where you can’t reach.
There are many things you can do to clean up, but here are the most important in the list of things you should do.
Pee, even if you don’t feel a need to
Outside molecules, including bacteria, can enter the urethra, your urinary tube, very easily during sex, putting you at risk of contracting a urinary tract infection.
The best way to flush out those harmful intruders is by peeing, even if you don’t feel a compelling urge to do so.
If you really have nothing to pee, drink a glass of water and enjoy a short, but romantic cuddle session, then use the bathroom.
If you still need more time, there are other things you can tend to first in your cleanup routine.
2. Wash yourself
A full shower will take care of most aspects of your post-coital cleanup checklist.
Avoid using overly hot or overly cold water, as your private parts will still be tender from your intimate activities.
Use mild soap. There is no need for anything extra perfumed, or even feminine washes, which can actually damage the pH in your vaginal tube.
There are a lot of products that you’ll find in pharmacies that are marketed as helping you to “keep fresh”.
These are things like wipes and sprays that are made with harsh chemicals like detergents, perfumes or lotions, which are actually unsuitable for your skin and can cause a rash or other skin problems. Also avoid scented pads and tampons.
If you don’t take a full shower, do a gentle rinse with warm water instead, or use a clean wet towel to wipe every part of your body that might be exposed to bacteria.
3. Gargle with mouthwash
Also, swish with mouthwash to eradicate germs and bacteria in your mouth.
Enjoy the foreplay, but don’t forget the cleanup after. Certain sexually transmitted infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea (yuck!), can occur in the mouth as well.
Mouthwash in particular, is most effective in killing bacteria for this purpose.
With brushing, you might just end up transferring the germs onto your toothbrush, and obviously, you do not want that.
Gargle for about 15-20 seconds, spit, then rinse away those icky germs with water.
4. Wash your toys
While it is perfectly normal to use toys and lubrication to help with intercourse, these too must be washed.
All you need is some soap and warm water to eliminate most of the germs. If you want to be extra diligent, some silicone toys can be boiled to kill off the germs.
For anything that is powered with a battery or has some sort of mechanism, read the manufacturer’s instructions before immersing in water or subjecting it to germ-killing temperatures.
5. Douching is a no-no
This is one thing on my list that you should not do in your cleanup routine.
The practice of douching is a misguided and old-fashioned method that is now discouraged, as it has been found that douching can lead to more infections, rather than eliminate them.
The vagina has its own self-cleansing mechanism, which includes good bacteria that help to keep the pH levels healthy and balanced.
Rarely does the vagina require any additional help in keeping clean. Do your part in keeping the outside area of your private region clean, but the vagina will take care of itself.
6. Change into clean clothes and new underwear
In the course of being intimate with your partner, you can hardly be expected to be mindful of what’s happening to your clothes.
Body fluids that stain your underwear and clothes will develop bacteria, so those clothes are probably not something you would want to wear again – toss them right into the laundry basket and pick some fresh new garments to wear.
It is a good idea to toss the bedsheets into the wash as well.
7. Notice any changes or discomfort
Your body should return to normal quite soon after intercourse.
Note any changes, such as lesions, sensations or bumps, and monitor them.
If these physical changes, or any discomfort you feel, becomes worse or does not go away within reasonable time, it’s best to see a doctor for your symptoms.
Write down where you initially felt the discomfort, or what you noticed about physical symptoms, such as whether the size changed, the pain intensified, etc.
I recommend writing these down immediately, as you may not remember them later.
8. Get tested
Ideally, you should know about your partner’s sexual health before jumping into bed with them.
This is a discussion to have with your partner even if it is an uncomfortable topic to bring up.
If you still can’t be sure about the health of your partner, pay attention to symptoms like bumps, pain or sores around your genitals, or unusual discharge.
It’s always a good thing to get an STD (sexually-transmitted disease) test just to be sure, scary as it might be.
The test itself is not painful, but of course, the fear of getting positive results is more daunting.
That’s why, ideally, your sexual partner should be someone trustworthy and loyal, who will not put you at risk of contracting an unwanted STD, and vice versa.
When you are pregnant, it is even more critical to take extra care and follow the steps above.
You can safely have intercourse when you are pregnant, but you do run the risk of being more prone to infections.
Take care of your basic personal hygiene post-intercourse, and you’ll be able to avoid many problems later on.
Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and a functional medicine practitioner. For further information, visit www.primanora.com. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.