Since we were little, we were always reminded how important it is to wash our hands before meals or brush our teeth before going to bed. Hygiene is a socially-taught practice that varies from culture to culture, but it has the same fundamental principles. Once we get into the reproductive age, we start learning about sexual hygiene, which is as crucial to our health as face hygiene, for instance.
Why Sexual Hygiene Is Important
There are two main reasons why taking care of your sexual hygiene is vital to your overall health. First, it reduces the chances of getting infections down there and leading to more significant issues, such as infertility. Second, it diminishes the possibility of contracting all sorts of sexually-transmitted diseases.
If you think condoms can solve the problems mentioned above when you’re sexually active, think again. Yes, they are excellent tools to prevent unwanted pregnancies and most types of STDs, but you do have to think of how clean you are as well because it can cost you your precious health.
Good sexual hygiene can also improve your sex life. Not only does it enhance oral sex, but it helps you to relax with your new partner.
How to Take Care of Your Sexual Hygiene
Women’s and men’s bodies are a bit different, so we have to treat them that way. Here are a few rules on how to take care of your intimate hygiene for both sexes.
Women’s Sexual Hygiene
1. Avoid washing your intimate parts with body gel
Your skin has a pH value of 5.5, while the pH of your intimate parts is 3.3, which means it is much more acidic. The use of inappropriate showering agents disturbs the pH and makes it more alkaline, causing germs and bacteria to develop.
So, it is best to either use only water to wash your genital area since the vagina is a self-cleansing organ. It protects itself with discharge and good bacteria. Use showering products intended for intimate use only if your gynecologist recommends it. Remember, if you overdo it, the vaginal infection can appear.
2. Change sanitary pads regularly
Another way to take care of your sexual hygiene is to be cautious during those days of the month. Yes, periods. Menstrual blood that is absorbed into the sanitary pad can cause the development of harmful bacteria.
If you can purchase pads made from natural materials, make sure to use them because they are not prone to bacteria overgrowth. Plastic pads increase the chance of bacteria developing and can lead to serious vaginal infections.
3. Change tampons or menstrual cups frequently
In case you’re the one not using pads, and you prefer tampons and menstrual cups, make sure to wash your hands before changing them. When you plan to go out where you do not have access to soap and water, remember to take wet wipes or a bottle of water.
Moreover, it is extremely important that you change tampons every two to three hours to avoid bacterial development and toxic shock syndrome. Menstrual cups, on the other hand, are a little more convenient if you’re out and about. Make sure to change them every six to eight hours.
4. Make sure to wash your intimate parts often
During menstruation, washing up is crucial because it reduces the chance for harmful bacteria to develop. However, even when you are not menstruating, it is advisable to wash regularly with clean water due to smegma production. It is a buildup of old skin cells, oils, and moisture that can have an unpleasant odor to you and your partner.
5. Wear the right underwear
Have you ever heard that thongs can be bad for your vaginal health? Thongs or G-strings of different shapes and colors indeed look very sexy and attractive, but they are not very hygienic.
The thin string of the thong causes bacteria to develop, and it can transfer bacteria from your anus to your vagina. What’s more, sexy lace underwear is often made of synthetic materials, which means that your intimate area does not breathe. It causes skin irritations and inflammation. Try to use cotton panties more often so your vagina can breathe.
6. Do a checkup every now and then
A regular checkup can save you from a lengthy medical treatment. If you notice any changes in and around your vagina, unusual discharge, a strange odor, itching, pelvic pain or pain during intercourse, make sure to consult your gynecologist.
Men’s Sexual Hygiene
1. Penis washing
Men also have to take care of their sexual hygiene if they want to take care of their health and their sex life. Not only women have dead skin buildup in the genital area. Between the foreskin and the penis, there’s smegma as well. If you don’t clean it, it can produce an unpleasant odor. Although it’s completely harmless to your health, your partners can get turned off by its scent or taste. Just remember to wash it away with clean water when you shower thoroughly.
2. Do regular checkups
We enlisted more sexual hygiene rules for women since they have an extremely sensitive genital area. Nonetheless, there’s one more rule for the guys. Except for washing up, you have to regularly check the condition of your testicles after daily intimate hygiene.
If you see any change in size or notice any patches or growths, those are are possible symptoms of an STD or testicular cancer. Make sure to consult your doctor in case you notice anything out of the ordinary, such as changes in the smell or color of sperm, pain during intercourse or ejaculation, pelvic pain, itching, reddish blisters on the penis or presence blood in sperm.
How Important Sexual Hygiene Is to You?
Since hygiene is a learned behavior everyone does different, how well do you take care of your sexual hygiene, and is it important to you?