Should you clean yourself before sex too? Safe sex practices nobody told you about!

Published on: 4 March 2022, 15:24 pm IST

Your sexual health needs your attention too! Here are some safe sex practices to follow when you’re doing the birds and the bees.

safe sex
Intimate health and safe sex practices that you need to follow! Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
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Sexual health is fundamental to all people’s health and happiness. While sex is all about pleasure, you still got to play it by the rules. When you’ve indulged in the art of love-making, prepping for it with some good sexual health practices can help you to lead a healthy life and have safe sex.

To increase awareness and reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI), one needs to follow certain sexual health rules.

Here are some safe sex practices you can follow:

1. Shower before sex

Before engaging in sexual practices, it is advisable to clean yourself by taking a bath or shower. However, if things are getting heated up, you can wash and clean genital areas. Wash your hands with soap and water and make it a part of your routine. Maintain oral hygiene. This is to prevent transmission of any infection.

peeing in the shower
Bathing before getting on with sex is a good idea! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Prevent STIs

Use barrier contraceptives like male condoms, female condoms, and dental dams when engaging in sexual activities. They can prevent sexually transmitted infections like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis B and HIV-AIDS.

3. Clean your sex toys

Self-pleasuring needs to be safe too! Sex toys are objects that can be used for self-pleasure or used during sexual acts. They are personal, should not be shared and should be cleaned before and after every use. It is advisable to cover it with a new condom before using it again.

4. Use contraception

Contraceptives and birth control can be used to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. The contraceptives available are barrier contraceptives like condom, birth control pills or OC pill (oral contraceptive pills) or EC pill (emergency contraceptive pills). There are also semi-permanent ways of avoiding pregnancy, like, IUCD’s (Intra Uterine Contraceptive Devices) like Copper T and injectable contraceptives. It is best to speak to your gynecologist to figure out which method is best suited for you.

latex-free condoms
You can have safe sex but not without condoms! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Safe sex suggestions:

  1. Do not have sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
  2. It is advisable not to have multiple sexual partners. It is safer to engage in sexual practices with a long-term committed partner. However, a condom should always be used in any case.
  3. Avoid early sexual encounters till the reproductive system is fully developed preferably till late teens or early 20s.

Since we live in a tropical country, it is recommended to bathe/shower twice a day. Your intimate hygiene also plays a vital role in maintaining your sexual health.

Here are some intimate hygiene practices you should follow:

1. Keep your genitals clean and dry

Your private areas can be cleaned using lukewarm water. Make sure you’re washing your vagina from front to back to prevent infection from harmful bacteria in the anal region. Avoid scrubbing as it can damage sensitive skin. Soap can be used externally, but not inside the vagina. Since the vagina has acidic pH, alkaline soap interferes with it and destroys the endogenous vaginal flora. Avoid douching the vagina using pre-packaged scented products as they can lead to inflammation, irritation and burning.

2. Wear clean underwear

Your underwear should be loose, comfortable, and preferably made with cotton. The material lets in air, allowing your private areas to breathe. Cotton also absorbs moisture. It is not necessary to wash your private area after every act of urination. It is advisable to use tissue to gently wipe the area and make sure it’s dry because wet underwear can make you prone to fungal infection.

underwear
Always wear a clean underwear! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle

Consume a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and avoid excessive alcohol and smoking.

When need be, seek sexual and reproductive health services. Your gynecologist can optimize your sexual health by doing pelvic examination, pap smear, detect and treat Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), suggest vaccines, give contraceptive options, and help sexual counselling for all your concerns

After all, reproductive and sexual health implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, prevent sexual infections, and have the capacity to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so.

Dr Sonal Kumta Dr Sonal Kumta

Senior Consultant-Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund

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