You’ve decluttered the closets, dusted the furnishings, windexed windows, and your house officially smells like PineSol. Congratulations, you’ve done good work, but your cabinets and cushions aren’t the only thing that benefit from a cleaning.
You have a precious piece that requires tidying more than once a spring—your vagina.
After a tussle between the sheets, it’s not time to sleep or snuggle. It’s time to clean. We know, it’s unromantic, but post-sex hygiene is more than a springtime ritual, it’s essential. Proper clean-up keeps your body safe and healthy. If you weren’t taught the steps to cleaning up after sex, don’t worry. We have a checklist to make your vagina and other surfaces spotless.
“Cabinets and cushions aren’t the only thing that benefit from a cleaning. You have a precious piece that requires tidying more than once a spring—your vagina.”
Your Post-Sex Cleaning List:
1. USE THE TOILET
Most health professionals recommend urinating within 30 minutes after sex. Why? Because bacteria can enter the urethra during the friction of intercourse and then move up the urinary tract into the bladder. Once in the bladder that bacteria can lead to a urinary tract infection (UTI). Peeing flushes any potential bacteria out of the urethra.
“Since women’s urethras are shorter (about 2.5 to 4 centimeters) than men’s (about 15 to 20 centimeters), this makes women more prone to getting UTIs, as bacteria have to travel a shorter distance to enter the bladder. A classic UTI symptom is a burning sensation in the urethra while urinating.”
Stay on the safe side and use the toilet after sex.
2. PROPERLY WASH YOUR VAGINAL AREA
With warm water and perfume-free soap, gently wash all the external areas of your vagina (a.k.a the vulva). According to Dr. Nupur Gupta, Obstetrics and Gynaecology in India, women should not use soaps with chemicals or that have a strong scent because they can alter the pH level of the vagina which can lead to itching, inflammation, and rashes. A mild unscented soap, such as a pure glycerin is best. Most of the time, you can simply use water to wash yourself.
When you wash your vulva, go from front to back and not vice versa (to avoid bacteria being pushed into the urethra). You do not need to clean the internal area of your vagina with douches or cleaning products. “In fact, douching or using other strong products can disrupt the natural cleaning process and vagina’s microbiome, upping your risk of infection. So, keep all the cleaning on the outside, never inside.”
“Douching or using other strong products can disrupt the natural cleaning process and vagina’s microbiome, upping your risk of infection. So, keep all the cleaning on the outside, never inside.”
3. ACQUIRE CLEAN CLOTHES OR LINENS
Did semen or body fluids spill on your clothes, underwear, or bed linens during sex? If yes, it’s important to put on a fresh set following your fun. These spills can breed bacteria which can cause infection.
4. SANITIZE TOYS
If you got busy with the Silver Bullet or other special toys, then you need to properly care for those as well. Thorough toy sanitizing procedures must be followed to avoid bacterial growth. Check the labels on your toys for cleaning instructions. “Some silicone products may require a special cleaning solution or may be boiled or put in the dishwasher. Waterproof toys can be cleaned with antibacterial soap, but water-resistant toys shouldn’t be submerged.”
5. CLEAN SEXY SURFACES
Spontaneity can find you on a kitchen table or the leather sofa. Sometimes, when you finally have the house to yourselves, it’s lovely to explore the whole space with a sex train. Whatever fancy catches you that day, it’s important to retrace your steps in the aftermath. Most wooden, leather, or laminate surfaces can be disinfected with an all-purpose antibacterial spray and damp paper towels. Carpets or fabric cushions can be washed with upholstery cleaner to prevent odors or stains. Any kind of cloth material surfaces will take time to dry.
Being intimate is good, but proper clean-up is necessary to prevent infections like UTIs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections). An STI is a type of sexually transmitted disease (STDs). These are passed through sexual contact. Some STIs can be cured and others can only be managed with medicine. “More than 9 million women in the United States are diagnosed with an STI each year. Women often have more serious health problems from STIs than men.” Untreated STIs can result in chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancies, infertility, organ damage and even certain types of cancer.
“Being intimate is good, but proper clean-up is necessary to prevent infections like UTIs and STIs (sexually transmitted infections).”
Just hearing these possibilities might make you want to cross your legs and stay that way. However, there are ways to avoid an STI. First, get vaccinated to protect against HPV and hepatitis B. Second, use condoms, especially with a new partner, to prevent the passing of an STI. Third, when you're playing with multiple partners, have upfront conversations about methods of protection. Before making love, get tested for STIs and discuss the results. Then you are able to make informed decisions.
Your body is precious. Caring for it should be a priority. Sexual pleasure is important but your vaginal hygiene after sex is just as important. Follow our checklist to keep your vagina happy, healthy, and squeaky clean.