Whether you’re preparing for an intimate evening with your partner or simply going about your regular activities, maintaining good genital health is a must. Like any other part of your body, proper care is needed to ensure that your genital area remains free from dirt, irritation, and infection.
Besides being a necessity for your own health and comfort, practicing good genital hygiene can enhance the quality of your sex life. While certain smells and fluids produced by your intimate areas are normal and enjoyable during sex, a vagina that smells of rotting fish or a penis in a thick white substance can disrupt the pleasurable parts of lovemaking with your partner.
If you’re looking for ways to start improving your genital health and sex life, incorporating some simple practices into your everyday routines can go a long way for every penis and vagina.
Keep Your Genitals Clean
When it comes to cleaning your genital areas, it’s best not to overdo it. Regularly washing your penis or vagina with warm water is more than enough, and if you’d like, only use a mild and unscented soap. Avoid using harsh cleansers and douches as these can kill off essential bacteria that balance the natural pH levels needed to keep genitals healthy. Washing the penis can also prevent the accumulation of a smelly, thick, and irritating white substance called smegma. This can reduce the risk of balanitis, a condition caused by excessive smegma which gives rise to inflammation and swelling on the penis.
Another important practice is wearing clean and comfortable underwear that allows your genitals to breathe. Cotton is the best choice of material for all kinds of underwear because it’s breathable, limiting the moisture build-up that normally cultivates harmful bacteria. With that in mind, make it a habit to change into a fresh set of undies frequently enough, especially after intensive activities that get you sweaty.
Choose Body-Safe Sex Toys and Lubricants
Using sex toys is an effective way to spice up bedroom activities, whether you have a partner or want to pleasure yourself. While shopping for sex toys in the Philippines, it’s crucial to select items made from body-safe materials, meaning they can safely come into contact with your privates. Medical-grade stainless steel, glass, glazed ceramic, and silicone work best.
Avoid porous sex toys, as their micro-sized holes are hard to clean and are prone to bacterial growth. The golden rule is to make sure that anything touching your genitals won’t negatively affect their natural functions. That being said, it’s important to check for reactions before using condoms and lubricants as certain people may have sensitivities to the ingredients or materials used.
Observe Safe Sex Practices
The most important safe sex practice is not to engage in sex unless you’re free of any sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Nothing dampens the mood quite like experiencing a genital infection—or worse, discovering that you’ve spread the infection to your sexual partner. Although having to use a condom may not feel quite as sexy, it’s still safer to use protection as much as possible, especially if you haven’t been tested for STIs in a while.
If you’re using sex toys, do make it a habit to properly clean them after each use. Each type of sex toy typically comes with its own maintenance instructions, so be sure to take note of them before you start cleaning. Avoid sharing your sex toys with your partner to prevent spreading any germs that might still be around, though you could choose to cover them with a condom if you really want to.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
It goes without saying that poor health in any part of your body can affect the other parts as well. It’s important to maintain your overall health alongside your genital hygiene. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Pelvic floor—or Kegel—exercises are particularly good for strengthening the muscles needed for proper genital function and sexual pleasure.
Schedule Regular Appointments with Your Gynecologist or Urologist
Even if you’re not currently experiencing any genital dysfunctions or infections, you should still schedule regular check-ups with your OB-GYN or urologist. Getting regularly tested for STIs and staying up to date on your genital health can help you gain a better understanding of your specific needs. Regular screenings can also inform you of any underlying and unexpected genital problems that you couldn’t easily detect yourself.
Genital health involves so much more than just smelling nice or freshening up only when you’re about to engage in sexual activities. Regardless of how sexually active you are, practicing good genital hygiene should be a necessary part of your self-care routine. Caring for your intimates helps you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, inside and out of the bedroom.