Why Should You Shower After Sex?

Sex is messy, sweaty and full of bodily fluids. That’s why it’s important to wash up after a love-making session.

OB/GYNs say showering after sex is fine, and it doesn’t hurt conception chances. However, they do warn against douching and using soap.

Showering will flush germs from the urethra down the toilet, which helps reduce your risk of infection and UTIs. That said, there are other hygiene practices that can help too.

Do It for Yourself

Showering is a great way to get rid of bacteria and keep your body healthy, and this is especially important for your genital area. Leftover sweat, semen, and vaginal secretions are breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause infections like bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection on the penis or in the vulva, and other issues.

You can avoid urinary tract infections by showering and washing the genitals after sex, as well as making sure to empty your bladder before and after sexual activity and avoiding tight-fitting clothes that prevent the genital area from breathing (men should consider wearing loose cotton underwear instead of pantyhose or girdles). It’s also recommended that men and women wash their genitals with soap and water (no bubbles) after sex to reduce the risk of STDs.

You should also make a point to wipe from front to back after sex, as well as before sexual intercourse. This is the best way to reduce your chances of getting a yeast infection in the vulva or on the penis. It’s also a good idea to avoid using anti-bacterial soap on the genital area, as this can irritate it and lead to dry skin, which can then create an environment where yeast infections thrive. The genital area can be gently washed with mild soap, but the rest of the body should be cleaned in a regular, normal way.

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Do It for Your Partner

A shower is a great time to check in with your partner. It can be a good opportunity to talk about sex hygiene and STI testing, for example.

Sex drives bacteria into the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body), which can cause UTIs. That’s why it’s important to always pee after sex and wash the genital area with soap and water or a refreshing wipe from front to back (women should use unscented).

It’s also a good idea to make sure you clean any sex toys before putting them away. And, of course, it’s essential to always wear loose clothing after sex so that the delicate skin in your genitals can breathe. Tight-fitting lingerie and pants aren’t the best choice, and men should avoid tight boxers.

And, it’s not a bad idea to use a mattress protector to keep sweat and bodily fluids from seeping through the sheets into your mattress. A bit of deodorant or body spray can help eliminate any post-sex odor, too. Lastly, it’s a good idea to have plenty of sanitary products on hand, like pads, tampons, or a condom, just in case. And, of course, you should never skip out on getting regular STI tests. That’s a good reason to keep an STI-testing app handy. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your partner to get tested, too.

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Do It for Your Health

There are few things more cathartic and emotional than a good old-fashioned sex session, but it comes with its own set of risks. The genital area is super dirty, marinating in sweat and sexual fluids (like semen and vaginal secretions). Bacteria call these areas home and can lead to skin irritation and infections such as bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, and yeast overgrowth.

Showering after sex gets rid of these bacteria, keeping the genital area clean and infection-free. In addition, showering after sex allows women to empty their bladder, which reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

When it comes to showering after sex, experts recommend that men and women use only water, as soap can dry out the sensitive area and cause itchiness and irritation. It’s also best to avoid any perfumed or scented products, as these can irritate both external and internal skin. Instead, try using a gentle baby soap that is free of fragrances and exfoliating ingredients.

Additionally, after sex it’s important for both partners to sit down together and discuss STI testing. Regularly getting tested is one of the best ways to stay healthy and prevent STIs from being transmitted, especially since many STIs have no symptoms.

Do It for Your Relationship

Whether you’re trying for a baby or just want to stay healthy, showering after sex is a good idea. It’s especially important to wash the area around your genitals, including your penis (yes, men can get a yeast infection, too). A quick hop in the shower is all you need to protect yourself from infections like bacterial vaginosis or a urinary tract infection (UTIs).

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Taking a shower is also a great way to bond with your partner in a fun and intimate way. “Some couples enjoy soaping and rubbing each other in the shower, which can be really sensual,” Laeta says. Plus, the endorphins from a good sex session can give you a rush that may make you feel even more affectionate.

However, you should avoid using harsh soaps or shower gels on the areas of your body that have been touched by genitals. Those chemicals might irritate your skin. Instead, opt for plain water or use gentle soaps that are labeled as “gentle.” Keeping a bottle of refreshing wipes on hand in case you can’t get to a shower right away is another smart option for quick clean-up. It’s also crucial to pee after sex and to clean any sex toys after each use. Washing sex toys is especially important for both women and men. This can help reduce the risk of spreading germs to other parts of your body and prevent odors.

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