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One of the things we were taught while growing up was the importance of hygiene, which include, washing of our hands properly after eating or when we have come in contact with dirt in any form; brushing our teeth twice a day; and wearing clean clothes. These are just some of the basic things we were taught.

Our desire and need to maintain personal hygiene is one of the things which makes us human. It is important for us to know that maintaining proper sexual hygiene is also very expedient, as failure to do so could result in infections.

In addition, poor sexual hygiene could turn your partner off which would invariably create an embarrassing situation for the both of you.

To avoid such, here are some tips that would help you have a healthy and happy sex life:

 

Dress fresh:

One of the most important tips for both sexes is that we should always wear fresh and clean undergarments. You should always avoid wearing undergarments that are drenched in sweat. This can occur particularly after physical exercise or any stressful activity which made you sweat. You just have to change out of your sweaty undergarment, even if the sweat has dried, as it could create a breeding ground for bacteria and make your private parts vulnerable to infection.

Sweat can also block the skin pores on your private parts, causing folliculitis, which are inflamed and infected hair follicles. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always leave a good amount of space for breathing and ventilation. Men should avoid wearing tight underwear, particularly briefs. Briefs or boxer shorts are advisable because they are more comfortable. Cotton is a far better choice when picking  your undergarments than other synthetic materials, since it is comfortable and porous.

 

Don’t hold back the call of nature:

Whenever you have urge to relieve yourself, do not hold it in. Urinating helps ease out bacteria from the urinary tract.  If you delay urination, you allow bacteria growth.

While these are the very basic hygiene tips for men and women, there are also specifics to the two genders in order to achieve better sexual hygiene:

 

For men:

Men’s sexual parts are outside the body and thus, it is imperative it is kept clean. While having a bath, you should not ignore washing your penis. If you are uncircumcised, you should gently pull back your foreskin as much as possible without causing any discomfort, till the head of your penis reveals itself. You don’t need to rub soap or anything else; instead, you should use lukewarm water to wash it.

Only wash the head of the penis and don’t even think of washing the urethra and urinary tract, as you could damage it. Not washing your penis will result in a build-up of smegma. Smegma, which is white in colour, are dead skin cells and normally harmless. However, sufficient build up can cause irritation and infection.

 

For women:

Women have the added hassle of menstrual periods. When you are undergoing your menstrual cycle, change your tampons or sanitary pads every three to six hours, depending on your menstrual flow. Leaving a stale tampon or sanitary pad for a very long time encourages bacteria to grow, causing infections and bad odour.

While menstruation cleans your urethra, uterus and vagina, it is important that you clean your vagina everyday. The external part of the vagina, the labia, needs to be cleaned only once a day.

Wash your vagina mildly and gently with soap and warm water. For many women, they over-do this washing; you should not go overboard with washing by vigorously flushing or douching your vagina with scents. This could be very harmful.

Douching is known to affect the pH balance of vagina and makes you prone to infections. Not washing the external part of the vagina could result in formation of smegma; this occurs, in women too. When you are drying your private parts, avoid roughly rubbing it dry but try patting it dry. Maintaining good sexual hygiene adds to the whole body hygiene. These tips will help you take care of your private parts better and live a healthier life.

 

Source: Nigerian Tribune Newspaper

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