8 reasons to wash hands before sex

When you are with your partner, washing hands before sex is probably the last thing on mind. But hand-washing before sex is important.

Hygiene should be an intrinsic part of everyday life, especially your sex life! Vaginal and penile hygiene are often stressed upon by health experts, but hand hygiene is also an important aspect to practice safe sex. After all, foreplay and sexual intercourse may also involve fingering. It is a pleasurable sexual act that involves your partner using fingers to stimulate your vagina. Similarly, women may fondle their partner’s sexual organs. But imagine doing this with dirty hands and fingers? Read on to know why should is it important to wash hands before sex is important.

Why should you wash hands before sex?

Washing hands before sex might not be the most romantic thing to do, but it is as important as using a condom for various reasons.

A couple engaging in foreplay
Washing hands before sex is important. Image courtesy: Freepik

1. Hygiene

Clean hands help to prevent the transfer of bacteria and germs. This good hygiene habit can reduce the risk of getting infections, says gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Pratibha Singhal.

2. Prevention of UTIs

Dirty hands may introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. This increases the likelihood of getting urinary tract infections (UTIs).

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3. Reduces irritation

Sometimes residual substances such as fragrances or chemicals from lotions or other cosmetics get left behind in hands. They can cause irritation to private parts. So, washing hands with a mild soap is better.

4. Minimises allergic reactions

Hand residues may contain allergens that can trigger adverse reactions such as redness or burning sensation in some individuals. It can basically impact vaginal health, says the expert.

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5. Avoids cross-contamination

Clean hands prevent the transfer of various substances from other body parts or surfaces. These might be harmful to vaginal health.

6. Promotes intimacy

Good hygiene fosters a sense of cleanliness and comfort among romantic partners. It enhances the overall intimate experience.

7. Prevents odour

Washing hands helps to eliminate potential sources of unpleasant odours. It contributes to a more enjoyable sexual experience.

8. General well-being

Practicing hand hygiene is a fundamental aspect of overall health. It supports a clean and safe environment for intimate activities, says the expert.

Washing hands with water
Wash hands with a mild soap and clean water before sex. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What is the correct way to wash hands?

Washing hands needs water and soap, but there is a correct way to do it.

• It begins with clean and running water, which you should use to wet your hands thoroughly.
• Make sure the soaps cover all the areas of your hands.
• Rub your hands together to create a good lather. Ensure to cover the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Do it for at least 20 seconds.
• Rinse your hands well under running water, allowing the soap to wash away.

After washing hands, dry them using a clean towel or air dryer. If using a towel, ensure it’s not damp, as moisture can harbour bacteria, says Dr Singhal.

What are other ways to maintain sexual hygiene?

Sexual hygiene is very important to avoid infections. Here’s what to do:

• Schedule regular check-ups with a healthcare professional to monitor and address any sexual health concerns.
• Maintain good personal hygiene by showering regularly, washing genital areas with mild soap and keeping nails trimmed.
• Openly communicate with partner about sexual health, preferences and any concerns.
• Drink an adequate amount of water to support overall health and well-being, including urinary and sexual function.
• Use gentle, fragrance-free products on genital areas to avoid irritation.
• Trim your pubic hair.
• If you experience any discomfort, unusual symptoms or suspect an infection, seek prompt medical attention.

Just like you must not forget to use a condom, make sure you and your partner wash hands before sex!