Genital Hygiene for Men: Dos and Don’ts You Should Know
Although often overlooked, maintaining genital hygiene every day is an important ritual that can play a vital role in keeping you healthy. Men, like women, have certain “good” bacteria in their genital area, which help fight off infections. However, an excess build-up of this bacteria can cause health conditions such as balanitis, urinary tract infection, and yeast infection such as thrush. Check out a few practices men should follow to keep these at bay.
Wash your private parts daily
You must wash your genitals every day, including the penis, scrotum, anus, as well as pubic hair. You may wash them with mild unscented soap and lukewarm water as harsh chemicals may cause irritation. In the case of an uncircumcised penis, the foreskin also must be cleaned daily.
After urination, you may gently shake your penis to remove the remaining drops of urine and then wipe the area properly. You must also clean your anus with water and wipe it dry with toilet paper after a bowel movement.
The base of the penis and testicles need to be cleaned every day to avoid the sweaty odor of pubic hair. A whitish-yellow, oil-like substance, called smegma, may accumulate under the foreskin at times. You must wash it off as it can cause odor and lead to infections.
Wear clean and dry undergarments
Always wear a clean pair of underwear that fits you well. It shouldn’t ride up, twist, dig into the skin, or constrict your movements. It should be comfortable and made of breathable material like cotton, which does not retain moisture. Soft comfortable fabrics like Modal can also be used, while nylon is better if you are engaged in heavy physical activities.
Wash your hands
Make sure you wash your hands with soap after urinating and passing stool, as germs can easily spread through unclean hands.
Practice safe sex
Always use condoms during sexual activities. Condoms made of polyurethane or latex are recommended as they provide the most protection against STIs. Check the material of the condom before using it; if it causes irritation, consult a doctor for alternative choices.
Wash after sexual activity
Be sure to wash your private parts after sexual intercourse. Urinating soon after intercourse can help flush out potential infection-causing bacteria.
As you see, genital hygiene involves a handful of simple habits that can go a long way to prevent serious illnesses. But it is largely thanks to our unwillingness to discuss such topics that lead to a lack of awareness and illnesses. Stay clean, stay healthy.
1. Male condoms. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/condoms/about (accessed Mar 16, 2021).
2. How to keep a penis clean. NHS. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/how-to-keep-a-penis-clean/ (accessed Mar 16, 2021).