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Sexual health for women: top facts

Sex is great, but it can be difficult to figure out how to make it safe, especially if you are a lesbian, bi, or queer woman.

  1. Catch the flow

    If you are unsure about a partner’s sexual health status, try to prevent the exchange of bodily fluids like vaginal fluids and blood. These are the main way to transfer infections and diseases.
    To avoid contact, you can use dental dams during anal play and oral sex. Also, please make sure you don’t share sex toys or at least wash them before and after sharing.

  2. Cut your nails

    Well, this one is more of a basic hygiene pointer. It’s important to have your fingernails trimmed so you don’t hurt your partner while fingering. Long nails can cause injury to the delicate walls of the vagina and increase the risk of infections.

    And pain: you only want your partner to let out pleasure-filled screams, right?

  3. Mark your territory

    While it might feel good to share things like sex toys (dildos, vibrators) with your partner, it is best to have some boundaries here.
    Ideally, everyone should have their own toys to decrease the risk of passing on infections. If they must be shared, make sure that the toy is thoroughly washed with soap and water before and after each time it’s used.

  4. Never compromise on health and check-ups

    The best way to ensure good sexual health is to know your body. This way, you are more likely to spot if there are any unnatural changes: like an itchy pubic area, smelly or differently coloured vaginal discharge, and so on.

    It is good to consult the gynaecologist whenever you feel something is even slightly off.

    But, even if there are no health issues, periodic check-ups at the gynaecologist should be done. Try to shed the fear of being judged and go ahead to talk honestly. Ask around for references to non-judgemental gynaecologists, beforehand though.

Do you have questions about your health and healthy sex? Head to our discussion board today, our moderators are there to help.

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Recent Comments (20)

  1. Is there any lubricant that…
    Is there any lubricant that can be used to give the vaginal a sweet smell while having an intercourse.

    1. Hi Chidima, it is perfectly…

      Hi Chidima, it is perfectly normal for your vagina to have a smell. Infact the smell of you vagina will tell you about the health of your vagina. The only thing you need to freshen your vagina is some water and a clean piece of cloth. It is important that you don’t upset the natural balance of the vagina which is likely to cause infections. Check out the following article for additional information;-

  2. How do I clean down there…
    How do I clean down there and keep it always fresh mine has a smell I don’t like and sometime discharge?

    1. Hi Liz, it is perfectly…

      Hi Liz, it is perfectly normal to have a discharge which changes throughout your cycle. This also applies to your vagina, it should actually have a certain smell. Often you have a different smell just before your period compared to around the time of your ovulation. Don’t use vaginal soap, douches or perfumes to take away the smell. They can irritate your vagina and make the smell even stronger. Wash your vulva with water and wear cotton underwear. It’s fine to use soap to wash between your legs and your outer labia, but it’s not a good idea to use it to wash between your labia or inside your vagina.

    2. Hey Liz,
      If you notice an…

      Hey Liz,
      If you notice an Odor down there, it’s 99% sure that you have a bacteria or fungal growth. Here is what I recommend: Use water without soaps! It should be cold or lukewarm. After through cleansing, dry the genital and then make sure you check with your Chemist, buy some Suppositories and antifungal pessaries. You should also have a lab test for vaginal swab culture and sensitivity to know whether you might be positive for an STD. Good luck

      1. Thank you Vincent for your…

        Thank you Vincent for your contribution. Vaginal odour is normal however what’s normal for one may not be for another. When, for this reason one observes a drastic change in smell, colour or quantity, especially in combination with itching, pain or redness, it could be a sign of infection. In such a case one needs to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Have a look at the following article for additional information;-

  3. My boyfriend complains about…
    My boyfriend complains about my vigina being big, wide and fluidy. What can j do?

    1. Hey IQ, First the vagina is…

      Hey IQ, First the vagina is a muscle, and while it loosens during sex, it will tighten again afterward. And there is no evidence that it might just stay loose for instance, if a woman has lots of sex. Secondly, a wet vagina is a sign you are aroused and this is a good thing since it helps to make sex pleasurable for both partners. If it interferes with sex so that you don’t feel the friction, you could use a towel to wipe off periodically or try another position that gives you both sufficient friction. Check out the following articles;-

  4. You are welcome Spencer.

    You are welcome Spencer.

  5. What about if you feel…
    What about if you feel itching after sex?

    1. Is the itching accompanied…

      Is the itching accompanied with pain, smelly discharge, or pain while urinating, if it’s, it could be an indication of a infection which you may need to seek medical attention. If it is only itching you may want to observe for sometime and if your require further information you can seek medical advice. 

  6. 2 questions, Can I use an…
    2 questions, Can I use an antiseptic to clean my vagina? my vagina gets dry during sex sometimes what can I do to avoid that?

    1. Hello Janet, vagina self…

      Hello Janet, vagina self cleans therefore cleaning it with other things like soap and antiseptic can upset the natural balance of bacteria and actually make you more likely to get yeast (fungal) infections. It can also be a cause of itching and irritation or pain during intercourse. If you do choose to wash with soap, use a gentle one without strong perfumes. You can also use warm water only to wash your inner labia and inside your vagina.

      There are many different causes for dryness, from being dehydrated to hormonal imbalances.Using lubricants can be a great short-term solution. But you should also see a healthcare provider to get to the bottom of the problem if it happens over longer periods of time. Women generally also take longer than men to get aroused, so having more and longer foreplay and waiting until both partners are aroused may also help with dryness. Check out this article

  7. I was to told to seat in…
    I was to told to seat in warm water by a friend after I delivered my baby to help with the healing. Does this really help?

    1. Yes, it does help. But you…

      Yes, it does help. But you can talk to your health care provider the next time you visit the clinic. 

  8. my galfriend is alway…
    my galfriend is alway coplain about me releasing faster before her get satistifed what can i do?and a time me want to continue the pains will not erect anymore help me..

    1. Hi Ronni, what you are…

      Hi Ronni, what you are experiencing is known as premature ejaculation which can be caused by a number of reasons including fear, performance anxiety, stress. In younger men it could be as a result of sexual experience; as one gains more experience they also gain better control of their ejaculation. The following are tips on how you can overcome premature ejaculation;- You could begin by regular exercises, eat healthy – avoid lots of processed foods, relax during sex by taking short breaks and deep breaths. You can also distract yourself by thinking about non sexual things. Always begin with foreplay, you will find that your partner does enjoy an extended foreplay session. 

      Secondly, it is completely normal for men to have what is called a refractory period, where the penis cannot get hard after ejaculation. Honestly, your body is just telling you that it needs some time. There is no real way to change it or make it happen less, so just try to work with your body. If you are really hoping to have more sex, then take the time to recharge and focus on your partner. This is a good time to focus on them and give them pleasure. You will become hard again in no time and continue. Check out the following article for more information;-

  9. MY girlfriend alway hava…
    MY girlfriend alway hava proplem on drieness iam tired of her what can ido?

    1. Hi Ronny, a girl gets wet…

      Hi Ronny, a girl gets wet when aroused. You may need to spend time in foreplay to get your girlfriend aroused for her to get wet before intercourse. Talk with your girlfriend to get to know what get her aroused, this way she will get aroused and wet before intercourse. You can also consider using lubricants to supplement. Check out the following article;-

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