Some people may wish to remove semen from the vagina after sex, either for hygienic reasons or to try to prevent pregnancy. However, once semen enters the cervix through the vaginal canal, there is no scientifically proven way to remove it.
There are a few ways to clean the vagina and the areas around it safely. However, if someone wishes to avoid becoming pregnant, they should seek appropriate medical advice.
In this article, we look at how to clean the vagina after sex and how effective this is in removing semen. We also discuss how to prevent pregnancy using birth control options.
The vagina is a flexible canal that connects the vaginal opening to the cervix. People often confuse the vagina with the vulva, which is the external part of the female genitalia.
The vagina is self-cleaning, and there is no need to clean it immediately after sex. However, this might be some people’s preference.
There are several possible ways to clean the vagina after sex. The most straightforward way is to wash the vaginal area gently with warm water.
The American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) recommend using mild, unscented soap around the vaginal area. It is best to avoid perfumed soaps as these can cause irritation by disturbing the pH level of the vagina.
Some people may consider douching the vagina, which involves squirting a jet of water into it with a shower douche or bottle. However, doctors do
Some people may want to remove semen from their vagina after sex because they believe that it is more hygienic or hope that doing this can prevent pregnancy.
Semen is a combination of fluids that contains
Semen enters the uterus within minutes of ejaculation. Sperm can live inside the vagina for up to 7 days. Once sperm enters the uterus, there is no scientifically proven way of removing it.
Between a few minutes and several hours after intercourse, some fluid may come out of the vagina. Although some of this may contain sperm, it will mainly consist of a mixture of proteins and vitamins from the ejaculation.
Although anecdotal evidence suggests that there are ways to remove semen from the vagina, there is no scientific proof to support these claims. Some of the proposed techniques include:
- Urination: Some people incorrectly believe that urinating after sex can flush out sperm from the vagina. However, as urine comes out of a small hole called the urethra, peeing after sex will not remove sperm from the vagina.
- Shower or douching: People may shower or douche to try to remove semen from their vagina, but this is unlikely to work, as the water will be unable to reach the semen in the uterus.
- Bathing: The logic behind having a bath to remove semen is that it will wash the sperm out. However, this will not work, as the water will not reach the uterus.
- Vinegar: Some people believe that inserting vinegar into the vagina may kill sperm due to vinegar’s high level of acidity. There is no scientific evidence to prove this, and putting vinegar into the vagina may lead to irritation.
There is little evidence to suggest that there is any effective way of removing semen from the vagina.
If someone is attempting to remove semen from their vagina to prevent pregnancy, they should contact a doctor. The doctor may be able to prescribe emergency contraception, such as Plan B.
Plan B, also called the morning after pill, works by stopping the ovary from releasing an egg. It is possible to take Plan B up to
For those who do not wish to get pregnant, there are several ways to prevent pregnancy. People typically use hormonal and nonhormonal birth control methods, but some individuals may also consider natural or surgical methods to prevent pregnancy.
- Hormonal methods: Hormonal methods of contraception include the pill, the minipill, and hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs). Although these differ in terms of dosage and administration, they all contain hormones that typically prevent ovulation.
- Nonhormonal methods: A few nonhormonal methods of contraception are available for people who cannot or do not wish to use hormonal methods. These include male and female condoms, diaphragms, and nonhormonal IUDs.
- Natural methods: Some people may choose natural methods, such as abstinence, which is when a person chooses not to have sex. People may choose abstinence for religious or personal reasons. Other people may choose to be abstinent to prevent pregnancy.
- Surgical methods: To prevent pregnancy, some people may consider a method that is permanent. Tubal ligation involves cutting and tying the fallopian tubes. This procedure can
prevent pregnancyby stopping the release of an egg.
Learn more about these birth control options.
Anyone who wishes to take birth control should discuss the options with a doctor to determine which option may be best for them. Some birth control options are more effective than others in preventing pregnancy. However, the only guaranteed way to avoid getting pregnant is abstinence.
If someone prefers to clean their vagina and vulva after sex, the safest way to do so is with unscented soap and warm water.
Some people claim that urinating, showering, bathing, or using vinegar may remove semen from the vagina after sex. However, once semen has entered the cervix, there is no scientifically proven way to remove it.
If someone is attempting to remove semen from the vagina to avoid becoming pregnant, they should contact their doctor. The doctor may be able to prescribe emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.
There are many hormonal, nonhormonal, natural, and surgical methods to prevent pregnancy. If someone wants to prevent pregnancy, they should discuss with a doctor which contraceptive method might be best for them.