Sex toys offer a great opportunity for sexual pleasure with less risk of getting vaginal infections or STI's but there are still steps you should take to ensure your toys are hygienic:
- Wash your toys with soap and warm water after use.
- Always use a condom over any toy that is used for penetrative play.
- If you share a toy with your partner, make sure you each use a new condom every time you swop.
- Softskin toys should be washed and then dusted with cornflour before storage. Wash the cornflour off before the next use. Do not use talc as you may have a reaction to it.
- Anything that is used for anal insertion must have a “butt plug” (like a disc at the base of the toy) to stop it disappearing up the rectum. Without a stopper, the peristaltic action of the rectum will suck up anything that it can and you will be making an embarrassing journey to the emergency room.
- Always make sure that you remove your tampon before sex. It seems obvious but many women forget and the tampon then gets pushed too high up in the vagina and may cause an infection.
- Whenever you engage in any kind of anal play, use three times the amount of lubricant you think you may need. The anus does not self-lubricate and the surrounding skin is extremely delicate and tears easily.
- When using fingers for penetration, use a condom, latex glove or finger condoms for protection against germs and to avoid being scratched by sharp or jagged fingernails.
- Oils, petroleum jelly and lotions all perish and weaken latex condoms and may cause them to break. Only use purpose-made lubricants. Popular choices include K-Y Jelly and Assegaai.
- When engaging in vaginal and anal intercourse, make sure you use a new condom before moving between the two to avoid causing any form of infection.
9 tips for a healthy vagina
How do you get a bacterial vaginal infection?
Is my discharge normal?