Guides

Does washing after sex reduce the risk?

Q: Does washing after sex reduce the risk?

A: No. If you are in contact with sexual fluid it is better to wipe this off with a dry cloth. One study reported that infection rates were higher in people who washed after sex.

Douching can spread the virus further and soap and water may make a vulnerable membrane an easier barrier to get through.

Lemon or lime juice, even diluted, will increase the risk of transmission as it damages tissue.

Last updated: 1 June 2016.