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Urology/Does semen wash off with water only?


QUESTION: I have a girlfriend who washes her vulvar area only with water. So lets say if we dont use a condom and some semen spreads to the vulvar area, does it wash off only with water or will the semen stay and stick in the skin if you dont use soap?

Is 1,5 weeks enough to get the vulvar area completely clean with just water if you wash it everyday?



There is very little actual scientific data on this question.  In general, there are proteins and other compounds in semen that actually make it sticky.  These are not likely to be 100% cleaned off with just water 100% of the time so it is likely that some will stick.

The sperm will not last that long, but your question was about semen which has many ingredients.  It is not possible to give a definitive time at which point all the semen will be gone because there is no standard way of washing.  For example, how long is the wash?  How much water?  What kind of soap?  How long is the scrubbing?  How often is the washing done?  These questions would need to be known and even then it's only a guess as no scientific study has been done on this issue so you only get a guess.  However, sperm die very quickly once dried out.

I hope this answer helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well If you wash it everyday atleast once for 1,5 weeks, do you think its safe to say that its likely to be clean after that? If I have oral sex with her, is there a chance that after this period I could get some semen in my mouth? I know that you cant give me 100% correct answer but what is youre opinion and guess?

Thank you very much!


Since all you want is an opinion and a good guess, here it is.  In someone who washes normally, there should not be any semen left.  Is there a remote chance that there could be a microscopic undetectable speck, yes.  If it were me, I wouldn't let it bother me.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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