Bidet toilets, a popular household facility, have seen a rise in usage today, but the big question, “Can bidets cause infection?” remains a field requiring thorough investigation. If addressed, the knowledge acquired will significantly enlighten every single user. They will use them from an informed perspective without worrying about probable infections, even when there are null chances.
Hygienic health is an essential part of life that can only be taken for granted at an expense too high to afford. If taken lightly, poor hygiene would result in diseases and infections that easily steal joy from our lives. For this reason, this article addresses various crucial elements on Bidet toilets, usage, their benefits, and the related concerns.
HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH USAGE OF BIDETS
With the rising popularity, a rising concern relates to microorganisms found on the bidet and their nozzles. Studies have shown that there are possibilities to find bacterial contamination on the nozzle, which may risk infection to the user. Some of the common microorganisms include Streptococcus species, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus species, among others which can infect the users.
There is a probability that when someone uses a nozzle with either of the mentioned or other organisms, they will get an infection, but it is not a guarantee. There are chances of acquiring vaginal infections with the use of bidets. Infections resulting from bidets usage can occur in two ways. One of the ways is getting infected with bacteria on the nozzles. In contrast, the other way is interference with the normal vaginal flora (lactobacillus present in the vagina mucosa), thereby subjecting the vagina to many opportunistic microorganisms.
Investigations have shown that regular bidet toilet usage disrupts the healthy vaginal microflora to a significant extent. Generally, up to 43% of the normal vaginal flora gets depleted from the vagina mucosa of bidet users. A comparison of bidet non-users indicated that while other cases may lead to vaginal normal flora depletion, the occurrence (at 8%) is quite insignificant. Moreover, the investigations revealed the presence of significant fecal bacteria on the vaginal linings amongst the users of bidet toilets while there lacked any significant quantities on the non-users.
Another area that elicited inquisitiveness is the usage of bidets by pregnant women. The investigation concluded that usage of bidet toilets while expectant should be approached with a lot of caution. There were significant cases where expectant mothers who used them gave birth earlier than their due dates. This area requires more studies to establish the existing relationship between bidet usage and earlier delivery and what danger this may pose to the unborn child.
The extent of the risks associated with bidet usage remains an area requiring thorough scientific investigations. That said, it is good to be careful when using them, especially in a public setting where one may not ascertain their hygienic conditions.
ARE THERE SAFE WAYS TO USE BIDET TOILETS?
Using a public bidet requires serious handling to ensure total safety and hygiene as well. The first thing should involve testing the nozzle before the actual usages. This will help one to notice the direction where the water streams. In addition, it is advisable to clean the public bidet's nozzle with a tissue or any other means available before actual usage.
The water should be directed from the front to the back and not the other way to avoid contaminating the vagina with fecal microorganisms, done explicitly in the manner one uses the tissue. One must avoid using public towels to wipe any water from the back since public towels are vehicles for thousands and thousands of microorganisms. There is a high probability of collecting some microorganisms from the public towel even if they had observed all the other necessary hygiene measures.
Private or even home bidets maintenance and cleaning are simple. It generally involves following the manufacturer's guidelines to clean the bidet regularly. Cleaning the bidets nozzles is more straightforward since they contain a cleaning setting - one should occasionally run clean water over the top of the nozzle to ensure its thorough hygiene.
Further on, the inside of the nozzles should be wiped when it is on the setting. Cleaning the nozzles should be done every other month at the least. Additionally, one must ensure the device's filters are changed twice a year to avoid contaminations.
WHY ARE BIDETS GETTING PREFERENCE OVER TOILET PAPERS?
The fact from several users has indicated that bidets often provide a better cleaning experience when compared to using toilet paper. The claim is that water can clean trace amounts of fecal matter that tissue paper may not remove. They are gentler on the skin compared to toilet paper since wiping can easily cause tiny tears on the skin. They are comfortable to use among people who may be suffering from fissures and hemorrhoids.
People who experience mobility issues such as arthritis and other difficulties when trying to wipe usually find using bidets user-friendly, which is because there is less movement when trying to wipe areas that are hard to reach.
Further on, there is a high chance of contaminating the hands with fecal matter while wiping with toilet papers which can also lead to infections if the hands are not washed after visiting the bathroom. Such an occurrence is uncommon when using the bidets.
Studies have shown that regular use of bidets can subject the user to pathogenic microorganisms. Public bidets are one of the areas where the occurrence of getting infected with such microorganisms is commonplace. Users should therefore be cautious when using them.
For those who have bidets at home, it is advisable to use them accordingly by following the manufacturer's guidelines on their cleaning and maintenance to ensure they are safe to use.