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Karl Daniel | MD by Karl Daniel | MD
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The court is in session. What evidence does the public hold against toilets as the major cause of UTI's? Since time immemorial women have constantly blamed toilets for their woes. I hear this myth every day even from some male patients and I thought it's time to put this to rest. 

swabbing toilet seat sample
Photo Credit: Kat Gilbert

Let me begin by stating that I entirely understand where this fear originates. Personally, I minimise use of public toilets and never use them for long calls. Women, dread this even more. The thought of how many strangers have sat on that seat leaving behind bodily fluids and pathogens is petrifying.  Is this fear warranted? Does science agree? 

Unless your privates get in direct contact with the toilet seat, "literally you rubbing yourself on it", and the seat is actually wet- chances of you carrying a urinary tract infection from it are nil. Reasearch has shown much of pathogens in toilets are found in the water inside the WC. Therefore, the only way for such pathogens to find their way to your privates is if it splashes directly onto them. Otherwise accusations leveled against toilets are unfounded.  The verdict is out!

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There exists a slight chance of transfer of pathogens (skin infections) to a buttock or thigh. That said, pathogens don't pass through intact skin. Your skin is a barrier, unless you have a cut or sore. Furthermore, pathogens don't survive long outside the body. So who is to blame for UTI's?

To know more about causes of UTI's and how to prevent them, check my previous article here.. 

Last modified onMonday, 12 March 2018 11:56
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