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Bidets might seem intimidating for anyone who hasn’t used one, but these toilets can be a real benefit for users, especially women. To get the advantages of the bidet, women need to know how to use them correctly.
Directions for how to use a bidet vary based on which type of bidet is used. Standalone bidets are used by straddling them as they spray. Other bidets are used while sitting down on a toilet and pushing a button. All bidets spray water on the skin to wash the genitals or rear clean.
Using a bidet does not have to be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you know how to use one beforehand.
Read on for a guide on how women should use a bidet.
The way that women use a bidet depends on the type of bidet they have. While all bidets squirt water on the user’s nether regions, different types of bidets have unique ways of operating.
Here are the general types of bidets that are available on the market (Healthline (Link):
- Portable bidets: A portable bidet is similar to a douche. It is a handheld bottle that is used to squirt water through a nozzle to clean a person’s genitals or bottom when they use a traditional toilet. Many travel bidets are battery-operated and are designed to be small enough that they can be used anywhere.
- Standalone bidets: Standalone bidets are bidets that are designed to be the equivalent of traditional toilets. This type of bidet is a commonplace in parts of the world other than North America. It is often used in conjunction with a traditional toilet.
- Handheld bidets: Handheld bidets are sprayer attachments that are installed on a traditional toilet and act as a way for the person using the toilet to spray themselves clean. For people wanting to invest in a bidet, a handheld bidet sprayer is usually the most affordable option.
- Bidet seats: A bidet seat is a toilet seat attachment that is installed over the seat of a traditional Western toilet. Electronic bidet seats were invented by the Japanese and have become more popular than traditional toilets in the nation.
- Built-in toilet bidets: Many modern toilets are now coming with a bidet option built in. This can save owners a significant amount of money for installation later down the line. The increase of built-in bidet amenities in contemporary Western toilets shows how much this technology has gained popularity in North America.
As you can imagine, a portable bidet has a different set of instructions than a built-in toilet bidet, even though they use similar technology to get the job done.
See below for a detailed explanation of how women should use a bidet depending on its type.
How Women Should Use A Portable Bidet
A portable bidet—also known as a travel bidet—is a simpler version of the installed bidet that is commonly found in bathrooms.
Here are the steps you need to take to use a portable bidet:
- Make sure that the bidet is powered by filling it with batteries. Note: Most travel bidets use AA batteries. Be sure to check that the batteries are placed with the positive and negative terminals meeting at the correct points.
- Fill the bidet up with water up to the recommended level and then replace the water cap.
- Sitting on the toilet, position the travel bidet over the areas you would like to clean and use the nozzle mechanism to spray yourself clean. Note: For women, be sure to spray from the genitals back towards the rectum to avoid bacterial infections.
- After using the bidet, use toilet paper to dry yourself before washing your hands.
How Women Should Use a Handheld Bidet
A handheld bidet is simple to use and can be a nice investment that could add to your bathroom’s value.
Here are the steps you need to take to use a handheld bidet:
- A handheld bidet is typically a spray attachment that is installed near the toilet. Before using, turn the shut-off valve to allow water into the bidet line.
- Once the bidet is activated, take the sprayer attachment in your hand from its mount and position it beneath yourself while sitting on the toilet.
- Press the ON button on the sprayer attachment (after adjusting it with any temperature controls or other controls included) and spray it. When finished, replace the bidet on the mount and use toilet paper to dry yourself as normal. Note: For women, be sure to spray from the genitalia back towards the rectum to avoid bacterial infections.
How Women Should Use a Bidet Seat
Electronic bidet toilet seats are popular in Japan, where they make up 80% of the existing toilets (Brondell (Link). These bidets are catching on in North America too.
Here are the steps you need to take to use a bidet toilet seat:
- Sit down on the toilet seat as normal.
- After using the toilet, press the Wash function on either the wall panel or the remote for the bidet. The seat should already be calibrated and angled so that the stream of water will be aimed at your rear and genitals.
- After washing, you can use toilet paper as usual if you want to dry yourself. Otherwise, many bidet toilet seats have a dry function that can also help you air out after using them.
How Women Should Use Built-in Bidets
Built-in bidets are often used either alone or placed alongside a traditional toilet in the bathroom and can resemble a low sink.
Here are the steps you need to take to use a built-in bidet.
- Straddle the bidet, facing towards the controls. You’ll likely have to take your pants off to sit on the bidet this way unless you’re wearing a skirt or a dress.
- Once positioned on the bidet, move the controls until you achieve the water temperature you like. Turn the water on and allow the water to wash over your genitals and bottom.
- After cleaning with the bidet, wipe yourself dry with toilet paper. You might also elect to have a personal bidet towel that you use to wipe yourself dry if you’re trying to avoid the use of toilet paper. These towels should be kept separate from towels used for the body, face, or hands.
All Bidets Operate on Water Pressure Technology
Even though, as you can see, there are many different types of bidets and slight variations on how to use them, they work similarly. All bidets work by using water sprayed through a nozzle or fixture for people to clean themselves with after using the bathroom.
The controls on the above types of bidets may all be slightly different, but as long as you understand the basic way they operate, you can probably figure out how to use whatever model you have.
Are Bidets Safe for Women to Use?
Bidets are safe for women to use, but there are a few concerns that should be taken into consideration when women are using them.
Here are some of the things to keep in mind about the risks of women using bidets (Healthline (Link):
- Bidets used improperly can increase the chance of vaginitis and other bacterial infections. Rushing water acts as a good way to cross-contaminate your genitalia with fecal matter or upset the genitals natural flora. This is why it’s important when using the spray of a bidet as a woman that you spray from front to back.
- Sphincter injury can occur if water pressure is used too high or too hot. Some people are not as sensitive to heat in their rectal region as other areas of the skin, and this can lead to perianal burns (Link) from hot water in rare cases. Be sure to keep the water temperature at a reasonable level before using the bidet.
Bidets are generally safe for women to use if they’re used correctly. However, women who are particularly susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) or vaginitis may want to consider whether a bidet might aggravate those conditions.
Are Bidets Sanitary for Women?
When used properly, bidets are considered sanitary. Many bidets feature antibacterial technology such as self-cleaning nozzles that help ensure the device remains hygienic after each use.
As stated in the previous section, there can be some issues with bacterial infection if a woman uses a bidet to spray from their rectum towards their genitalia. However, this is an issue of operator error rather than an issue of the cleanliness of the device itself.
Many users report that using a bidet leaves them feeling cleaner than when they use toilet paper alone. (New York Times (Link) While there aren’t many studies about the objective hygiene of using bidets, there is also not much data collected on how dirty they are either. But if the bidet is sanitized with cleaners like a traditional toilet, it should stay hygienic enough to use.
Risks of Using a Bidet for Women
The biggest risk of using a bidet for women is contracting a urinary tract infection. (Women’s Health Magazine (Link) Bidets can help contribute to this medical condition in two ways:
- Hot water from a bidet nozzle spray can change the pH and micro-flora of a woman’s genitalia, which in turn can lead to yeast infections or other bacterial infections.
- Water that encounters fecal matter from the rectum that is then washed up into the genital region can also contribute to urinary tract infections.
Women can avoid contracting a UTI as the result of using a bidet by avoiding the feminine wash function of the bidet, which sprays water up into the genitalia. Instead, use it only to spray the outer region of the genitals.
It’s also important to spray water from the front of the genitalia back towards the rectum rather than from the back forward. Lastly, drying the area thoroughly can help prevent the transfer of bacteria.
Those women who have urinary tract infections already should avoid the use of a bidet since warm water can make bacterial infections worse and can also increase the inflammation associated with urinary tract infections.
Benefits of Women Using a Bidet
Bidets have become popular for many reasons. Some of the benefits of using a bidet apply not just to women but men as well.
Here are some of the general reasons why using a bidet is a good idea:
- Eco-friendly: Using a bidet significantly cuts down on toilet paper use because users don’t waste large wads of toilet paper trying to clean themselves. The water of the bidet does most of the work.
- Comfortable to use: Many users report that using a bidet is more comfortable to use than toilet paper and can prevent an itchy rectum from using too much toilet paper.
- Prevent plumbing issues: Many clogs and plumbing problems are the direct results of people stuffing toilet paper down the toilet. Cutting back on toilet paper consumption by installing a bidet can make a big difference in how many clogs you deal with.
- Great for people with mobility issues: For people that have problems cleaning themselves due to old age or impaired mobility, bidets can help them maintain their hygiene.
- Help with constipation and hemorrhoids. While too much warm water can aggravate inflammation, many people report increased comfort and reduced symptoms of constipation and hemorrhoids after using a bidet.
Along with the benefits that apply to both women and men, there are also some benefits of using a bidet that are specific to women.
Here are some of the advantages women can enjoy when they use a bidet:
- Bidets can make having your period more comfortable. Women can clean themselves better during their period with a bidet. The feminine wash function of most bidets can shoot warm water up into the genital cavity. This helps to relax the muscles in that region and relieve menstrual cramps.
- Bidets can be used after sex. Bidets are a good way for a woman to clean up after sex if a full-blown shower isn’t an option. Using a bidet is a lot easier and more hygienic than trying to clean up after sex the old-fashioned way.
- Women can maintain their genital moisture. Overuse of tissue paper can cause dryness in the genital area over time, leading to redness and irritation. Bidets can help prevent this irritation.
There are plenty of reasons why both men and women benefit from using a bidet or installing one in their homes. Bidets can make a big difference in both the level of a person’s hygiene and their comfort while using the bathroom.
Tips for Using a Bidet
Using a bidet may seem odd the first time you use it, but there is nothing to be uncomfortable about. People all over the world have been using bidets since the 17th century, so it’s not exactly like they’re a newfangled invention or anything.
To get started, here are a few general tips for using a bidet:
- Try to relax. While it might feel weird to use a bidet the first time, getting all clenched up isn’t going to help matters. It’s important to keep an open mind (and a sense of humor) when you’re trying out a bidet for the first time.
- Do not use the towel on the towel rack to wipe your butt dry. There is usually a towel station installed near the bidet when bidets are placed in public facilities like hotel rooms. This is not for use on your body. This is for drying your hands only.
- Take the time to inspect the bidet before you use it. All bidets are slightly different. You’ll want to have at least some idea of the direction that the water is going to go when you start it up. This can prevent you from being splashed or surprised.
- You’ll still need toilet paper unless the bidet has a dry function. Some fancier bidets come with an auto-dry that blows warm air at your genitals and rear until they’re dry. Cheaper types of bidets such as travel bidets and handheld bidets will require toilet paper to finish up. You shouldn’t have to use as much of it since those areas should already be clean.
- Make sure that no water is splashed out of the bidet during use. Adjust the pressure so that water stays inside the bowl of the bidet. Otherwise, spilled bidet water can cause the next person that comes into the bathroom to slip and fall.
- Never throw toilet paper in the bidet. This will clog it. A standalone bidet cannot flush away solids like a traditional toilet.
Bidets aren’t a complicated form of technology. After just a little time with them, most people can learn how to use one without any trouble at all.
Bidets Are a Good Bathroom Option for Most Women
Using a bidet is simpler than it looks. Even though many women in North America have never tried a bidet, it’s easy for them to become instant converts once they’ve tried one.
Knowing how to use a bidet before you try one can help make it a much more comfortable experience!