In the United States, millions of adults are diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). UTI’s can be caused by a poor bathroom routine, but does a bidet fall in a poor choice when cleaning in the restroom, or is it beneficial?
Can a bidet cause a UTI?
A bidet can cause a UTI, but it can also prevent one. It all depends on the user and how one uses the bidet. If used incorrectly, you can find yourself with a UTI instead of feeling fresh and clean.
UTI’s can be annoying to deal with. You will need to understand them and how to use a bidet correctly to prevent future infections. This is everything you need to know about a UTI and a bidet.
How Do You Get A UTI?
The urinary tract has a delicate pH environment (Link). When you don’t have an infection, it means that the pH balance is homeostatic. When foreign substances are introduced to the urinary tract, especially in women, you can find yourself with an infection.
Here are some common ways that can cause a UTI:
- Introduction of bacteria, especially E. Coli.
- Not urinating frequently.
- Drinking too much soda or sweet tea.
- Developing kidney stones.
There are many other risk factors for a UTI, but these are the most common.
How Does The Bidet Cause A UTI?
Although bidets normally don’t cause a UTI, there is still a possibility, especially for women. Several studies have shown that there is a presence of bacterial and viral organisms (Link) that can cause a urinary tract infection.
Anytime there is an introduction to these organisms, especially for female anatomy, you are at risk of getting a UTI. Bacteria and viruses can change the pH of the urinary tract, which is a delicate environment.
Does The Position Of The Bidet Make A Difference?
The position of the bidet is important as well. Some bidets are positioned at the back of the toilet. For women, the bidet should be at the front to spray backward. This is the proper way to clean female anatomy: front to back. (Link)
This front position of the bidet is to help foreign organisms enter the urinary tract. When the bidet is positioned at the back, it can push any remnants of E.Coli from the rear nether region and into the urinary tract.
Doing this can cause an increased risk of a UTI.
How Do You Prevent A UTI With A Bidet?
Bidets are quite sanitary, with the few exceptions of trace E.coli or other organisms within the nozzle. But there are many ways you can prevent a UTI and utilize your bidet to its fullest potential.
Here are two ways to prevent a UTI with a bidet: position and cleaning your bidet.
Get A Front To Back Bidet
If you are a woman using a bidet, make sure you get a bidet that washes front to back (Link) rather than back to front. This will prevent the risk of infection in your urinary tract. Using a bidet that washes from the rear forward can push organisms to the urinary tract and increase your risk of getting a UTI.
Make sure that you don’t feel as if something is being pushed into the genitalia. If you feel like this has happened, clean the area with a neutral soap to decrease the chance of a UTI. The pH environment is important for a woman’s genitalia, because any changes can cause different infections.
Get A Feminine Wash Attachment
Some bidets have the option to get an attachment built strictly for women. You can buy this and use this attachment. It will help reduce the chances of getting a UTI, and it is more sanitary for women.
Should I Clean My Bidet?
Reducing the risk of obtaining an infection can be as easy as cleaning the bidet after using it. With the popularity of bidets increasing, you will find that many have a self-cleaning feature. You can use the self-cleaning feature after each use or daily to eliminate any pesky bacteria or viruses.
If you feel like the self-clean feature isn’t doing the job, you can run a damp washcloth over the bidet to clean it. Most bidets have germ-resistant plastic, and so this may do the trick, but it doesn’t mean it always will.
When there is heavy dirt, or you think the bidet has been contaminated, you can wash the device off with a washcloth that has been dipped in the following solutions (Link):
- Dawn soap
- Joy Ultra Concentrated
- Seventh Generation Dish Liquid
- Diluted vinegar
- Other mild household detergents
Refrain from mixing any of these solutions. Some solutions do interact with each other and will harm or irritate your skin.
You don’t want the bidet causing a rash when it is supposed to be rinsing and cleaning your skin.
Are Bidets Safe For Women?
The short answer is yes. There are not enough studies completed to decide whether or not bidets are unsanitary for women. There is an increased risk in women of getting an infection, but there is no solid correlation between bidets and women having a UTI.
The woman’s genitalia has natural micro-flora (Link) that can be disturbed when using a bidet. Understand your body and listen to it if it seems like the bidet is causing any troubles.
Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for if you think the bidet is causing issues:
- Itchy feeling
- Burning while urinating
- Change in odor or foul odor.
- Extra discharge
The bidet may not always cause a UTI but other types of infections like a yeast infection. Yeast infections occur when the pH and micro-flora within the genitalia are off-balance. If it is your first time using a bidet, make sure to read instructions to use it correctly as well as look for these signs and symptoms just in case.
Notify your doctor if any of these appear.
Bidets are clean, safe, and sanitary to use in replace of toilet paper. It is also great for the environment.
You don’t have to worry about getting a UTI as long as you take the necessary precautions.