Whether you’re germ-phobic or not, using a public toilet can make you fearful of catching an STD. But can you get STD from toilet water splashing? Fortunately, the chances of catching an STD from a toilet seat or toilet water splashing are considerably low.
While toilets are often teeming with germs and bacteria, the bacteria that cause STDs can only survive in your body’s mucous membranes. Any bacterial STIs that find their way into toilet water die almost instantaneously. The viruses that cause certain STDs also succumb upon exposure to environments outside the body.
So, the next time you visit a public toilet, you should not be too concerned about potentially catching an STD. However, this does not mean that you should carelessly touch the toilet seat or toilet water. You can still catch other bacterial infections by touching toilet seats and failing to wash your hands.
How Do STDs Spread?
If you squirm every time you visit a public toilet, you probably need to know how STDs spread. The primary causes of STDS include parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Each kind of STD spreads differently.
Bacterial STDs such as chlamydia can only survive in bodily mucous membranes. Meanwhile, viruses that cause STDs can survive in mucous membranes and porous skin. Parasites that cause STDs, such as pubic lice, can survive on clothing.
You should also note that there is a realistic chance of catching parasitic STDs by sitting on a toilet seat. Notably, parasites do not survive in toilet environments for long. The surest way of catching a parasitic STD is by having skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
Can You Get STD From Toilet Water Splashing?
When you use the toilet, it is not uncommon for water in the toilet bowl to splash on your bare skin. Most people are often paranoid about catching an STD from toilet water splashing. Such individuals often perch on the toilet bowl whenever they use public toilets.
Note that parasites, bacteria, and viruses that cause STDs cannot survive in toilet water for long. Viruses such as HIV die almost instantaneously when exposed to environments outside the body. Any surviving HIV pathogen would have to get into your bloodstream to infect you.
You can only contract an STD from toilet water splashing if you use the toilet immediately after an infected individual. Notably, the pathogen has to come into contact with any of your orifices for you to contract an infection.
Are There Disease-Causing Pathogens in Toilet Water?
Every time toilet water splashes on you, it is not unusual to worry that you might get sick. Water stored in the cistern is usually clean before entering the bowl. However, the water becomes contaminated with traces of urine and human waste upon entering the bowl.
Notably, human waste is often laden with disease-causing pathogens. Even though flushing ordinarily drives away most of the bacteria out of the bowl, some pathogens may still persist. Therefore, you should always limit your contact with surfaces that may harbor bacteria.
Precautions to Evade Disease-Causing Bacteria
Even though the chances of getting an STD from toilet water splashing are considerably low, you should always take necessary precautions. The first precaution you may take is to avoid using a toilet immediately after someone else. When using public toilets, always enter the one that has stayed the longest without any users.
Alternatively, always wait a few minutes before sitting on a recently used public toilet. Doing so allows all parasites, bacteria, and viruses in toilet water to die. Also, make it a habit to flush a toilet before sitting on it. However, you do not need to take these measures when using your home toilet.
You can also avoid disease-causing bacteria through hand washing. Anytime you enter a restroom, you cannot avoid touching a faucet, toilet seat, door handles, or even toilet splashing on your hands. Notably, the surfaces are often teeming with disease-causing germs.
If you fail to wash your hands, you can unwittingly transfer bacteria from your hands to your orifices. You can also transfer viral STDs such as HIV by simply touching an open wound with virus-laden hands. Thorough hand washing usually entails using soap and water.
Additionally, you should always use paper towels or air dryers to dry your wet hands. You should know that using your bare hands can lead you to touch more germs. If possible, utilize paper towels to touch faucets and door handles.
Remember that not all public toilets have tissue paper and paper towels. Always carry extra tissue paper with you as a precautionary measure. You can use tissue paper to touch the flushing lever and other toilet surfaces.
Extra Precautions to Avoid STDs
You can also avoid disease-causing pathogens by wiping the seat of a public toilet before using it. Additionally, you can place toilet paper on the seat to avoid skin contact. It is also advisable to place tissue paper in the bowl to prevent poop from sticking or toilet water splashing on your skin.
If you find that a public toilet is not very clean or hygienic, you can take extreme measures to avoid catching a disease. One such measure is to avoid sitting on the toilet seat. Ideally, it would be best to hover over the toilet seat to avoid skin contact. The objective is to ensure that bacteria, viruses, and parasites do not enter your orifices.
You can also perch on the toilet seat to avoid skin contact. But it’s worth noting that this precaution poses some risks, including falling over or dropping something. And if you catch an STD by accident, you should seek the attention of a medical professional as soon as possible.
If the thought of toilet water splashing on your skin strikes untold fear in you, you should know that that fear is largely unwarranted. The chances of getting an STD from toilet water splashing are considerably low. Notably, the parasites, viruses, and bacteria that cause STDs cannot survive outside bodily mucous membranes for very long. However, this does not mean that other bacteria are absent in public restrooms. It would be best to avoid contact with disease-causing pathogens that inhabit door handles, faucets, and cistern levers.