Can you get UTIs from toilet seat? Here’s what doctors say

While using public toilets, women often worry about contracting Urinary Tract infections (UTIs). Studies show that women are at a greater risk of developing UTI than men. However, doctors have often emphasised it is unlikely to get UTI from merely sitting on the toilet.

According to Mayo Clinic, if the infection is limited to the bladder, then it can be extremely painful. But if the infection spreads to the kidneys, then it can lead to some health issues.

Urinary Tract Infections are extremely common

According to Dr. Asha Hiremath, Obstetrician, Gynaecologist & Laparoscopic Surgeon, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bangalore, UTIs are an extremely common form of infection that affects the urinary system ranging from kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

“While analysing UTIs, it was observed that women are more likely to be infected as compared to men because among women, the urethra or the tube which connects the bladder from which the urine passes out of the body is shorter. Due to the shorter nature of the urethra, it facilitates the entry of germs into the bladder making women more prone to contracting Urinary Tract infections,” Dr. Hiremath told Financial

Chances are less but not impossible

According to Dr. Gandhali Deorukhkar, Consultant of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, it is possible sometimes to get infections like UTI or pelvic inflammation after using dirty toilets. Women have a higher rate of UTIs due to their anatomy.

“Some of the symptoms of vaginitis or “toilet infections” include rash, blisters or bumps, itching, burning sensation, redness, swelling and dryness of the vagina or the vulva. It may also present as a discomfort felt during urination, pain during sex, and as spotting and foul smelling discharge from the vagina,” Dr. Deorukhkar told Financial