Toilet Hand shower or Toilet paper?
Does it sometimes seem like wiping with dry toilet paper isn't working? Or are you tired of the cost and waste of using toilet paper? If so, there is a product to consider.
Consider this an introduction to the bidet — the pressure washer for your bum — with gastroenterologist Christine Lee, MD.
What is a bidet?
A bidet (pronounced bih-DAY) is a plumbing fixture designed to clean your backside. It goes to work after you pee or have a bowel movement, eliminating the need for toilet paper.
Some bidets can be attached to your toilet, either on the side of the bowl or with a detachable hose. Other bidets are a self-contained fixture that resembles a low sink.
Bidets are common in many European countries and have gained popularity in the United States.
Bidets vs Toilet Paper
In general, a bidet can sometimes provide a superior cleaning experience compared to toilet paper. It starts with the basic fact that water can surpass a few squares of dry TP in removing traces of stool after you've pooped.
Other benefits of a bidet are that it is gentler on your skin. Wiping can cause chafing and minor cuts. Bidets may also be more comfortable to use if you have hemorrhoids and fissures.
The arrangement of a bidet can also make it easy to use, especially if you have mobility issues, arthritis, or difficulty wiping. Less wrist movement is required when cleaning hard-to-reach areas.
Wiping with toilet paper also carries the risk of getting stool on your hands or nails. "If someone doesn't wash their hands properly after wiping, they can spread germs to anything they touch," says Dr. Lee.
(As an aside, scrub your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds, even if you're using a bidet. It's just good hygiene when using the toilet.)
People also like bidets for other reasons, including:
Be environmentally aware: the production of toilet paper requires trees, chemicals and a lot of water and energy. A bidet uses less water and no trees.
Saving Money: The average household spends hundreds of dollars on TP every year, so a bidet can improve your profits in the long run, even after the initial investment.
Fewer plunger incidents: If you don't use crumpled toilet paper, you don't have to worry about TP clogging your toilet.
Women and Bidets
For women, the safe use of a bidet boils down to one main issue: how the water flows. “The water from your bidet should flow from front to back, just like wiping from front to back,” says Dr. Lee. "This helps keep any stool out of the urethra and vagina."
Correct use is important to prevent vaginal or urinary tract infections. The urethra (where the pee exits your body) and the vagina are closer to the anus, making it easier for germs to be transmitted without proper care.
Women should also monitor the water pressure and angle of the water to avoid forcing water into the vagina.
"A bidet is meant to clean the outside of your body, not the inside," says Dr. Lee. “Don't point it up into the vagina. Showering is not only unnecessary, it can also cause infections.”
Bidet cleaning, maintenance and safety
Read the manual for your bidet and follow the instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Replace filters regularly and check that all parts are working properly.
“There are a lot of mechanics involved in bidets, so things can go wrong,” says Dr. Lee. “If the water heater is not working properly, the water can get too hot and burn you. Or if the water is too cold, it can make you jump and cause you to slip and fall.”
Don't assume it's okay for the bidet to get dirty, because it's just cleaning your ass, too. If there are germs on your bidet, those bacteria can find their way into your urinary tract, vagina, or cracks in your skin.
“If bacteria or virus particles get into the water tank or onto the mouthpiece, anyone using the bidet could be exposed to those germs,” says Dr. Lee. “Do not touch the mouthpiece to your body. Clean it regularly and rinse it well.”
If your bidet accidentally gets dirty, clean it so it's safe for next use.
Research regarding bidets is limited, but it is generally considered safe and effective as a hygiene aid. However, it is important to follow the instructions for use, especially with jet stream pressure and water temperature.
“But if it works well and you clean and sanitize it regularly, a bidet is a good alternative for many people,” says Dr. Lee.
Original article can be found at the https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-using-a-bidet-healthy/