Toilet Infections: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment for Men and Women

Having a toilet infection can be pretty disturbing. It simply means that you’re unhealthy in a certain area of your body.

If left untreated, it might trigger and immune response and if your immune system is not strong enough to combat this infection, it may lead to tissue damage and in extreme cases, death.

Hence it’s very important to establish the cause of infection for proper treatment to commence.

Toilet infections: Things you need to know

Is staphylococcus aureus a toilet infection?

The term toilet infection is not a term of medical origin although it is a very popular term used for describing infections gotten after using the toilet.

The term toilet infection describes the signs and symptoms of vulvovaginitis: burning sensation, foul-smelling discharges, and burning sensation.

Therefore, the true word for toilet infection is vulvovaginitis or vaginal infection.

Toilets, toilet seats, toilet bowls, and toilet paper itself cannot cause infections, microorganisms do —microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

There are two ways to refer to vulvovaginitis: vaginitis, when only the vagina is affected, and vulvitis when only the vulva is affected.

Toilet infections, which are also referred to as urinary tract infections (UTIs) or vaginal infections, are prevalent medical conditions that can plague both men and women. 

Such infections are known to occur due to several factors. 

These include unsanitary practices, higher levels of bacteria or fungi as stated earlier, and sexual intercourse.

Toilet infection in women

Women are more vulnerable to toilet infections because of their anatomical structure which makes it relatively easy for bacteria to infiltrate their urinary tract or vaginal area. 

Common factors that can result in toilet infections in women involve insufficient genital hygiene practices using scented soap or feminine hygiene products, and participating in sexual activity. 

Among women, the most frequently occurring types of toilet infections include urinary tract infections (UTIs), bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections.

Toilet infection in male

Toilet infections can also affect men, although it is less frequent in comparison to women. Men are at an increased risk of developing urinary tract infections due to several conditions such as an enlarged prostate or urethral stricture. 

These conditions can cause a hindrance in the urinary flow, promoting bacterial growth. Poor hygiene practices, sexual activity, and specific medical conditions are several other factors that can elevate the risk of toilet infections in men.

Causes of toilet infections

Toilet infections can be caused by a variety of factors, including: 

  • Poor hygiene practices, such as not properly cleaning the genital area or not wiping properly after using the toilet. 
  • Bacterial or fungal overgrowth in the urinary tract or vagina can occur due to imbalances in the natural flora or pH levels. 
  • Trichomoniasis. During vaginal, oral, or anal sex without a condom, most people contract trichomoniasis in the form of a protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis.
  • Soap, perfume, body wash. In addition, washing your vagina with soap and body wash, or spraying it with perfume, can also disturb its natural pH, increasing the likelihood of infection and killing healthy bacteria inside your vagina.
  • Douching. Healthy bacteria in your vagina can be reduced by flushing your vagina with water and vinegar, baking soda, iodine, or other antiseptics.
  • Tight-fitting or synthetic clothing. It is possible to have a similar effect by wearing very tight bottoms that can’t breathe, or by leaving wet bottoms on after a workout or swim.
  • Sexual activity can introduce bacteria into the urinary tract or vagina. Use of scented soaps, feminine hygiene products, or douches, which can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. 
  • Medical conditions, such as an enlarged prostate or urethral stricture, which can increase the risk of urinary tract infections in men. 
  • Use of antibiotics or other medications that can disrupt the normal flora in the urinary tract or vagina. 
  • A weakened immune system can make individuals more susceptible to infections.

7 types of toilet infections

Toilet infections can manifest in various forms, including: 

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs): UTIs are infections that occur in the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, urethra, and kidneys. 
  • Bacterial vaginosis: Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that occurs when there is an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina, leading to an imbalance in the vaginal flora. 
  • Yeast infections: Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, occur when there is an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina or other parts of the body. Yeast infections are usually caused by a fungus called Candida albicans. Various factors, including antibiotics, hormonal changes, a compromised immune system, and stress, can all reduce the number of bacteria in your vagina, leading to an overgrowth of yeast
  • Prostatitis: Prostatitis is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men, causing inflammation and discomfort. 
  • Urethritis: Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. It can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): PID is a serious infection that affects the reproductive organs in women, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It can be caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or other bacteria.
  • Cystitis: Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the bladder lining, leading to discomfort and pain in the pelvic region. The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors, including infection, genetics, and immune system abnormalities.

Symptoms of toilet infections

The symptoms of toilet infections can vary depending on the type of infection and the affected area. Common symptoms may include: 

  • Pain or burning sensation during urination.
  • Increased frequency or urgency of urination Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strong-smelling urine.
  • Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen or pelvic area Vaginal discharge, itching, or irritation.
  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse.
  • Swelling or inflammation of the genitals.
  • Pain or discomfort in the prostate area (in men) General malaise or feeling unwell

Not all toilet infections may present with obvious symptoms and some infections may be asymptomatic.

Treatment for toilet infection

The treatment for toilet infections depends on the type and severity of the infection. In many cases, antibiotics or antifungal medications may be prescribed to target the specific bacteria or fungi causing the infection. 

Completing the full course of antibiotics or antifungal medication as prescribed is necessary, even if the symptoms improve before the medication is finished, to ensure that the infection is fully cleared. 

In addition to medication, other self-care measures may be recommended, such as: 

  • Maintaining good hygiene practices, including regular and thorough washing of the genital area. 
  • Drinking plenty of water to flush out bacteria from the urinary tract. 
  • Avoiding the use of scented soaps, feminine hygiene products, or douches, as these can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. 
  • Wearing breathable underwear and avoiding tight-fitting clothing. 
  • Emptying the bladder regularly and completely, and avoiding holding in urine for prolonged periods of time. 
  • Practicing safe sex and using condoms reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Name of the drug to cure toilet infection

Some common medicines that may be used to treat toilet infections include:

  • Antibiotics, such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, nitrofurantoin, ciprofloxacin, or amoxicillin, are commonly used to treat bacterial urinary tract infections. 
  • Antifungal medications, such as fluconazole, clotrimazole, or miconazole, are used to treat yeast infections or fungal overgrowth in the vagina. 
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may be used to relieve pain or discomfort associated with toilet infections.


Can staphylococcus infection be gotten from the toilet?

Staphylococcus infection is a bacterial infection that can occur due to Staphylococcus bacteria.

Although these bacteria can exist on various surfaces, including toilet seats, the chances of contracting a Staphylococcus infection from using a toilet are relatively low. 

Staphylococcus infections typically spread through either direct contact with infected skin or contaminated objects.

Is staphylococcus aureus a toilet infection

To establish if staphylococcus aureus is a toilet infection, we’ve to take a closer look into what Staphylococcus aureus truly is.

Factually, S. aureus is arguably the most recognized bacteria that cause human skin diseases and thus makes it of great importance both economically and medically.

It is usually found on the human skin, in the nose, groin, armpit, and other areas of the human body including the vaginal area.

It often times causes infections when it gets inside the body most especially through a cut.

Staphylococcus aureus is not a toilet infection. Instead, Staphylococcus aureus is a gram-positive bacteria that is capable of causing myriad conditions, especially skin infections.

And quite interesting, Staphylococcus aureus does not cause toilet infection/vulvovaginitis although it can colonize the vaginal tract.

Other related topics

Toilet seat infections

Many people worry about the potential for getting infections from toilet seats. While it is possible to contract infections from toilet seats, the risk is relatively low. 

Toilet seats are typically made of materials that are not conducive to the survival of bacteria or viruses. 

Additionally, the skin on the buttocks is relatively thick and less susceptible to infections compared to other parts of the body. 

However, it is still important to practice good hygiene when using public toilets by wiping the seat with toilet paper or using a toilet seat cover as a precautionary measure.

Toilet paper and bladder infections

Toilet paper itself is unlikely to cause bladder infections. 

But the way in which toilet paper is used can impact the risk of developing an infection. How?

Improper wiping techniques, such as wiping back to front, can introduce bacteria from the anal area into the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. 

This can increase the risk of developing a bladder infection. To prevent this, it is necessary that you always wipe front to back after using the toilet and use clean toilet paper for each wipe.

Toilet bowl infections

Toilet bowls can harbor bacteria and other microorganisms, but the risk of contracting an infection from a toilet bowl is generally low. 

This is because most toilet bowls are regularly flushed, which helps to eliminate bacteria and viruses.

Toilet paper can cause yeast infections

Yes, toilet paper can potentially cause yeast infections in some cases. 

Yeast infections, also known as candidiasis, are caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Candida in the body. 

While Candida is normally present in the body, certain factors can disrupt the balance of bacteria and yeast, leading to overgrowth and subsequent infection.

Toilet paper can potentially contribute to the development of yeast infections if it contains irritants, fragrances, or chemicals that can disrupt the delicate balance of the vaginal flora. 

Using harsh or scented toilet paper can cause irritation and inflammation in the vaginal area, which can create an environment conducive to the overgrowth of yeast.

If you are prone to yeast infections or have a history of recurrent yeast infections, you may consider using hypoallergenic or fragrance-free toilet paper, or even consider using water and a gentle cleanser to clean the vaginal area after using the toilet, instead of toilet paper.

What Next?

If you suspect you may have a toilet infection, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis also Staphylococcus aureus is not a toilet infection.

Manandmicrobes does not provide medical advice.

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Last Updated on May 5, 2023 by Our Editorial Team

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