Mistakes Women Make When Wiping
It's not news: everybody poops. However, not everybody cleans up the same way. We're not here to judge your TP strategy or your bidet preference. Whether you stand or sit to wipe, whether you value efficiency or luxury, what's important is you avoid the following mistakes.
Wiping from the anus towards the vagina
Poop carries all bacteria from your digestive tract. It logically follows, since urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria entering the urethra, that your stool may be a culprit of UTIs. Researchers at Llandough Hospital in Cardiff found women who wiped from back to front (starting at the anus and going to the vulva) were more likely to develop an infection.
Therefore, the recommended way of wiping is from the vulva (front) to the anus (back) to avoid spreading unwanted bacteria to your urethra. Whether you pee or poop, always move your hand from the front to the back.
Vigorous wiping that hurts the perineum
Have you ever felt itching or burning in the area between your vulva and anus? This sensitive skin is known as the perineum and may be itching due to irritation, a condition called pruritus ani that results from friction in the area.
To avoid pruritus ani, be gentle with yourself and use soft tissue. The goal is to remove the stool, not rough up your delicates.
Using the same toilet paper more than once
Some people will tear a piece of toilet paper, wipe their butt, fold it and wipe it again. The problem with this strategy is you might tear the tissue in the second round and expose your intimate areas to the stool you were cleaning in the first place. Your best course of action is to use as many separate pieces of tissue as necessary.
Using wipes that contain preservative methylisothiazolinone
Look at the chemicals used to preserve your packet of wipes. While it's relatively easy on your hands or other bodily skin, it may cause stinging or irritation around the anus and certainly shouldn't be brought near the vulva.
Tissue paper remnants
This refers to pieces of toilet paper stuck in between your buttocks after you wipe. Perhaps you wipe too hard, or use very thin paper, causing the tissue to rip away from what you're holding.
To avoid this problem, take your time when cleaning your bottom. Invest in the right paper, and also eat a diet rich in fiber so your stool is not difficult to clean.
Failure to dry yourself when you use a bidet
There are some benefits of using a bidet, such as reducing your household waste and plumbing costs. However, the clean feeling won't be as helpful if you don't take the next step: drying the water leftover from that helpful spray. Moisture creates the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive, which undermines the whole point of stepping up your post-toilet routine in the first place.
Women's intimate areas need tender care. Making the above mistakes exposes us to uncomfortable and irritating yeast and urinary tract infections. Therefore, do everything you can and make sure you leave the bathroom with a clean anus.