Is It Possible to Get an STD from A Toilet Seat?
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- Written by Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez on May 01, 2022
We know that engaging in vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse without protection can lead to a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, people often wonder if there are any non-sexual ways in which they can get STDs, such as from a toilet seat.
Keep reading to find out whether you can get an STD from a toilet seat, and more.
FAQ: Where can you get an STD?
Can you get sexually transmitted diseases from a toilet seat?
Although theoretically possible, it’s incredibly unlikely that you’d get an STD from a toilet seat. For STD transmission to occur, contaminated fluids (such as semen or vaginal discharge) have to come into contact with your mucous membranes (such as your vagina, penis, rectum, mouth, or eyes). The viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause STDs can’t stay alive for long periods of time on surfaces.
According to the Beth Israel Lahey Health Winchester Hospital, the perfect storm would have to happen. The contaminated fluid would have to be deposited on the toilet seat seconds before you sit on it, and your mucous membranes would have to come into contact with that part of the seat. Since this is so unlikely, the CDC has determined that STDs can be transmitted this way.
Can you get STDs from public restrooms?
As mentioned above, the pathogens that cause STDs can’t survive for long outside of the human body. STDs can’t survive in toilet water, either. It’s practically impossible to catch an STD just from using a public restroom.
Can STDs be transmitted through toilet paper?
No. For you to get an STD through toilet paper, you’d have to wipe using toilet paper that was very recently used by an infected person. However, wiping with dirty toilet paper could increase your risk of a bacterial infection, so you should still avoid this practice.
Can STDs be transmitted through urine?
No, you can’t get an STD from urine. Bladder infections and STDs affect different organs in the body, even if they’re located near inside the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, intimate contact with an infected partner is typically required to get an STD — exceptions to this rule include mother-to-baby transmission during pregnancy or delivery, sharing infected needles, or receiving a contaminated blood transfusion.
If you think you may have an STD, you should get tested. Thanks to at-home testing kits, you can get tested from the privacy and comfort of home. Learn more about STD testing at STDWatch.com.
Genital Herpes – CDC Fact Sheet - cdc.gov
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) - mayoclinic.org
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