Can You Pick Up Sexually Transmitted Diseases From A Public Toilet?


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Oscar De La Huerte Profile
Although it might be possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from using a public toilet, the chances of that happening are rather unlikely. Another point that should help to put your mind at ease is that the most serious sexual infections (like HIV) are virtually impossible to catch from using a public toilet.

Can I really catch a sexually transmitted disease in a public toilet?

Whilst this might sound like a rather unusual question, your concern is actually fairly common.

When using a toilet seat or other bathroom facility (that may have been used by countless other people) the presence of urine, blood, faeces and other bodily fluids is entirely possible.

The main way diseases and infections like syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia are spread is through the exchange of blood or other bodily fluids.

However, while it is possible for blood or other bodily fluids to be present on a toilet seat, the infected material would have to:
  • Enter your body through an open wound or cut
  • Be fresh enough that the active agents that cause infection are still alive
The chances of both these boxes being ticked is minimal.

Having said that, though - there are a handful of STDs that would be able to survive in a toilet environment under certain circumstances.

What type of STD can I catch in a toilet?
The most common forms of sexually transmitted diseases that can be caught from a public toilet are crabs and scabies.
  • Crabs is another word for the microscopically-sized pubic lice that infest the pubic hair. These lice can only be seen through an extremely powerful microscope.
  • Scabies is similar in that it is a type of mite infestation that develops under the skin.
Although you can get both the above from a toilet seat, it is very unlikely as the lice and mites cannot survive for very long in that kind of environment. They also cannot travel that far and so are fairly difficult to spread without direct human contact.

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