Everybody poops, and hopefully everybody cleans their butt afterward. The thing is, we don’t often talk about the whole process.
Have you ever wondered if you’re dealing with the ramifications of pooping as effectively as possible? To help, we dove deep into the world of post-poop clean-up to figure out how to improve the doing of your business. Is your wiping technique sound? Are your wet wipes destroying the planet? What’s the deal with bidets? Here’s what we found out.
USING TOILET PAPER? YOU CAN WIPE IN WHATEVER DIRECTION YOU WANT
If you’re using toilet paper to wipe your butt, we’ve got good news for you: If you’re a guy, whatever technique you’re using is probably fine. Front-to-back? Back-to-front? Side-to-side? Wadded up? Folded neatly? They can all work, as long as you’re thorough and gentle—but more on that later.
Wiping direction matters more if you are a woman. As OB-GYN Alyssa Dweck, M.D., explained, wiping front-to-back reduces the risk of urinary tract infection. Who knew that being able to clean yourself however you want post-pooping was another example of male privilege?
REMEMBER TO BE GENTLE
To avoid getting anal fissures and irritation, be gentle when you wipe. As OB-GYN Antonio Pizarro, M.D., told Yahoo Health, “I always tell patients to dab gently—not wipe.” This is especially true if you have early signs of irritation. Oh—and toilet paper can cut your butt. Yikes! “Getting micro-cuts from toilet paper is not as uncommon as one would think,” Marc Leavey, M.D., an internist at Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Centre, told the outlet. The takeaway here? Go easy on your butt.
BIDETS ARE GOOD FOR YOU
Kohler has found that demand for smart toilets is on the rise, but more than half of Americans are still unwilling to use a bidet, according to Tonic. If you’re resistant to shooting water at your neither regions as a means to get clean, you may want to reconsider.
Bidets reduce the threat of contact between hands and feces, which can lead to the spread of diseases such as e. coli. And according to a study in the Journal of Korean Medical Science, bidets can deliver similar effects as a traditional warm sitz bath if used at low or medium pressure and warm temperature. Which is to say that if you have anal fissions or other similar injuries, if used as gently as possible, bidets are your friend.
USING WIPES? DON’T FLUSH THEM DOWN THE TOILET
Prefer wet wipes to toilet paper? Even if your wipes say they’re flushable, they still have the capacity to wreak havoc on your municipality’s sewage system. Look no further than the 130-ton fatberg that had to be dislodged from London’s waste management infrastructure earlier this year. Gaze upon its fatty exterior, and then plumb deeper to see that it was largely made up of materials that should not have been flushed, including far too many baby wipes. “Flushable” and “should be flushed” are two different things. Please behave accordingly.
Side note: Believe it or not, there was an upside to that fatberg. A week after the fatberg in London was initially reported, Thames Water confirmed that they’d be turning a third of the fatberg into 10,000 liters of biodiesel to help fuel the city’s transit system. Perhaps we all should be flushing wipes with the goal of plugging up our city’s sewer systems. (Note: don’t actually do this. The damage caused by fatbergs is far worse than the benefit gained by generating a relatively small amount of fuel. Seriously, don’t go out of your way to flush wipes down the toilet.)
At the end of the day, we would go with bidets if the toilets are equipped with them. After all, we wouldn’t want to run the risk of suffering from micro-cuts from poor quality toilet paper.
By Spike Friedman