3 Types of Toilet Infections | Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Remedies

Toilet infections are terms used colloquially to describe an array of symptoms associated with the female private part such as vaginal itching, vaginal discharge, vaginal soreness/discomfort, rashes and red skin around the vagina, painful urination and painful sexual intercourse.

The term toilet infection has also been used by some people to describe similar symptoms in males (toilet infections in males) though not common.

Causes of Toilet Infections

Toilet infections are not contracted from dirty toilet
Dirty toilet

What causes toilet infection? Are toilet infections contracted from dirty toilets?

Toilets infections are believed by many as infections contracted from the use of toilets, especially public and dirty toilets. This assertion or belief may not be entirely true.

Symptoms attributed to toilet infections (toilet infection symptoms) are not caused or transmitted via the use of the toilet.

Toilet infections are not defined as medical entities but rather are symptoms of undiagnosed vaginal or urinary tract infections.

Most ladies who come down with the symptoms alluded to toilet infections usually have a predisposing factor for these symptoms.

For instance, some people may not be comfortable admitting that their vaginal symptoms started after unprotected sexual intercourse, rather they would prefer to blame the symptoms on the use of public toilets.

The symptoms of toilet infection may be due to recent sexual activity, antibiotic use, poor hygiene, vulval/vaginal reactions to foreign bodies, use of medicated soaps and antiseptics to wash the private part and so on.

Prevention of Toilet infections

Prevention of the vaginal symptoms attributed to toilet infection will include taking the following precautions/measures

  • Avoid unsafe sexual intercourse
  • Avoid inappropriate antibiotic use
  • Avoid insertion of foreign bodies into the vagina. Sanitary pads instead of tampons should be used during menstruation.
  • Avoid washing the vagina with unprescribed medicated soaps and antiseptics.
  • Avoid douching, use of vaginal deodorants, scented sprays and so on.
  • Maintain good hygiene practices.
  • Appropriate cleaning technique after toileting. After toileting wipe from the front to the back, don’t wipe from the anus towards the vagina(back to front). Wiping from back to front may move germs from the anus to the vagina which may cause symptoms attributed to toilet infections.
  • Wear cotton underwear or underwear with a cotton crotch. This improves air circulation and prevents the accumulation of moisture around the genital area.
  • Change your underwear daily and after exercising or sweating.

Remedies for toilet infections (toilet infection treatment)

Individuals who come down with symptoms attributed to toilet infections should visit their Family Doctor/ General Physician(GP) for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Toilet Infections

There are different types of infections which may be colloquially called toilet infections.

These are based on the symptoms or mode of transmission of the germs. Find below the types of toilet infections.

These are infections caused by inflammation of the vulva and or vagina as a result of colonisation by germs or irritation from foreign bodies, soaps, perfumes and so on. The symptoms are as discussed above.

  • Urinary tract infections

These are symptoms arising from the urinary tract such as painful and frequent urination.

These symptoms are sometimes attributed to the use of dirty/public toilets.

However, urinary tract infections are not transmitted via a toilet but can occur when germs enter the urinary tract via the urethra or from inside the body.

Recent sexual intercourse can predispose to these symptoms and sometimes it’s a symptom of sexually transmitted infections.

Good hygiene and safe sex can help curtail this infection, however, when such symptoms do occur the affected individuals should consult their Family Doctor/General Practitioner for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

  • Feaco-oral infections

These gastro-enteric infections arise from poor hygiene practices resulting from the transmission of germs found in faeces to food and water.

These faecal germs can be transmitted via hands when not properly washed after toileting and also via vectors like house fly which perch on faeces and later on food and fruits.

Thus washing hands after toileting and before eating and also eating food when it’s hot and washing fruits before eating are measures to curtail this type of infection.

These germs enter the body when the contaminated water or food is consumed and may cause symptoms such as frequent stooling, the passage of watery stool, abdominal discomfort and vomiting.


Symptoms attributed to toilet infections are not caused or transmitted via the use of the toilet.

Toilet infections are also not synonymous with sexually transmitted infections neither is it a defined medical entity but rather it is a symptom of undiagnosed vaginal or urinary tract infections.

Individuals with these symptoms should see their GP and avoid self-medication.

This article was reviewed by a medical doctor and does not in any way replace appropriate medical advice, therapy or intervention. For comments/inquiries/clarification please use the comment section.

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