Am I Wiping Wrong When I Poop?
Hi friends! Did you know that there is a “good” and “bad” way to wipe after pooping if you have female anatomy? Let’s talk about why!
If we wipe improperly, we can be spreading harmful bacteria from our poop and the anus. The anus is where poop exits the body and is closer to our buttocks. The other openings are the urethra (where pee exits) and the vagina; these sit closer to our pubic bone in the front.
It is important to always wipe starting at the front (where the vagina and urethra are) to the back (where the anus is). Our urethra and vulvar tissue can be delicate and susceptible to infections. Wiping front to back helps to make sure we are not spreading bacteria, like e. coli.
If bacteria from the anus spreads it can cause issues like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis. An imbalance of bacteria, called dysbiosis, can also make you more susceptible to yeast infections (Balakrishnan, 2022). Recurrent infections can cause infertility, pre-term birth, miscarriages, and other diseases (Kalia, 2020).
Any kind of infection can cause pain. This pain can lead to overactive pelvic floor muscles which can cause urinary leakage, pelvic pain, constipation, and more. Most infections are treated with antibiotics, but frequent use of antibiotics can lead to constipation and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. But there is hope, pelvic floor therapists are specially trained to help treat pelvic floor muscle dysfunction to decrease pain, stop urinary leakage, and make bowel movements smooth and easy! Ask your provider for a referral or find one near you at www.mypfm.com/find-a-pt.
So remember, always go front to back! If the tissue touches the back, get a new one before touching the front.
Ready to learn more about your pelvic health? Here are some helpful resources:
Watch Netflix for Your Pelvic Floor at Pelvic Flicks
Browse our YouTube channel to learn more
Learn more about the pelvic floor muscles with our book: My Pelvic Floor Muscles The Basics
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Pelvic Pain: Strategies to Empower People at Home with Dr. Amanda Olson, PT, DPT, PRPC
Written by Emily Reul, PT, DPT
Balakrishnan SN, Yamang H, Lorenz MC, Chew SY, Than LTL. Role of vaginal mucosa, host immunity, and microbiota in vulvovaginal candidiasis. Pathogens. 2022;11(6):618.
Kalia N, Singh J, Jaur M. Microbiota in vaginal health and pathogensis or recurrent vulvovaginal infections: a critical review. Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2020;19(1):5.