Can Toilet Paper Cause a UTI?

One of the most common infections women (and men) deal with is UTIs. It impacts people of all ages and can happen with all genders. 

What’s important is that you focus on ways to prevent it and learn more about the causes of this type of infection.

In particular, we’ll dive deeper into answering the question: can toilet paper cause uti, and if scented toilet paper specifically can cause a UTI?

Table of Contents

What Is a UTI?

A UTI (urinary tract infection) is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary system. This can include anything from the kidneys and bladder to the ureters and urethra. In most cases, a UTI will be located in the lower section of the urinary tract. If it spreads to the kidneys it can become more serious than if it is limited to the bladder. Both men and women can get UTIs but it’s more common in women. 

As far as symptoms go and what to watch out for, you should be aware these may include:

  • Cloudy-looking urine or strong-smelling urine
  • A burning feeling when you urinate
  • A consistent strong urge to urinate that doesn’t go away

It is normal to feel fatigued and tired if you have a UTI, which is another reason you should get treated as soon as possible. Get the right treatment so you can work on clearing up and getting rid of the infection. 

What Commonly Causes a UTI?

Bacteria entering the urinary tract is how a UTI usually occurs. The bacteria typically enter through the urethra and then get into the bladder. While there are defenses in the body set up to stop these infections from taking place, there are some instances when the bacteria takes over and forms into a full-blown infection.

One common cause of a UTI is E. coli which is found in the GI tract and causes an infection of the bladder. Other risk factors include having sexual intercourse or when women are wiping and bacteria found around the anus enters the urethra and gets into the bladder. Therefore, it’s always advised that women wipe from front to back. You may also experience an infection of the urethra from an STI or when GI bacteria spread. Another risk factor or common cause can be catheters that help drain urine from the bladder. 

Can Toilet Paper Cause a UTI?

The short answer is, yes, toilet paper and other common household products can lead to and cause a UTI. There are some personal hygiene products that contain chemicals that can irritate your body and trigger reactions as well. Even the fluffy types of toilet paper that seem harmless can increase your risk and chances of getting a UTI.

Can Scented Toilet Paper Cause a UTI?

Furthermore, scented toilet paper that contains these types of irritating scents can also be the reason for getting a UTI. What this toilet paper does is irritate the urethra which in turn can then lead to a UTI in some women. Therefore, many people avoid buying and using these products and your doctor might advise you to do the same.   

How to Prevent UTIs?

The good news is that there are actions you can take that will help you better prevent UTIs in the first place. These tips include but are not limited to:

  • Drink plenty of water (or try cranberry juice) and stay hydrated
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and change out of wet clothes right away
  • Always wipe from front to back
  • Avoid irritating feminine products and scented toilet paper
  • Flush bacteria after having sex by using the bathroom to empty your bladder and drink a glass of water
  • Choose a different birth control method, as some condoms can increase the risk of UTIs

Decrease your chances of getting a UTI by taking good care of yourself down there and remembering to drink plenty of water. 

How to Treat a UTI?

Sometimes a UTI may cause further complications such as permanent kidney damage or repeated infections. Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to treat a UTI properly and as soon as possible. 

The majority of the time, you’re going to need to treat a UTI with an antibiotic since it is usually an infection caused by bacteria. This treatment will damage the bacteria and stop it from spreading and growing. The type of medication you are prescribed by a doctor will depend on a variety of factors such as how severe of an infection it is, the type of bacteria causing it, and if you have recurrent UTIs. 

You can also continue to flush out the bacteria with home remedies such as drinking enough water, using probiotics, and going to the bathroom when you need to instead of waiting. However, keep in mind that it is not possible to clear up and treat a UTI without the right antibiotic so your body can fight off the infection.  

When to See a Doctor?

A UTI is a very common health issue that affects many women throughout their lifetime. Therefore, as a female, it’s important that you know when to see a doctor for your UTI. It is possible and not unlikely that you confuse having a UTI with other conditions like an STD. If you suspect either of these it’s strongly recommended that you see a doctor. It will be worth it as they can prescribe you the right medication or antibiotic and offer additional advice as to what you can do to get it to clear up faster. 

The last situation you want is to have to end up dealing with other complications such as kidney stones. If you notice any symptoms of a UTI and are uncomfortable then get in touch with a doctor right away to seek treatment. You can effectively stop the infection from spreading by calling a doctor and getting an early diagnosis and early treatment plan in place. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

DrHouse offers a fast, convenient, and affordable on-demand telehealth service that allows you to speak with a licensed healthcare provider in the comfort of your own home.

Our online doctors are highly experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to diagnosing, treating, and managing UTIs. Our clinicians can help diagnose your condition, provide you with a personal treatment plan, and prescribe you medications if needed.

With DrHouse, you’ll get access to high-quality care and treatment when you need it most, without having to leave the house. This makes it easier than ever before to take control of your health and get the help you need.

With our on-demand telehealth service, we can deliver quality healthcare anytime and anywhere. Get started now and start feeling better today.

Key Takeaways

Toilet paper can potentially cause a UTI. While it may seem harmless, scented, or irritating feminine products and toilet paper can be abrasive and contain harsh chemicals that can aggravate the urethra, leading to an increased risk of a UTI.

In addition, wiping from back to front instead of front to back can allow bacteria to enter the urethra, which can also lead to a UTI.

UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but with the right care and treatment plan they can easily be managed. The key to avoiding UTIs is prevention by following good hygiene practices such as wiping from front to back and drinking plenty of water.

When it comes time for diagnosis or treatment, DrHouse provides a convenient telehealth service that allows you to access quality healthcare anytime, anywhere. With our on-demand online doctors ready to provide personalized advice tailored just for you, we make it easy to take control of your health and get the help you need.

Don’t wait around when dealing with an infection – contact us now so we can start getting you feeling better today!

Sources:

  • Urinary Tract Infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/uti.html 
  • Scarpa R, M: Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms: What Are the Implications for the Patients? Eur Urol 2001;40(suppl 4):12-20. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1159/000049890 
  • Elvy J, Colville A. Catheter associated urinary tract infection: what is it, what causes it and how can we prevent it? Journal of Infection Prevention. 2009;10(2):36-41. doi:10.1177/1757177408094852
  • Daniele Minardi, Gianluca d’Anzeo, Daniele Cantoro, Alessandro Conti & Giovanni Muzzonigro (2011) Urinary tract infections in women: etiology and treatment options, International Journal of General Medicine, 4:, 333-343, DOI: 10.2147/IJGM.S11767
  • Flores-Mireles, A., Walker, J., Caparon, M. et al. Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nat Rev Microbiol 13, 269–284 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3432
  • Franklin C Lowe, Elliot Fagelman. Cranberry juice and urinary tract infections: what is the evidence? Urology. Volume 57, Issue3, Pages 407-413, March 2001. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0090-4295(00)01100-6 
  • Christine M. Chu, Jerry L. Lowder. Diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections across age groups. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 219, Issue 1, 2018, Pages 40-51, ISSN 0002-9378. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2017.12.231.

Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.

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