Public Restrooms – How Gross!

The other day I happened to hear a couple of young adults talking about dirty public restrooms – bars they would never go to again, gas stations that they would never ever use again, etc, etc. And it reminded me of the worries that some people have about using public toilets. They fear they might get sick or worse “catch” an STD. Well, fears aside, here is some legitimate truth:

Most STD’s, are usually spread through direct sexual contact only and the exchange of genital fluids with an infected person – in some cases they’re spread because of the transmission of blood (sharing needles or through a blood transfusion). Most all STD’s are caused by viruses and viruses cannot live outside the body very long before they start dying. Crabs (or better known as pubic lice) are the only ones that are not viruses (actually they are parasitic insects – gross right!?!) and can be passed through infested items, but those tend to be more items like clothes, sheets, and towels. So even if someone with an STD were to sit on a toilet and somehow leave some genital fluid or “crabs” on the seat – it would take a “perfect-storm” scenario for that STD to enter a new host. First, pubic lice survive in warm/soft areas (toilet seats are quite the opposite). Second, for the viruses, someone would almost immediately have to sit on the same toilet with an open wound at the exact same spot of where the last person “left” their genital fluid. And since most people wipe the seats now-a-days, or use the seat covers, put toilet paper down, or even just “hover” over the seat and then use the toilet – the chances of picking up any STD from a public restroom is slim to none. That is, of course, assuming you’re not actually having sex in the bathroom on the toilet with an infected person and not using a condom.

If that’s the case, please get tested. And if you’re regularly engaging in sexually activity with multiple partners you should be getting tested regularly anyway. is the easy, affordable and confidential way to get tested.