Bidets aren’t very popular in the Western world. There are many theories, such as it not being used due to the English 18th-century disdain for everything French, or the fact that bidets used in French brothels in WWII, but the fact remains – bidets, as means of achieving a healthy lifestyle are very much underestimated by the Westerners.
If you’re looking to buy a bidet, and you’re interested in the health benefits of one, here is a quick article on what these relatively underplayed bathroom elements have to offer, and how they improve the quality of your day-to-day life. Let’s check them out!
Bidets are Eco- and Financially-Friendly
We, Westerners, tend to use toilet paper a lot. And, when we say a lot, we mean a lot. Just in the U.S., people use 34 million toilet rolls a day. This results in thousands of acres of forest being cut down to pulp the trees for toilet paper, as well as billions of pounds of gas emissions and billions of kilowatts of energy being spent on toilet paper production. It also takes 37 gallons of clean water to produce and dispose of one toilet paper roll. All in all, it becomes very clear that the paper industry is incredibly harmful to the ecosystem, and that we need an alternative. And that alternative is the bidet.
Considering the bidet uses only a small amount of water, they’re far more eco-friendly than toilet paper. Not only that, but think of how much money toilet paper costs you per month/year. We don’t usually view toilet paper as a commodity one pays too much attention to – it’s just something we use every day, so we don’t tend to calculate the costs. However, when you crunch the numbers you arrive at some $100 a month. The costs of installing a bidet attachment are about the same, but you only have to install it once. After that, it’s smooth sailing for years to come.
Health Benefits of Washing Your Bottom
Though the scientific evidence for health benefits of washing instead of wiping your butt is scarce, there are still a reasonable number of doctors and scientists that claim bidets are better for your health in the long run.
The main argument is that wiping doesn’t remove the bacteria completely from your anus. Not only that, but there is also some faecal residue on your behind once you’re finished wiping. The residue is, of course, rich with bacteria and those bacteria can move to your genital area, causing urinary tract infections, and it is a common belief, even among the doctors, that washing can remove these bacteria better than wiping.
Another argument for preferring bidets to toilet paper is that toilet paper is lined with chemicals. Rare are toilet paper brands that don’t employ some sort of perfume to freshen things up, or some chemicals to bleach the paper. These chemicals can have abrasive effects on your nether regions, and, in some rare and extreme cases, they can cause malignant tumours in your gastro-intestinal tract.
Easing of Symptoms in Pre-Existing Conditions
The health benefits of a bidet are best seen in people with pre-existing conditions. These conditions include everything from simple diarrhoea to more serious conditions like haemorrhoids and Crohn’s disease.
The main benefit here is that a soft stream of water causes far less, or, rather, virtually no, irritation to the skin. Haemorrhoid sufferer’s anal region is bound to be very sensitive, and a soft, steady stream of lukewarm water can ease their symptoms and remove the irritation that comes with wiping. On that note, people with ulcerations around the anus are highly encouraged to use a bidet, because, as we said, bidets are much better at cleaning the bacteria, and these bacteria can be very dangerous if they get into the open, as they can cause further infection or even sepsis.
Benefits for Women
There are many health benefits of bidets for women, especially pregnant women. Firstly, bidets are helpful when cleaning oneself during menstruation. The menstrual discharge is more than just blood and can give off a strong odour, due to decomposition. A bidet helps rinse the area clean, and remove any odour associated with having a period. It also prevents the bacteria from getting into your urinary tract, thus preventing UTIs and bladder infections.
One of the concerns when it comes to using a bidet is if can upset the vaginal bacterial flora. However, you can rest assured – a bidet doesn’t clean any deeper than a regular shower, so bacterial imbalances are virtually non-existent.
When it comes to soon-to-be mothers, bidets can help a great deal due to their lack of general mobility, especially in later stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women also tend to develop haemorrhoids in later stages due to weight gain, so the use of bidets are encouraged to avoid irritation of the skin around the anus and the genital region.
Benefits for the Elderly
Bidets are especially helpful to the elderly demographic. Due to many issues that can arise in our twilight years, bidets are recommended for elderly persons, mostly because it allows them to be a little bit more independent, and for longer.
Most elderly people suffer from reduced mobility. This makes wiping all the harder, and some downright require aid when doing so. Bidets help them clean themselves without having to compromise their integrity and ask for help with what might be a very personal, intimate and embarrassing matter.
Just like women in late pregnancy, seniors are very likely to develop haemorrhoids, as well as problems with incontinence. As we said, bidets help alleviate the symptoms of haemorrhoids, and reduce the risk of skin irritation and infections associated with constant wiping due to incontinence.
All in all, if you’ve never thought about installing a bidet in your home, it’s time you gave them a chance. As you’ve seen, bidets are very clean, beneficial and affordable, and you’re certainly going to enjoy them more than you enjoyed your three-ply lavender-scented toilet paper. Until then, cheers, and keep your nether region clean and irritation-free.
Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. When he is not writing about home improvement, he loves to play chess, watch basketball, and play his guitar. More than anything, he loves to spend his time in his garage, repairing appliances and creating stuff from wood.
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