Bidets (be-day) are super popular in Asian countries such as Japan (77% of people use bidets there), and they are starting to catch on in North America, and for good reason. There are many benefits to having a bidet at home and using bidets to cleanse yourself instead of using traditional toilet paper.
But first, what is a bidet? The most simple bidet is a device that sprays water over your genital and/or your anal areas to clean them after urinating or defecating. They first started off as a separate plumbing fixture that you would use after doing your business on the toilet. These kinds of traditional ceramic bidets have been used for centuries.
With modern technology, bidets are more compact and can be added to the toilet, either as a simple non electric bidet, or an electric bidet (for the pros and cons of these two types, click here.)
Now that we know what a bidet is, what exactly are the benefits of having one at home?
General Hygiene Studies have shown that using a bidet properly can decrease the amount of bacteria in your urine, which is proof of a more thorough cleansing. If you really think about it, what are you doing when you're wiping your bum with toilet paper? You're essentially just spreading the poop around the anal area, and you're not getting a thorough cleansing. If you got poop on your hands, you wouldn't just wipe it off with toilet paper, would you? Rather, you'd trust in the power of using water to clean and wash your hands. So why should it be any different with your bum area?
Limit germ spread By not using your hands to wipe, your hands don't come into contact with fecal matter, and thus you will greatly reduce the transfer of fecal matter with your hands to various parts of the bathroom.
Lower Risk of Hemorrhoids Use of the bidet at a medium-low pressure could help to relieve pressure on your anus, and potentially reduce the risk of hemorrhoids. For those with hemorrhoids already, the friction from wiping with toilet paper can cause the hemorrhoid to be raw and potentially bleed. Using a water stream is much more gentle on the hemorrhoid, preventing hemorrhoid bleeding.
Better for the environment, better for your wallet. By switching to a bidet, you will save on having to use toilet paper, which is better for the environment. Not only do we save trees, but we also save on using water and chemicals to process and create the toilet paper. Not to mention you can save potentially hundreds of dollars from not having to buy toilet paper.
Medical Necessity Bidets are especially helpful for users who experience a loss of mobility and are unable to perform simple daily functions like cleaning after oneself after going to the washroom. To these users, a bidet would provide them with the privacy and preserve the dignity of being able to go to the washroom independently, instead of having to rely on an aide. People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), incontinence, or Crohn's Disease all have to frequent the washroom, and a bidet would provide a gentle alternative to always having to use abrasive toilet paper to clean.
Female Hygiene Bidets are especially useful for women during menstruation. The unique composition of the menstrual flow (blood, cervical and vaginal mucus, degenerated endometrial particles, etc) decomposes once coming into contact with air and can cause a strong scent or odor. The gentle cleansing from the feminine wash features of a bidet will help remove any odor and clean any remaining fluid. For pregnant women as well, due to the lack of mobility, a bidet will definitely help in terms of self cleaning after bathroom use. For women who have yeast and urinary tract infections, bidets can be used for soothing relief from symptoms, although they are not designed to treat yeast or urinary tract infections.
Overall, contrary to the belief of some that bidets are only for seniors, or only for females, everyone stands to gain from upgrading their toilet hygiene habits and using a bidet for the most efficient cleaning, instead of using traditional toilet paper.