Making use of a public toilet makes most of us feel uncomfortable. The thought of touching the toilet seat resplendent with creepy germs is enough to make anyone squirm in disgust. Be it at the office, malls, or restaurants, using a public toilet has never been a pleasant proposition. Since toilet seats in a public restroom play host to countless pesky microbes, it is most likely that you will catch a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Right? 

No! It’s a myth that one can catch an STD from a toilet seat. This means that your fears regarding catching STDs from public toilet seats are baseless after all! Read on to know how.

Breaking the Myth!

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While public toilet seats are a playground for sexually transmitted organisms, they cannot infect you. This is because these germs cannot endure the cold surface of the seat and so they die. To contract an STD, you have to have an open wound or cut that comes in contact with the germs on the seat so they can enter your body. 

Most sexually transmitted organisms cannot survive outside the human body. And of course, the term ‘sexually transmitted’ disease itself means that these infections require sexual contact to spread. STDs are a public health issue, and they spread through intimate physical contact and sexual activity. Some common STDs are Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia.

What About Other Infections/ Diseases?


Now that you know public toilet seats are not favorable to STD-causing organisms, you still need to be cautious before using any public restroom.  Sadly, many people use public restrooms but do not wash their hands after using them. Most often, such people end up spreading infectious bacteria that can be contagious.

Take Away Tips for Restroom Hygiene!


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  • Avoid eating, smoking, drinking, or using a mobile phone in the restroom stall.
  • Maintain physical distance from other users and avoid crowded public restrooms.

Public toilets are never exactly the first preference for people; however, in case you need to use them, please be cautious about following simple hygiene tips. 

You should:

  • Wipe the toilet seat with an antibacterial wipe (there are many options available in the market, which you can easily stock in your wallet or purse)
  • Wash your hands with soap or sanitize every time you use a toilet.
  • Use paper towels to shut off the faucet once you have washed your hands.
  • Always dry your hands thoroughly after washing. It mitigates the risk of offering certain germs a thriving environment on anything that you touch with wet hands.
  • Use hand driers judiciously. Don’t touch the vents when using them.

According to various studies, no one has ever acquired an STD from the toilet seat. So don’t devote much brains to this STD buzz. Just follow the basic hygiene tips and keep your surroundings clean. Stay clean, stay safe.

For any queries related to STDs, you can Ask a Sexual Disease Specialist online at Ask A Doctor 24x7.

Recently Answered Questions Related to STDs




Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes.

About the Author

Priya Singh

Priya Singh is a professional writer and editor with 13 years of experience in writing/editing health and lifestyle content for diverse verticals such as magazine, newspaper, and digital media.


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