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Are urinals as bad as toilets?

StragintStragint Do Not GiftAlways DeclinesRegistered User regular
Kind of a weird question on its own. I have varying degrees of germaphobia and hypochondria. With that in mind I will get to the point.

I was using the restroom at work. The urinals are pretty reactive so while I was Peeing the urinal flushed. I immediately began to freak out because I had heard how gross toilet bowls can be. I have a constant stream of things running through my head. I can't focus at work and productivity is dropping.

How likely is it that this will go bad? Can I get stds and such that way? I could not find much googling this.

PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You aren't going to get an STD from using the toilet.

    Wash your hands after you use the bathroom.

    Ladies.
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  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    What about splash back from the urinal flushing while everything is out? That is the part that is causing me to freak out.

    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    splash back of your own urine?

    Even if anything is in the urinal, you're not going to get sick from it.

    Ladies.
    JuliusKalnaur38thDoe
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Poop is dirty. Urine is sterile.

    Neither of them are giving you anything without direct hand to mouth.

    Wash your hands and you'll be fine.

    TingleSigBar.gif
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    STDs pretty much require close intimate contact between two individuals and their fluids (the SEX in sexually transmitted diseases). They easily die off with exposure to things like... air, urine, urinal water, and not being in a human body. This is also why for most STDs, it requires an uncomfortable swab on your nether regions to test. If it were otherwise, a lot of STDs would be a LOT more common. You don't get chlamydia from shaking hands with someone with chlamydia, for example.

    You have zero risk from getting an STD from a urinal or toilet. This was an old wives' tale propagated by doctors and philandering folks in relationships in order to save face for marital/relationship infidelity.

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  • HandgimpHandgimp R+L=J Family PhotoRegistered User regular
    Yeah basically you need an open wound or mucous membrane + recently ejected contaminated fluid for possible transmission.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited October 2015
    There's really nothing anyone in this thread can say to convince you that you are fine. That's why it's a phobia, because it's illogical and uncontrollable. Seek therapy.

    dispatch.o on
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  • ASimPersonASimPerson And they will tremble again at the sound of our silence!Registered User regular
    I'm reminded of that episode of Mythbusters that showed bathrooms are cleaner than you think.

    That said, wash your hands.

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  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    If that was likely to cause an issue then the country would be overrun with STDs. As in everyone would have one. everyone.

    Don't worry about it.

  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    edited October 2015
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    There's really nothing anyone in this thread can say to convince you that you are fine. That's why it's a phobia, because it's illogical and uncontrollable. Seek therapy.

    It does help a lot to at least see that I am overreacting. But yea, I do still have a part of my mind saying, "what if?". It sucks because I know it is nothing but I can't ignore it. I really appreciate the advice and help, it really helped me relax.

    I used the toilet at work today, I tend to avoid it if I can but this morning has sucked. It flushed while I was still in the stall and all I can think of is if I will get a disease and how badly I want to shower.

    I am trying to find help as well but I don't know what to look for. I have insurance for the first time in 6 years so I need to find a doctor as well.

    Stragint on
    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Yeah, Urine may be stinky bit its not going to hurt you. You aren't gonna get an STD or disease from public restrooms. You are far more likely to be simultaneously mauled by a dog, struck by lightning, and win the lottery at noon on Christmas.

    Hell, in the old days one of the main cleaning agents out there was lant which was fermented urine, and it actually worked. That doesn't mean you should go splash around in it but ease up on the horror.

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

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  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Quick tip for those auto flushing urinals: stand closer. The motion sensor relies on seeing your body to know if you've left and if you are far enough away it will think you've moved away.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Siskaceres
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Stragint wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    There's really nothing anyone in this thread can say to convince you that you are fine. That's why it's a phobia, because it's illogical and uncontrollable. Seek therapy.

    It does help a lot to at least see that I am overreacting. But yea, I do still have a part of my mind saying, "what if?". It sucks because I know it is nothing but I can't ignore it. I really appreciate the advice and help, it really helped me relax.

    I used the toilet at work today, I tend to avoid it if I can but this morning has sucked. It flushed while I was still in the stall and all I can think of is if I will get a disease and how badly I want to shower.

    I am trying to find help as well but I don't know what to look for. I have insurance for the first time in 6 years so I need to find a doctor as well.

    Step one would be get a General Practitioner, just somebody who does general medicine. You can check your insurance for one around your area or go the other way and just call some up and see if they're taking new patients and see if they take your insurance. Schedule a new patient appointment which will probably be a full physical. If you haven't had one in six years it'd be good to have and most (all?) insurances will completely cover one a year.

    While at the physical go ahead and ask the medical professional about the questions you raised here. They should be able to run you through why it isn't a big deal and is super unlikely to be an issue. That'll serve as a segue about seeing a therapist of some kind and most GPs have therapists they can refer you to as well as they're intended to be the first point of contact for medical care in our system.

    Others here can give more advice about "Shopping" for a therapist that works for you. Just remember that with any medical professional you have the choice who to see and some will work well with you and some will not. We all have different personalities and some mesh better than others.

    SmrtnikA Dabble Of Theloniusspool32mysticjuicer
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Ethlete Please Eat Doritos™, Like And SubscribeRegistered User regular
    There are various exposure therapies that psychologists can use to de-escalate your phobias.
    Please seek a therapist that specializes in treating phobias. Phobias are a form of obsessive compulsive disorder and are 100% treatable. Don't let this fear of germs keep you from being happy and successful.
    <3




    spool32mysticjuicerMelksterKalnaurprogramjunkie
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    The correct answer to your question is definitely, absolutely, and without reservation:

    Your question is a function of your crippling phobias and you need to seek therapy rather than trying to answer it.

    tynic
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Stragint wrote: »
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    There's really nothing anyone in this thread can say to convince you that you are fine. That's why it's a phobia, because it's illogical and uncontrollable. Seek therapy.

    It does help a lot to at least see that I am overreacting. But yea, I do still have a part of my mind saying, "what if?". It sucks because I know it is nothing but I can't ignore it. I really appreciate the advice and help, it really helped me relax.

    I used the toilet at work today, I tend to avoid it if I can but this morning has sucked. It flushed while I was still in the stall and all I can think of is if I will get a disease and how badly I want to shower.

    I am trying to find help as well but I don't know what to look for. I have insurance for the first time in 6 years so I need to find a doctor as well.
    Also most urinals have a urinal cake, they are a combo disinfectant and deodorizer. If there was a bacteria in there, it would have been killed.

  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    azith28 was warned for this.
    So, I realize you have a problem here, and I'm not trying to point fingers directly at you but I might as well ask while you are cornered.

    Are people like you the reason that I walk into the public restroom that is in a location that can only be reached by an adult and find piss all over the seat? Because you are too afraid to lift/touch the seat before pissing at it pressed as far against the back wall of the toilet stall, afraid of splash back? or 'hover' over the toilet and miss while taking a dump?

    It's literally the simplest thing an adult can do is to use the friggin bathroom without making a mess, yet how do i still walk into a bathroom and find crap and piss all over everything?

    It would be pretty ironic that the reason people are afraid of public toilets is that people who are afraid of public toilets made a mess trying not to touch them.

    azith28 on
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  • Santa ClaustrophobiaSanta Claustrophobia Ho Ho Ho Disconnecting from Xbox LIVERegistered User regular
    I don't think phobic people are a significant contributor to public restroom messes. Just jerks.

  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    I actually wash my hands before going to the restroom.

    Don't want to get all those nasty germs on my wiener.

    w98zzq.jpg
    FeralStormwatcher
  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    No idea. I don't know how other people with germaphobia act in bathrooms. I do know that I am very clean with things and can't stand the idea of being messy.

    On another note, finally got a doctor appointment. Gonna ask about seeing someone to talk to about my phobias and paranoia.

    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
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  • MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    Good for you, Stragint! Just getting started can be the biggest hurdle

    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger Steam-http://steamcommunity.com/id/DugDanger/
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    azith28 wrote: »
    So, I realize you have a problem here, and I'm not trying to point fingers directly at you but I might as well ask while you are cornered.

    Are people like you the reason that I walk into the public restroom that is in a location that can only be reached by an adult and find piss all over the seat? Because you are too afraid to lift/touch the seat before pissing at it pressed as far against the back wall of the toilet stall, afraid of splash back? or 'hover' over the toilet and miss while taking a dump?

    It's literally the simplest thing an adult can do is to use the friggin bathroom without making a mess, yet how do i still walk into a bathroom and find crap and piss all over everything?

    It would be pretty ironic that the reason people are afraid of public toilets is that people who are afraid of public toilets made a mess trying not to touch them.

    Did you literally just come into a help thread that hadn't been used in 10 days just to do your worst accusatory Seinfeld impression? Do not do this again in H/A ever.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Another question, I wash my face at work sometimes but the bathrooms use the pump soap things right next to the sink and now I am kind of freaked out because people touch those all the time. Am I being paranoid or should I be more careful? I don't want to get pink eye or herpes or something because I washed my face.

    Got the blood tests back today, everything is pretty good in that regard.

    Stragint on
    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    I don't understand what you're asking. You use the hand soap from the pump dispensers to wash your face?

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    You are unreasonably phobic of things in general.

    There is trillions of bacteria on your skin, right now, and on every surface you touch, every day.

    You are not going to get sick. Your skin is part of your body's immune system, it's a barrier protection, it's sole purpose is to keep your body safe from bacteria. That bacteria on your skin? That's good bacteria, it's there to protect you from pathogenic bacteria. After that you have an immune system that will fight off foreign invaders.

    What are you worried about specifically? Getting sick or an infection? Being dirty?

    Soap is soap. The great thing about soap is, the way it works is by breaking the surface tension of water, which makes it easy to clean bacteria (and filth in general) off surfaces. You're more likely to catch something crappy from your kitchen.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
    Juliuschrishallett83
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    Stragint wrote: »
    Another question, I wash my face at work sometimes but the bathrooms use the pump soap things right next to the sink and now I am kind of freaked out because people touch those all the time. Am I being paranoid or should I be more careful? I don't want to get pink eye or herpes or something because I washed my face.

    Got the blood tests back today, everything is pretty good in that regard.

    your being paranoid again. Nothing is going to survive inside the soap.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    How sanitary are those is essentially the question. People touch those right after wiping and such.

    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Stragint wrote: »
    How sanitary are those is essentially the question. People touch those right after wiping and such.

    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.

    Ladies.
    Encchrishallett83
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I know people who use paper towels to touch everything in public bathrooms. Maybe start carrying a handkerchief with you. Also, hand soap is not great for your face. Very drying.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    LostNinjaCambiataMagic PinkEl Mucho
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Generally speaking, handsoap in bathroom dispensers are pretty mild and can be used for face washing (so long as it's not the alcohol based stuff). If your hands feel leeched after you wash them probably don't use that on your face cause it's probably not great for your skin.

    You aren't going to get pinkeye from touching a soap dispenser. You definitely wont get herpes this way.

    Microbes are fragile things. Most of the scary disease ones need very specific environments to live and thrive and survive, and sitting on a place where anti-bacterials are being dispensed is not one of those places. The order here is to pump soap and then wash your hands, so anything you potentially would pick up from that second of contact will be killed by washing anyhow.

    In general, though, humans have survived for a really, really long time even without the fancy anti-microbe things we have today. 1800s London was literally full of shit everywhere, and millions of people lives and thrived there despite it all. Your public restroom isn't going to lead to contagion unless you have just tons of actual poop overflowing everywhere, and even then while it increases the chances of catching something nasty it isn't a sure thing even then.

    So wash your hands, don't use a filthy public restroom, but don't worry too much about clean public restrooms.

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

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  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    Stragint wrote: »
    How sanitary are those is essentially the question. People touch those right after wiping and such.

    You are washing your hands directly after touching them.

    How dirty they are doesn't really matter, they could literally be smeared with feces and you would be fine because your washing with soap after touching it.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
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  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Using public restroom hand soap on your face is probably a bigger threat to your health than any bacteria on the soap pump.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    The only way you are going to get a major disease from using a public bathroom is by literally eating shit. Even if you got someone's waste on your skin it would not absorb through your skin and you can wash it off and be fine.

    Moreover, bathrooms get cleaned every day. And this is coming from someone who has worked as a janitor at more than one place where I had to clean every toilet, wash every sink and mop the floor every single work day.

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  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    I feel like it suddenly got worse after getting clean blood test results this morning and it is massively frustrating because I feel like I should be at ease.

    Two coworkers were talking at my cubicle with me while I was sitting and for some reason I thought I felt something hit my tongue while I was getting ready to talk and I can't stop thinking someone spit while talking and I am kind of freaking out.

    I really wish I could stop creating scenarios in my mind.

    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    I would seek professional help at this point if you haven't already. You are letting implausible and impossible scenarios ruin your days.

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  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    I got a number for a professional from my doctor , still need to setup the appointment though.

    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
    XaquinJulius
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Please make that appointment. The answer to all your questions in this thread are the same:

    You are being unhealthily phobic and need to seek help.

    Bedlama5ehrenchrishallett83
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    So, I thought this might be helpful to you in the mean time. I have a degree in cell and molecular biology, and in one of my labs we actually did an entire bit on hand washing.

    There are a few different ways you can go when you wash your hands that will be pretty much guaranteed to destroy bacteria.

    First, you have something like Purell, an ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer. A big old glob of that will kill anything on your hands fast, which is why the stuff tends to be all over the place. It's very drying to use all the time, but if you are really super concerned right now you can keep a big container you know only you will use at your desk to make sure that when you're done in the bathroom your hands are microbe-free.

    Next, you have antibacterial soap. Most of it contains an antibacterial agent called triclosan, and unless you work in a hospital or something I am actually fairly against the use of it. It's overused, and most who do so don't even use it properly. You need to wash your hands for a full 45 seconds before you rinse it off in order for it to be as effective as that Purell, and in the mean time it contributes to antibiotic resistance and things like MRSA. Because of all that, I and many others who have read about the use of antibacterial soap feel it's best not to bother with it.

    Finally, there's regular old hand soap. Guess what's about as effective as triclosan-soap and Purell if you wash your hands for a full 60 seconds? That's right, this stuff! That's because just about any soap at all will contain something called a surfactant.

    A surfactant is a molecule with a hydrophilic end and a hydrophobic end. The hydrophilic wants to be with water molecules, and the hydrophobic end wants to be buried away from them. This causes the surfactant molecules to find other things that aren't soluble in water, such as greases and oils, and form a layer around them. The little globs they form stick in the water and are washed away with it. Cell membranes also have hydrophilic and hydrophobic components, so bacteria get messed up and torn apart in this process.

    Simply put, when you get soap all over your hands, the soap coats the bad stuff, destroying things like bacteria, so it can wash easily away from your skin. This process needs a little more time to work than the other two, but if you give it that 60 seconds and you're thorough, you're good to go.

    Also, seriously, alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Try to find some with a moisturizer and you can use it forever without creating those resistances. You can also get a pump with a sensor so you don't even have to touch it before you've used it.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    She knows what the shit she's talking about.

    Ladies.
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  • StragintStragint Do Not Gift Always DeclinesRegistered User regular
    It does help a lot to have that explanation. I really appreciate that, thank you.

    I am going to call the number this morning and setup an appointment, hopefully it will be soon.

    I also might setup another doctor appointment. I had a bit of pain around my sternum that ended up feeling like pressure and it felt like if I burped it would relieve it but I couldn't burp.

    PSN: Reaper_Stragint, Steam: DoublePitstoChesty
    What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable? ~ Mario Novak

    I never fear death or dyin', I only fear never trying.
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