A few years ago, I wrote an article titled, “Don’t Rush with the Flush,” concerning the amount of bacteria released into the atmosphere after flushing that can contaminate all surfaces in the bathroom. This release of germ-laden air also contaminates the lower part of the body, which can cause infections of the vagina (vaginitis), cystitis (infection of the bladder), and the skin surrounding the rectum. I suggested to my readers that they should avoid flushing the toilet after a bowel movement while sitting. In other words, don’t rush with the flush.

It is interesting that toilets in hospitals have no covers and, therefore, upon flushing, bacteria and other organisms can spread throughout the bathroom and adjoining rooms. This bacterial contamination can infect surgical wounds that are healing as well as openings where needles have been inserted for IV infusions, which can lead to sepsis (blood contamination).

Bacteria can cause all manner of infection. In 2005, Dr. Barry Marshall, an Australian, received the Nobel Prize for discovering that the bacterium Helicobacter pyeori causes stomach ulcers and other gastric diseases such as stomach cancer.

In males, a chronic infection of the urethra within the penis can occur, causing a discharge that can be mistaken for a venereal disease. When a man moves his bowels and flushes while sitting, the exposure of his penis is subjected to bacteria and other organisms found in toilet water. This may lead to a urethral infection that, ultimately, can cause infection of the prostate gland and bladder. These infections are even more prevalent in men who have not been circumcised.

The cause of prostate cancer remains unknown, and it would be interesting to study its cause in relationship to fecal bacteria or other organisms found in the intestinal tract. Studies should be carried out to determine whether there is any agent that may be found in the gastrointestinal tract that could be related to the cause of prostate cancer. I would suggest to all men that they not flush while sitting after a bowel movement, thus eliminating infection and contamination of bacterial laden air. Remember, “Don’t Rush It, To Flush It.”

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