By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Definition. A bidet (pronounced biday) is a device that sprays water upward while one sits on a toilet seat. The spray is aimed at your private parts in such a way that it cleans your bottom thoroughly and quickly. Bidets are used more in Europe than in America or elsewhere, but are gaining popularity as more people discover their benefits.
Types of bidets. The traditional bidet is a separate toilet that sits next to your regular toilet. However, due to cost and space limitations, today some toilets have a bidet sprayer in them.
A much less costly arrangement is that one can buy an attachment for a regular toilet that turns any toilet into a bidet.
BENEFITS OF A BIDET
1. Very clean. I really like using a bidet because it cleans your bottom quickly and more thoroughly than toilet paper, once you get used to using it.
2. Fast. It cleans your bottom quickly.
3. A way to wash easily. One can also use the bidet to wash your anal and genital area quickly without having to take a complete shower. This can be useful after a coffee enema, for example, and at other times. It is easy to wet the area, then rub some soap on the area, and then rinse everything off with the bidet.
4. Laxative. Directing water at the anal area with a bidet has a slight laxative effect. The water must enter the rectum a little. It is somewhat similar to doing a mild water enema.
This is excellent if you are ready to do a coffee enema, for example, but have not had a bowel movement and you want to clean out the rectum before your coffee enema.
5. Saves money and saves the environment by conserving toilet paper. Using a bidet will save some money on toilet paper. This will easily pay for a simple bidet toilet attachment (about $50.00 USD).
6. Help the septic system or city sewage system. Less toilet paper entering the sewage system or your septic tank is another benefit of using a bidet.
7. Good for disabled people. It is excellent for those who are disabled, or for some other reason may have trouble using toilet paper. All cleaning of your bottom is done while you remain sitting down, which is more comfortable.
CAUTIONS WITH BIDETS
BidetÕs have the following possible problems:
1. Bacterial contamination. If your tap water is contaminated with bacteria or parasites, you could contract an infection from using a bidet. So be sure the tap water supply is clean if you want to use a bidet. Some more expensive bidets include a filter to remove some bacteria from the water.
2. Cold water. Most bidets spray cold water on your bottom. It is very little water and few people complain about it. In fact, it feels refreshing. It is possible to buy a more expensive bidet toilet attachment that sprays warm water.
3. A wet bottom. Most bidets leave your bottom wet. Two squares of toilet paper will quickly dry the bottom before dressing. More costly bidet toilet attachments come with a blow dryer to solve this problem.
4. Perhaps a little more difficult to clean your toilet. The simple, unheated bidet toilet attachment with a fixed spray head projects into the toilet bowl a little. This gets in the way, to a degree, when you are cleaning the toilet.
Cleaning the toilet is not a problem at all if you buy:
a) a bidet toilet attachment that has a hand-held sprayer.
b) a fancier heated bidet toilet seat.
c) a completely separate bidet toilet.
5. Not a douche. The position of the spray jets are fixed on most bidets. They will not spray into a womanÕs vagina so it cannot be used as a douche.
However, you can buy a bidet toilet attachment that has a hand-held sprayer. These can easily be used for both cleaning the anal area, and as a douche.
The type with a fixed sprayer head is a little easier to use for cleaning the rectal area.
WHICH UNIT IS BEST?
Bidets come in the following configurations:
1. Hand-held cold spray. This is just a flexible hose that connects to the toilet water supply. At the end of the hose is a sprayer with an on-off control. You move the spray head where you want it to go.
This type of bidet is less convenient because one needs to hold it to use it. However, women may like it better because it works also for douching. These cost about $20-40.00 USD.
2. Fixed cold spray units. This type is non-electric, attaches to the toilet seat easily, and has a fixed sprayer that sprays your bottom. You can vary the intensity of the spray. Some have a single sprayer unit, and some have two sprayers – one for the front and one for the back. They cost about $25-60. USD. Good brands are Luxe and Bio Bidet Elite.
3. Heated bidet toilet seats. These are much fancier units that cost several hundred dollars. It is an entire replacement toilet seat for your standard toilet that usually contains:
a) a tiny electric water heater (which must be plugged into the wall).
b) perhaps a filter to remove bacteria from the water.
c) perhaps a heated toilet seat.
d) perhaps a small blow dryer to dry your bottom when you are finished using the bidet.
4. An entirely separate bidet toilet. This looks just like to a regular toilet without the tank. Some homes have them sitting next to their regular toilet. The bidet has an on-off control and the sprayer unit is usually fixed and set into the ceramic of the bidet toilet bowl. These cost several hundred dollars or more, and require their own tap water supply and drain pipe.
Simpler models just use cold water. Fancier ones might contain the amenities found in the bidet toilet seats (#3 above).
All of these can work well. Which you buy depends on how much space you have, how much you want to spend, and which features you prefer.