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Urinary and Genital Disorders (Children)

Wiping

04/12/2006

Question:

I feel so silly asking this...we know when you have a bowel movement, you reach from BEHIND, wiping front to back so as not to infect the vaginal area. When we urinate, I have always wiped front to back from the FRONT. My niece has her daughter wipe after URINATING by reaching from BEHIND...trying to get her hand all the way forward. (which I find impossible) What is the correct way?

Answer:

There is no such thing as a silly question, only silly people who are afraid to honestly ask questions! The reason one emphasizes wiping from front to back after bowel movements is to minimize the chance for bacteria to be manually pushed to the urethral area where they can grow, crawl into the bladder and cause infections. As long as one is not contaminating the tissue paper with "bacteria from the anus area" it probably does not matter if one goes from the front or the back. Whatever works is all that matters.

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Response by:

Rama   Jayanthi, MD Rama Jayanthi, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Urology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University