Can You Get HPV From A Toilet Seat? - (Updated 2020)

What is HPV?

Human Papillomavirus abbreviated as HPV is an infection caused by a type of virus that causes warts at some parts of the body. Warts are small fleshy bumps on the skin that may or may not develop any pain. These warts can spread from one part of the body to another easily.

The type and extent to which the warts are spreading can decide the intensity of the infection.The main reason of the growth of these warts is the invasion of the viruses in this Human Papillomavirus (HPV) inside the outer layer of our skin that causes rapid growth of cells in that area, termed as a wart.

can you get hpv from a toilet seat

There are many types of HPV that can cause different kinds of infections in your body. The commonly affected body parts are listed below.

  • Hands – Not sexually transmitted.

  • Feet – Not sexually transmitted.

  • Genital areas such as vagina, cervix, rectum, penis, anus, and scrotum – Sexually transmitted.

how long can hpv live outside the body

Symptoms of HPV

  • Most of the people affected with HPV won’t have any symptoms until they cause some serious health problems. If they do not get any health issues due to HPV, then they won’t even know that they have been infected by it for the whole lifetime.

  • A main symptom of HPV is the growth of painless warts on hands, feet, and genitals.

  • Changes in cells inside our body are a symptom of HPV that will only be recognized by going through a medical checkup or a test.

  • The dangerous symptoms that develop after a long period from getting infected are different types of cancers such as cervical cancer, penile cancer, vulvar cancer, and even throat cancer.

Regular checkups and testing will help to identify the symptoms invisible to our consciousness specifically if you are sexually active.

how long does it take for hpv to show up after exposure

Causes of Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Some of the causes of Human Papillomavirus are listed and explained below.

Sexually Transmitted Infection

Human Papillomavirus is one of the sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is mostly transmitted when you have oral, vaginal, or anal, sex with an infected person who has that virus, mainly through anal or vaginal sex. This can affect you after so many years of having sex with that infected person.

Most of the sexually active persons will be the victims of HPV at least once in their lifetime. Most of the teenagers in their 20s will experience this infection.

can you get hpv without sex

Not Only A Sexually Transmitted Infection

Although HPV is categorized as a sexually transmitted infection, you cannot say HPV affects a person only through sexual intercourse. There are some other ways by which one can get affected by HPV apart from having sex with an infected person. Even HPV can get transmitted from mothers to babies during birth.

How One Gets HPV?

Some of the methods of transmission of HPV from one infected person to another are listed below.

  • Sexual Intercourse – Having anal or vaginal sex can get you HPV since there is direct contact of genitals.

  • Touching Genitals – Touching the infected person’s genitals and touching yours’ can transmit the virus.

  • Kissing – HPV can be transmitted through a kiss with an infected person.

  • Fingering – Fingering can transmit the virus.

  • Through the Mother’s Uterus – At the time of birth, an infected mother can pass on the virus to her child through the invasion of the virus into her uterus during pregnancy.

  • Through Towels – HPV is found transmitted from wet towels used by affected person to the ones using those towels after him.

  • To Babies – A diaper change from an infected person can cause HPV to the baby.

can hpv live on inanimate objects

Can You Get HPV From A Toilet Seat?

No, you won’t get Human Papillomavirus infection from toilet seats. It is believed that HPV can be transmitted from toilet seats. It may seem like there is a possibility of getting HPV through toilet seats because of the fact that many people will use the seats (in case of public toilets).

But in practice, it is very rare or almost impossible for a person to person transmission of HPV through toilet seats. The main reason for HPV transmission is having contact with the infected person’s genitals and touching your own genital which is most likely possible during sexual contact and in the rare cases of baby care.

Using a toilet seat has nothing to do with direct genital contact with the seat. It is very rare to get the virus on the toilet seat through those on your back thigh muscles or the buttock. Human Papillomavirus is an STI categorized as Viral STI. Viral STIs are transmitted only through sexual contact.

hpv from toilet seat

The type of STI that has a minimal probability of transmitting through toilet seats is Parasitic STI since it can transmit through moist and damp objects. So, it is always a myth that you will get HPV from toilet seats.

Maybe you can get HPV from the toilet seat. This is the rarest case in which virus from an infected person is deposited on the seat just before you sat on that and gets onto your body, lives there until it enters your genital area from where it can grow. Since this is close to impossible to happen, health specialists claim that you cannot get HPV from toilet seats.

Treatment of HPV

  • Laser surgery for wart removal.

  • Treating warts with liquid nitrogen.

  • Take medications prescribed by a health professional mostly an ointment like substance that can be applied on warts developed on the outer skin.

  • Some chemical medicines will also help.

  • Most of the infected persons try to remove warts themselves which should not be done.

can you get genital warts from a toilet seat

Prevention of HPV

HPV is a chronic disease that cannot be cured. But it can be prevented by following some hygiene and regular checkups.

  • No sex at all – Although everyone will have sex in their lifetime, avoiding or not having sex is the only major preventative method for Human Papillomavirus infection. Since sex is important for every male and female, knowing the probability of getting infected may help in taking regular checkups

  • Safe sex practices – If you are a sexually active person, having sex with only one person will decrease the possibility of being affected provided that person is not affected by the virus. Using condoms will help to a certain extent but with chances of getting affected due to the viruses from body parts that are not protected by condoms.

  • Vaccines – There are some human papillomavirus vaccines that can prevent you from getting infected by the virus. One of such vaccine is the Gardasil vaccine. Every vaccine will prevent two or three types of HPV, majorly types 16 & 18 that are dangerous of causing cancer.

  • Awareness – Awareness about the presence of microorganisms and damages that can be created by them will decrease the possibility of getting infected to a large extent. It can help you to be safe and prepared.

Conclusion

Human Papillomavirus infection is a viral STI that can only be transmitted through sexual intercourse; contact with genitals; mother’s uterus invasion during pregnancy; wet towels used by an infected person; and baby care. You cannot get HPV from a toilet seat even though it is a public toilet seat unless an unfortunate accident scenario happens as discussed above.