I recently got a tushy bidet. I was really excited. However, a friend shared that some research says that bidets are bad for vaginal health and dangerous for pregnant people (I’m seven weeks). Is my exciting new potty accessory unsafe?—A Nervous Pregnant Tushy
I remember the first time I saw a bidet as a kid — in a hotel, on a trip with my family. My parents told me it was for washing your feet. Which is what I thought until I learned the truth in college. Ah, memories.
It is true that there was a study a couple of years ago using a sample of about 200 high-risk women in Japan who were surveyed about their bidet use. The authors found higher rates of preterm birth and less beneficial vaginal flora in bidet users. However: this study was small, and run on a very select sample of women. A much larger study — 10 times as big — on a less select sample of women found no impact on preterm birth or on vaginal infections.
On the more positive side, I found a randomized study suggesting that bidet use in pregnancy is an effective treatment for constipation.
Despite the one small study, there isn’t really reason to be concerned. You should keep your bidet clean and follow the general rule to wipe (or wash) from front to back. Enjoy the clean tushy.