[Question #4796] question regarding toothbrush

29 months ago
Hello, Dr. this may sound ignorant but it is something that is worrying me and just want to be sure. If I inserted a toothbrush(the smooth side of it) in my anus I am at risk of any std or infection. The toothbrush is the only mine was not dirty but didn't sterilize it before masturbating with it. Want to know if I am at risk of getting infected by something.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
Welcome back to the forum. Your question isn't ignorant, but along with your other questions, I think it does reflect an abnormal obsession with nonsexual transmission of STDs.

First, as discussed in your previous two forum questions, STDs are not transmitted through environmental contamination. From my reply to your first question a month ago:  "Nobody ever catches HIV, viral heptitis, HPV, or any other STDs from barbering or other personal cosmetic devices. It doesn't happen." Logically, this also applies to personal hygiene items like toothbrushes.

Second, since you were the only user of the toothbrush, obviously you could not have exposed yourself to any bacteria or viruses that you don't already have. The rectum is no more likely to be infected or harmed by such bacteria (e.g. from your mouth or skin) than any other body site.

If thoughts like these are frequent and bothersome, or if getting worse as time passes, you should get professional counseling. You probably are affected by a version of germophobia, i.e. irrational fear of contamination. Germophobia can be an early sign of serious mental health disability, so don't let it go too far before seeking medical advice. (For a good example, see The Aviator, the biopic about the "eccentric" billionaire Howard Hughes.) (And it's an excellent movie in its own right!)

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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29 months ago
Thanks for the reply Dr. do you think that this thought about irrational std infections have something to do with repressed homosexuality I have but don't want to accept, thanks for the reply information about not being able to get infected by the toothbrush it was something I was worried.
29 months ago
Dr. so for finishing my question I wasn't at any risk when I inserted my toothbrush in my anus for masturbation, I was reading that sometimes the anus gets irritated or torn a little bit and infections can happen when that occurs is that correct or I am wrong?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
I have no way to estimate whether these concerns have anything to do with repressed sexual attraction to men. But whenever someone suspects s/he knows the cause of psychological stress, I susoect usually s/he is correct. This reinforces my recommendation you consider professional counseling to deal with all these issues. I suggest it from compassion, not criticism.

This is an STD forum -- we don't get into other health problems or issues in any detail. But anal wounds usually don't get infected, and inserting a toothbrush probably doesn't increase the chance of it.

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29 months ago
So Doctor I don’t need to worry about getting infected because of using the toothbrush for annal mastirbation?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
Re-read my replies above. I see no need to repeat myself in different words.

That completes two follow-up comments and replies and so concludes this thread. Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. This will have to be your last one about STD from nonsexual or obviously low risk exposures; future new questions along these lines may receive no reply and the posting fee will not be refunded. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties rather than reducing them. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. Thanks for your understanding. 

I hope the conversation has been helpful. Best wishes.

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