Swingers, Jacuzzi, whirlpools and STIs

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Bubble baths and STIs

Many swingers couples have asked us about STD’s in hot tubs or jacuzzis.

Most swing clubs do not have hot tubs because of the high maintenance costs and difficulty in maintaining proper levels of heat, chlorine and minerals to kill most STD`s. Many hotels and some swing clubs prefer jacuzzis because they are much safer and require less maintenance than a hot tub.

There are many myths about catching STDs in hot tubs, but the risks of catching soap products in a sexually active hot tub are very high, especially if the temperature drops below 29.5 degrees Celsius and the hot tub doesn’t have proper levels of chlorine and minerals. Many hotels have stopped installing hot tubs because of the high maintenance costs and the difficulty of maintaining proper levels of chlorine and minerals. These are some of the reasons why hotels are stepping out of hot tub activities.

If you easily catch infections or think you are pregnant, it is very important that you avoid swimming pools and hot tubs.

Pseudomonas dermatitis / folliculitis
Associated with swimming pools and hot tubs Colorado and Maine, 1999-2000

Many STIs are transmitted through sexual contact or body fluids. Some STDs such as herpes can live outside the body for two hours. Any secretions from the body increase the risk of contraction. Indoor whirlpools have also been associated with various lung infections.

Only enter a hot tub if you know the pairs intimately and trust the cleanliness and maintenance of the hot tub. Never use a hot tub if you think you are pregnant, have skin irritations, open cuts, bruises or blood on the skin surface. Always shower before and after taking a hot bath. Many people use oils or colognes on their bodies, not to mention getting very hot and sweaty on the dance floor of swing clubs.

If you think you are pregnant or if your skin is very sensitive or if you easily catch fungal infections, never use a hot tub with strangers.

Whirlpools should be very clean and warm! Never use a bubble bath if it looks dirty or has rings or dirty foam around the tub. Use a towel on the edge of the bath to avoid any risk of herpes. Never share your towel.

STDs are best transmitted by sexual intercourse and friction. If you have sexual intercourse in a hot tub, your risks are greatly increased by catching an STI in the water of any physical discharge! Women should be particularly careful when contracting Vulvitus or Trichomoniasis from a hot tub. What is Vulvitus? What is Trichomoniasis?

We have posted some articles below that also interest you in whirlpools.
There are about 23 STIs that can be contracted from hot tubs if they are not properly maintained! If hot tubs are well maintained, the risks of contracting an STI are rare, but the risk is still there. Clean tubs have no film or foam residue on the surface and a temperature gauge indicating the water temperature above 29.5°C is extremely important. Outdoor whirlpools are also much healthier against contracting lung infections.

Hot tub disinfection levels should be closely monitored, as the higher temperatures maintained to kill STIs also serve to dissipate chlorine quickly, resulting in other infections. Temperature levels and all chemical levels should be monitored on an hourly or better basis. The higher number of bathers requires more frequent testing.

Tips to prevent the spread of diseases in hot tubs.
A new report available on the Internet from HC Information Resources provides information on how to prevent diseases related to hot tubs and whirlpools. “Spas, Jacuzzis and Whirlpool baths: a guide to disease prevention” outlines the many diseases that spas can cause, including rash and legionnaire’s disease, as well as a list of preventive measures.

Whirlpool baths can be romantic, but beware of the sea monsters.
A recent report in JAMA describes several cases of external ear inflammation and dermatitis related to the use of the hot tub. The dermatitis is characterized by a pustular red rash on the hips, buttocks, armpits and legs and has been identified as caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Many similar cases have been identified over the last 20 years, particularly when insufficient chlorination or incorrect PH has been detected in the tub. Many types of respiratory diseases, including Pontiac Fever, legionnaire’s disease pneumonia and even others, more serious pneumonia, can be attributed to the transmission of the hot tub. Pontiac fever is a flu-like disease with fever and chills caused by the same organism that causes Legionnaire’s disease. Australian boys ‘splash each other’ with spa water, wound up with cases of hepatitis A. Pregnant women also seem to be at special risk due to pathogens and heat from the hot tub. Drowning is of course a known risk when it comes to drugs and alcohol. So enjoy the hot water, but keep the chlorine up.

Hot tubs are also, according to some rumours, a source of STDs. But the chlorine and mineral salts used in these tubs are generally lethal to STI microbes. As an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association once said, the question of whether you can get an STI from a spa depends entirely on what you do in the bathtub.

People need to make sure that the correct chlorine and mineral levels are maintained at all times and that the temperature never drops below 29.5 degrees Celsius! Avoid using hot tubs in early pregnancy!

Can HIV be transmitted in swimming pools or hot tubs?
There are no cases of HIV transmission via swimming pools or hot tubs.
The virus is killed by the normal levels or chlorine used to disinfect public swimming pools, saunas or whirlpools. The chlorine content is very important.

Is sex in a hot shower or hot tub safe?
Someone told me the heat kills the sperm, and my girlfriend can’t get pregnant. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s what I heard. -Law &amp. -Wild,

Dear Wet & Wild, I do not recommend the use of a hot tub or shower as a form of contraception. It doesn’t kill the sperm, but I can see how and where this rumor started. The scrotum is the sac containing a couple of testicles, which function to keep the testicles at a temperature about 5 degrees lower than the rest of the body. The process of sperm production is extremely heat sensitive. At high temperatures, the muscles in the scrotum relax and the testes move away from the body’s heat. At cold temperatures, the muscles of the scrotum contract, where they can maintain their 5-degree temperature difference.

The heat in a hot tub or shower can indeed disrupt normal sperm production. Not enough, however, that all sperm will die – in most cases, the number of living sperm cells is only reduced, but there are still enough to get a woman pregnant. It is also very risky and there is no guarantee that this will always happen. Men with fertility problems are usually told to avoid hot tubs, saunas and the like, but this is because they don’t want anything to interfere with their sperm production because it is already compromised. I strongly advise you to use condoms, even in the hot tub or shower, and make sure the person who told you this incorrect information corrects it.

D. Zimmer

Hot-tub-associated mycobacterial infections in immunocompromised individuals
Read the original article, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no6/mangione.htm

To the editors: I read with interest the report of Mangione et al. regarding Mycobacterium avium infection in a Colorado family that used an insufficiently purified bubble bath (1). The authors noted that the source of the M. avium complex was not clear, although the reservoir appeared to be the hot tub.

Twenty years ago I helped treat a patient with a local infection caused by M. fortuitum in his amputation stump (2). The patient sat surgically in his bathtub three to four times a week. Although he had added disinfectants as recommended by the manufacturer, he had not mechanically cleaned the bathtub during the incubation period of his infection. We recovered what appeared to be the same type of M. fortuitum from the abscess on his amputation stump and samples from the spa water and filter. However, we were unable to recover any mycobacteria from his or her neighbor’s tap water.

Three years after our experience with this patient, M. chelonei was found to cause colonization of sputum in patients with cystic fibrosis after being treated in a pool of hydrotherapy. Very recently, an outbreak of 110 cases of furunculosis was attributed to M. fortuitum infection of a footbath in a nail salon.

These experiences indicate the absolute need for careful cleaning of whirlpools. Not only do patients with immunosuppression run an increased risk of atypical mycobacterial infections, but even if healthy persons may be susceptible.

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