Contrary to the common opinion, the use of public toilets cannot directly increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women. UTIs are typically caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, often through the urethra. Although public toilets can harbor a variety of bacteria, including those that can cause UTIs, none of the parts of the urinary tract directly come into contact with the public toilet in order for it to transfer those bacteria to the urinary tract.
In fact it is the fear of using public toilets leading to consumption of a lesser amount of water and avoiding the use of public toilets and thus voiding the urine less often can in fact be causes for UTI. Making the urine more concentrated by avoiding water and keeping the urine inside the bladder for long may cause it to harbour bacteria which may cause UTI.
If hygienic practices such as wiping from front to back after using the toilet and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water are followed, it may prevent an UTI. In case of worry, it may also be helpful to use a toilet seat cover or toilet paper to create a barrier between the toilet seat and the skin.
It's also worth noting that UTIs can be caused by a variety of factors, including sexual activity, hormonal changes, and underlying medical conditions. Therefore, it is important for women to seek medical advice if they experience symptoms of a UTI, such as painful urination, frequent urination, and abdominal or back pain.