For such a basic human function, there sure is a lot of misinformation surrounding sex. One of the big responsibilities of being a grown up is self-care and sexual health, so why is there is so much misinformation still being bandied around about sexually transmitted infections? Despite the increase in awareness and society being more open to discussing these things, there is still a way to go. Unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your sexual health. Here are some untruths that should be ‘put to bed’ forever:
- You can catch an STI from a toilet
Feel free to stop squatting as you cannot catch an STI from sharing a toilet. Whilst it is true that you can contract an STI from contact with infected skin, you wouldn’t catch one from a toilet seat as the pathogens can’t survive outside the body for long. A pathogen needs an open sore or way into your body through a cut, for example. Normal skin acts as a natural barrier to these pathogens.
- You won’t get an STI from having oral sex
The risk might be lesser but it’s still a very real possibility. Infections such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea and syphilis can all be contracted through oral sex. Lower the risk by using a dental dam or condom.
- Too much masturbation makes it harder to orgasm
This is another false claim. Masturbation can be a useful tool for improving your love life. It can help you to become more in tune with your body, finding out what you like and don’t like for example. It is not true that you will become less sensitive and struggle to reach orgasm. Masturbation can also be a useful way of getting to know what feels normal with your private parts and a way to identify anything that feels different. It’s a good idea to get regularly checked out for infections if you have been sexually active. For Bexley Home STI kits, visit bexleysexualhealth.org/home_sti_kits
- You won’t get pregnant when you’re having your period
So, conception is unlikely, but it has happened. Anyone experiencing irregular or short periods have a higher chance of an egg being present during menstruation. This egg can live for several days and not every woman ovulates 2 weeks before their period, some do it much closer to their period which makes it even more risky. Add in the fact that sperm can live for up to 7 days inside the body, even though the timing would be unusual, it’s not impossible for this combination to lead to an unexpected pregnancy!
- Post-sex douching prevents pregnancy
Douching is a completely unnecessary activity that often causes more harm than good. The vagina is self-cleaning, so using additional soap products can disrupt the pH balance and cause a build-up of harmful bacteria. This can then lead to bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. Furthermore, douching when you have an infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. Sperm swim fast, so douching is never going to be a safe way to prevent pregnancy.