While you know the best place to get information about your sexual health is from your doctor, you may find yourself searching the Internet for answers to very intimate questions.
A simple Google search about “sexual health” can leave you thinking you can get an STD from using a public bathroom to needing a Pap smear only if you’re sexually active. We’ve debunked common myths you might find scouring the Internet and where the truth lies.
Myth: You can catch an STD from a toilet seat.
Sexually transmitted diseases or infections can’t live outside of the body for too long – especially not on a cold, hard surface like a toilet seat. Also, STDs aren’t present in urine, so while you may catch germs from directly sitting on a public toilet set, your chances of catching an STD are slim to none.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex.
While it may seem like the odds are in your favor, you shouldn’t risk having unprotected sex. Even if you’re on birth control, there is still a chance you could get pregnant if you’re not practicing safe sex properly. You’re just as likely to get pregnant your first time as you would any other time.
Myth: You can’t get pregnant during your period.
It’s unlikely, but there is a chance you can get pregnant during your cycle, especially if you’re not using a condom or birth control. Some women have longer menstruation cycles that overlap with the beginning of ovulation, which increases their chances of getting pregnant because they’re fertile.
Myth: Women need a Pap smear when they turn 18.
An early Pap test may seem harmless, and could detect an underlying health condition, but isn’t necessary at age 18 even if sexually active. Most OB/GYN’s now recommend having a Pap smear starting at age 21, whether you are sexually active or not, and conducting regular periodic testing.
Myth: A Pap smear tests for STDS.
A Pap test is not a replacement for STD testing. While some women think that going in for a Pap smear also includes STD testing, this is not always the case. Pap smears do not test for the diseases that should be screened for regularly sexually active adults, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Myth: You can use a condom more than once.
Whether using condoms to prevent pregnancy or STDs, a condom should never be reused under any circumstances. Reusing a condom will more than likely lead to mess and the semen getting out, which could result in a pregnancy.
Myth: You can’t get an STD from oral sex.
During oral sex, you can give your partner an infection and you can get theirs. For example, if your partner has a cold sore (oral herpes) and performs oral sex on you, you could become infected with herpes, too.
Did you know?
Did you know that September is Sexual Health Awareness Month? All month long, Synergy Immediate Care will be providing you with information about sexual health and services we provide at our medical center.