Myths about safe sex

Most common sex myths busted. 

safe sex myths

Putting facts in order.

Myth # 1: Withdrawal equals good birth control

Withdrawal is not recommended as a means of birth control, as pregnancy can occur anytime in case of unprotected sex, whether or not the male has climaxed. There is enough evidence to show that a male’s pre-cum, also known as pre-ejaculatory fluid carries sperm that could impregnate a women. Also remember, semen can transmit STDs and STIs. So stay safe, use a condom.

Myth # 2: Oral sex is safe

There is a misconception that oral sex doesn’t put people at risk of STDS or STIs. However, this is completely untrue. Coming in contact with an infected person’s body fluids (saliva, semen, vaginal fluids) either through mouth, vagina or anus can put one at risk of infection. So remember, oral sex too can make you susceptible to STDs.

Myth # 3: The Pill protects against STDs

OK, if you ever thought the Pill can protect you against STDs, you are mighty wrong. The Pill only offers protection from pregnancy. The condom, however, does both… so use it!

Myth # 4: You can get an STD from a toilet seat

Viruses and bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases or infections can’t survive outside the body for too long. Additionally, these bacteria or virus aren’t present in the urine, so there is absolutely no chance of you contracting an STD from a toilet seat.

However, what might seem as benign contact could put you at risk. Kissing, for instance, can spread herpes; deeper kissing can even spread oral gonorrhoea and chlamydia, and skin rubbing together can transmit infections like genital warts and scabies.

Myth # 5: You can’t get pregnant if you are not ovulating

Ejaculated sperm can survive in the reproductive tract for 72 hours or more, so if you weren’t ovulating when you had sex and started ovulating a little later, you could be at risk of pregnancy. The chances might be slim, but there’s risk no doubt.

 Myth # 6: You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex

You are as likely to get pregnant the first time you have sex as any other.

Myth # 7: You can’t get pregnant during your period

It is unlikely, but it is still possible, especially if you are not using any means of birth control.  Some women have long periods that overlap with the beginning of ovulation, meaning she can be fertile when she is menstruating.

Further, as already mentioned, the sperm can live in the reproductive tract for 72 hours or more after it has been ejaculated. So for a woman with short cycles (21 days), having sex at the end of her period, could put her at considerable risk.

Myth # 8: If you get the HPV shot, you’re safe from cervical cancer

The Cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, blocks four types of human papillomavirus (HPV): Two of which cause cervical cancer and two that cause genital warts. But about 30% of cervical cancers are not protected by the vaccine, so it’s important for all women, whether they’ve gotten a shot or not to continue having regular pap smears.

 Myth # 9: Douching can help protect against STDs and pregnancy

The truth is that douching can cause more harm than good. And it certainly doesn’t protect against STDS.

The vagina is self-cleansing. The natural bacteria found in the vagina help keep it clean and healthy, and douching can disrupt the gentle balance causing spread of vaginal infections into the Fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries.

Douching doesn’t protect against pregnancy either. On the contrary, it makes it easier for a woman to get pregnant as it pushes the semen higher up the vagina and cervix, further facilitating pregnancy.

Photograph via sxc.hu

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