Rumor has nothing on knowledge. How many of these myths have you fallen for or heard?
MYTH: Condoms are, like, 99.9% effective at preventing a pregnancy.
BUSTED: …nope. When used consistently and correctly, male latex condoms can provide SOME protection against pregnancy and STIs, especially HIV. According to the CDC, with typical use, condoms have an 18% failure rate— making them (at best) 82% effective at preventing pregnancy.
MYTH: Oral sex isn’t really “sex.” It only counts if there is intercourse.
BUSTED: The Centers for Disease Control defines oral sex as sex. Why? Because even though you can’t get pregnant from oral sex, you CAN give or receive an STI from it. Interestingly, more dentists and doctors are seeing sexually transmitted infections in the mouth and throat. Any kind of behavior that puts you at risk for an STI is considered “sexual activity,” so oral sex definitely counts.
MYTH: I can’t get pregnant on my period…right?
BUSTED: Actually, it is possible to get pregnant while on your period. Here’s how: sperm can live inside of you for up to five days. That means if you have sex while on your period, then ovulate early in your cycle, sperm and egg could meet, resulting in a pregnancy. Keep in mind that it is very unlikely to happen if you have a regular 28-32 day cycle with an average 3-7 day period…but the bottom line is that it is absolutely possible.
MYTH: If my partner has an STI, I would see it.
BUSTED: There is a key word when it comes to many STIs: asymptomatic. That term simply means “without symptoms.” It can be a dangerous thing, because if someone has no symptoms (i.e. they can’t feel or see anything abnormal), they usually assume nothing is wrong. However, many of the most common (and the most harmful) STIs are asymptomatic—or at least start that way. However, just because someone doesn’t see or feel immediate symptoms doesn’t mean that infection isn’t already wreaking havoc on their body, creating permanent scarring, or being spread to someone else.
MYTH: Only people who sleep around a lot get STIs.
BUSTED: STIs don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if it is your first-time sexual experience of any kind, or the millionth time. It doesn’t matter if you are 12 or 84. It doesn’t matter if you are on your period or if you are pregnant. It doesn’t matter your gender or sexual orientation. It only takes ONE sexual encounter with ONE infected person to open up the possibility of an STI.
There are, however, certain factors that make you MORE susceptible to STIs, such as having multiple partners, using drugs and alcohol, being under the age of 25, or engaging in other risky sexual behaviors.
If you have fallen for any of these myths, we highly recommend that you seek testing right away. Everything done at the PLC Health Clinic is FREE. This means, at no cost to you, you can see a medical professional who can answer your sexual health questions, have urine and/or blood collected for testing, and be written a prescription, if necessary. As with any testing done anywhere, there are lab fees which you are responsible for. If you have insurance, your lab fees can be billed to it.
An added FREE bonus about seeing us, we genuinely care about YOU! So, what are you waiting for? You can schedule your own appointment RIGHT NOW on our webpage plchealthclinic.org.
*References available upon request.