Separate The Fact From The Fiction
There are many different rumours out there relating to STIs, from how they can be spread to being able to tell if you’ve contracted one just by looking. This is why it’s important to separate the fact from the fiction; some of the myths that we will debunk below can be very damaging for your health if you take them as gospel. When going through sex education in school, your teacher most likely told you that there are no stupid questions when it comes to sexual health. Well, you have no idea how correct they were. Keep reading to find out some very common misconceptions about sexually transmitted infections and the real information that you may want to know.
“Toilets Are Riddled With STIs”
This is completely untrue. If you find yourself hovering over the toilet when you’re out-and-about, you can sit down in peace – you are not going to contract an STI from a toilet seat. This is due to the fact that STIs are only transmitted via infected fluids such as genital secretions, blood or semen or, in the case of herpes, through direct skin-to-skin contact and cannot survive outside of the body for a long time without breaking down. Even if you use the toilet straight after someone who has an STI, the germs would have to be transferred directly from the toilet seat to your genital tract, or through a cut or sore.
“If You Had One, You Would Definitely Know”
This is one of the most dangerous STI myths out there because the majority of STIs don’t have any symptoms at all. If you can’t see any symptoms and you actually have an STI, like chlamydia, it can cause serious and very painful consequences; for example, females can suffer from a pelvic inflammatory disease and men can suffer from swollen testicles. Neither are very nice, so why risk it? If you are sexually active (or even if you’re not, see our next myth), you should schedule regular STI tests with your GP. Yes, it’s probably unpleasant to have them regularly, but think of it like paying your phone bill. You wouldn’t want to be hit with a surprise bill for a service that you didn’t even know that you paid for, right? Well, we guarantee that finding out you’ve left an STI untreated for a while will be much more of a surprise, and much more damaging.
“You Can’t Get An STI If You (Or Your Partner) Are A Virgin”
False. It’s common for people to engage in oral sex before losing their virginity, which means that there is every chance that they could have an STI. Sexually transmitted infections including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis can be spread through the act of oral sex. So, whether you’re a virgin or not, the best way to protect yourself is to practice safe sex every single time.
“When You’ve Had An STI, You Can’t Get It Again”
You really shouldn’t believe this one. STIs are not like lightning, they can strike twice. Just because you have had an STI once, it does not mean that you won’t get it again; you can contract an STI every time that you have sex with someone who has one. And yes, it’s possible to have more than one STI at once (if you think one is bad, try having multiple).
“Swimming Pools Are Rife With STIs”
Unless you are engaging in sexual activity in your swimming pool, and one of you has an STI, this is false (yes, the same goes for hot tubs too). It’s important to remember that, just because you have escaped an STI, you can potentially contract other dangerous waterborne bugs that cause things such as diarrhoea if you do happen to swallow contaminated water. So, be careful!
“Sores Must Be Visible For Herpes To Be Transmitted”
A very common one, but yes you guessed it, this is just not true. In other words, just because someone doesn’t have a sore or an outbreak of them, it doesn’t mean that they can’t pass on the virus.
Have A Check-Up
If you’re worried that you may have contracted an STI, or you just want to schedule regular check-ups, contact our friendly team today.