Check out some of the most common Myths that we hear from young people - and what the actual TRUTH is...
1.You only get STI’s from regular sex!The truth is you can spread infections from one person to another through any kind of sexual contact where bodily fluids may be exchanged. This includes penetrative sex (vaginal or anal), intimate touching, oral sex and or sharing sexual toys. It doesn’t matter if you’re a straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual if you have had sexual contact with someone else it is likely bodily fluids would have been exchanged unless you have practiced safer sex and used condoms and dams (dams are designed for oral sex and cover the vagina or anal area). It is possible to spread STI’s through oral sex and anal sex. 2.I’ve only slept with one person so I can’t have an STI! You may have only had unprotected sex once with one person and think that this means that you have a near zero chance of having caught an STI. The thing is however if your partner has had unprotected sex with someone else in the past and they had unprotected sex with two people and they had unprotected sex with three people and so on then infections could have been passed on and found its way on to you. It is possible to get an STI the first time you have sex so always practice safer sex and use condoms and dams as this the best way of protecting you and your partner.
3.If they’re negative I must be!There are many sexually transmitted infections that act differently and may take time to develop their symptoms after having unprotected sex. This is known as an incubation period so the time a test is taken into account as screening does not always pick up the infection straight away. For example Chlamydia may have an incubation period of one to two weeks before a test would show up as positive. Therefore a person could have unprotected sex with someone who was positive for chlamydia and go for a test the next day resulting in what’s known as a false negative because the infection was not detectable at that time. However if a test was taken one to two weeks after unprotected sex this may identify a positive result because the incubation period would have elapsed and the infection would have had time to develop. So just because someone said they had a test and were negative it’s always worth considering the incubation period.
4.I’d know if I had an STI!Many people often believe that they would know if they had a sexually transmitted infection or HIV even because there would be visible signs or symptoms present. The fact is that signs and symptoms of many STI’s may only show in the later stages after the infection has had time to take hold. If you’re worried it’s better to get a test rather than wait for noticeable symptoms to appear resulting in long term health problems. For more information on STI’s got to www.brook.org.uk/
5.The contraceptive pill makes you fat! This is not true but a common fear and one of the many myths people use for deciding not or avoiding to take the contraceptive pill. Other myths include the pill makes you infertile or encourages water retention. It’s understandable that the pill is not always the choice for everyone. In order to get the best advice and the right contraceptive method make an appointment to see a health practitioner who can discuss all the options available to you.