Myths about sexually transmitted diseases have been around forever. You'd think by now in the information age, they'd have disappeared for good — but no. So let's do our bit and shed some light on some of those myths.
Here are eight of the biggest:
1) Myth: You can easily tell if someone has an STD.
Many STDs have no significant signs or symptoms and go completely unnoticed.
2) Myth: Anal and oral sex are safer than vaginal intercourse.
Anal and oral sex can’t prevent STDs. Gonorrhea and chlamydia can still be passed through oral sex. If someone has cuts or open sores in their mouth, they could even get HIV from ingesting infected semen.
Anal intercourse is the most risky because your skin can easily tear, according to the Cosmopolitan website, allowing in STDs.
3) Myth: You can only get herpes if your partner is experiencing an outbreak.
Many people don’t even know they have herpes. The STD Test Express website says that herpes symptoms can be inactive for weeks before an outbreak happens. You partner could look and feel healthy, but still be infected and pass the herpes virus to you.
4) Myth: You can't get an STD if you’ve only had sex one time.
Even if you’ve only had sex with one person, one time, that doesn’t mean your partner is in the same boat.
Take note: if your partner has chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, you have a 30 percent chance of getting infected with those STDs.
5) Myth: You can get an STD from a toilet seat.
There is no scientific evidence to back up this statement. STDs are transmitted by genital and sexual contact.
Typically bacteria and viruses that cause STDs cannot live outside the body for very long. Furthermore, there hasn’t been a single study proving that fecal matter or urine on a toilet seat has caused an STD.
6) Myth: Sex in a hot tub or pool is safe because chlorine kills STDs.
This is completely false. Chlorine and hot water do not kill the bacteria and viruses that cause STDs.
7) Myth: You can’t get the same STD more than once.
If you get STDs like HIV and herpes, you're infected for life, says the WebMD website. You can get other strains of the same virus if you continue having unprotected sex. Once you’ve had chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis — even if you’ve been treated and cured — you are always vulnerable to those STDs.
8) Myth: Your body will rid itself of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea may both be curable, but they will not go away on their own. Cosmopolitan encourages people to remember that, if left untreated, chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause fertility problems and scar your fallopian tubes.
STD Test Express recommends that you know your STD status by getting tested every three to six months.
Reviewed December 28, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
"Common Myths about STDs." Myths About STDs. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.
Kobola, Frank. "The 9 Biggest Misconceptions About STDs." Cosmopolitan. 22 Apr. 2014. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.
"Separating Fact From Fiction: 10 Most Common STD Myths." STD Exposed Sexual Health Blog. 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 21 Dec. 2015. https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/std-myths
Watson, Stephanie. "Teens and STDs: Common Myths." WebMD. Web. 21 Dec. 2015. http://teens.webmd.com/features/teens-and-stds-common-myths