Debunking seven sexual health myths

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When it comes to sexual health, the amount of misinformation out there is staggering. Let’s do some myth-busting to help you sort out what is true from what is not.

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1. Oral sex is safe

Oral sex is not safe when it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The risk of infection is not as high as from anal or vaginal sex, but you can catch syphilis, herpes, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Use a dental dam or condom.

2. Toilet seats can give you an STI

They can’t. The bugs that carry STIs don’t like the cold air around a toilet seat, so you don’t need to worry about them.

3. You can get haemorrhoids from anal sex

It won’t cause them, as long as you are fully relaxed during sex; however, if you have them already, it can make them worse.

4. You can’t get pregnant during your period

This is a half-truth. Some women are more likely than others to conceive during a period. Most people are less likely to get pregnant; however, if your periods are irregular or short or you ovulate – produce an egg – shortly before your period, it is possible. The egg can live for several days and sperm can live for up to a week.

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5. Vaginal douches prevent STIs and pregnancy

Unfortunately, they don’t. Sperm can swim and STIs can be passed on by semen, which is a good reason to take advantage of STI testing London through a service such as checkurself.org.uk/plus/. What’s more, douching can lead to yeast infections and other conditions, as there are good bacteria in the vagina that it needs to stay healthy.

6. The condition of a vagina depends on the amount of sex the woman has had

Some people believe that a ‘loose’ vagina is the result of having a lot of sex, but this is not true. The vagina is a muscle and can expand during arousal or contract if the woman is tense or uncomfortable. What’s more, it changes as a woman grows older or after she has children.

7. Masturbation makes orgasm harder to achieve

Overuse of vibrators – and we are talking half a dozen times a day, every day – could make the nerves numb; however, they will return to normal over time.

 

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