10 Common STD Myths Revealed: Are You Misinformed?

10 Common STD Myths Revealed: Are You Misinformed?

A recent study has revealed some of the biggest myths people believe when it comes to Sexually Transmitted Diseases and infections. The number one myth?

1. If you don't have symptoms within six months, you didn't catch an STD

STDs show no symptoms for months, even years! The only way to know for sure if you've been infected with a STD is to get tested.

2. You have to have a lot of sexual partners to get an STD

STDs don't discriminate and it only takes one encounter with someone who is infected in order to contract an STD. Even if you've only had one partner, you could still contract an STD if the person was infected with one. Having multiple partners certainly increases your odds of having a sexual encounter with an infected person; however, you can still contract an STD even with one partner.

3. You can't get an STD from oral sex

STDs can be transmitted during oral sex, even if there is no orgasm. Oral sex carries just as much risk of contracting an STD as other sexual activities; especially so if there are any cuts, scrapes or abrasions to the oral tissues. These cuts and scrapes may be present even without the individual being aware they are. For this reason, it is important to use protection during oral sex.

4. Birth control prevents STDs

Many people are surprised to discover that birth control does not provide any protection against STDs. Birth control is intended to prevent pregnancy, not sexually transmitted diseases.

5. Herpes can only be spread during an outbreak

Herpes is more easily spread when an individual is experiencing an outbreak; however, it can be spread when the individual has absolutely no signs or symptoms at all. Of the 70 million people who have genital herpes, 80% of them have no recognizable or discernible signs or symptoms.

6. STDs can only occur once

Not at all. Just because an STD has been treated, it does not mean you can't get it again. There are also certain STDs that you will have for life such as HIV and herpes. Other STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated, but treatment doesn't protect you from getting them again in the future if you are not careful.

7. If you don't have an STD, then your partner must not have one

Just because you don't have an STD it doesn't mean that your partner doesn't. If you and your partner are sexually active, both of you should be checked regularly for STDs, especially if either of you have had other partners.

8. You can't get an STD from skin to skin contact

Syphilis and herpes are two such STDs that you can get skin to skin. Even if sores and rashes are not present, there may be tiny unnoticeable tears in the mouth and other moist areas that leave you vulnerable.

9. I can't get an STD if I'm a virgin

If you are a virgin and you are not engaging in any sexual activity than your chances of getting an STD are very slim although not impossible. Sexual activity includes any touching of any private part, either by you or your partner. Once engaged in any sexual activity your chances of contracting an STD goes up dramatically.

10. Condoms are effective against all STDs

Condoms are a great way to protect yourself while engaging in sexual acts, but unfortunately, they are not effective against all STDs.

Written by Mark Riegel, MD

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