A topnotch WordPress.com site
It’s pretty amazing what you can learn these days. With a mere click of a button, you can find out about anything from micro biology to Lady Gaga, so why are we all still stuck in old wives tales and silly myths. It’s astounding to hear how many sexual health misconceptions are still flying around these days, and, by believing them, you could be putting your wellbeing at risk.
For example, some people assert that using two condoms at once is double the protection, but this is actually really unsafe as the friction this causes can cause both condoms to break. Last September, sexual health charities FPS and Brook launched a major awareness campaign We Can’t Go Backwards, warning against the “toxic mix” of circumstances combining to create a looming crisis in unplanned pregnancy, abortion and sexual health.
Unless urgent action is taken, the charities warn that sexual wellness could be at stake, especially when it comes to myths. Cuts and policy changes have meant that vital services which provide advice and information are becoming less and less available. According to FPA, almost one third of women aged 18-49 spend a mere five minutes when deciding which contraceptive method to use, even though there are 15 different types readily available and an estimated 2 million women in the UK are unhappy with the method they are using.
So which sexual health beliefs are true and which are false? Firstly, you cannot catch an STI from sitting on a toilet seat but it is possible to get an STI from oral sex and sex toys. However, using a condom on a penis or toy and a dam (very soft, thin plastic square) on the female genitals can protect against this. STIs don’t often present with symptoms and you won’t always know if you’ve got one. You should always protect yourself by always using a condom, even if both of you have HIV or another infection, and get regular screenings for STIs from your sexual health clinic.
Dr Diana Mansour, head of Sexual Health Services at Newcastle Hospitals Community Health, commented, ‘We need to further educate women about all of their contraception options and clear up any misconceptions so they can make informed decisions that are right for them.’ She added, ‘Women, along with their healthcare providers, should take into account their lifestyles when considering available birth control options.’