Debunking Common Myths About Sexual Health

Debunking Common Myths About Sexual Health

Sexual Health is surrounded by numerous myths, often fuelled by misinformation from unreliable sources. Believing these myths can lead to serious consequences. Let's debunk some of the most common misconceptions about sexual health and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) so you can make informed decisions and stay safe.

Myth: Pulling Out Prevents Pregnancy and STIs

‘Pulling out’ or the ‘withdrawal method’ involves withdrawing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.

Truth: Pulling out does not effectively prevent pregnancy or STIs. Pre-cum, a fluid released before ejaculation, can contain sperm, leading to pregnancy. Additionally, STIs can be transmitted through pre-cum and intimate skin-to-skin contact. The best protection is using condoms with water-based lube.

Myth: Double the Condom, Double the Protection

Using two condoms simultaneously seems like extra protection against pregnancy and STIs.

Truth: Doubling up on condoms  actually increases the risk of breakage due to friction. One properly used condom is highly effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs. Use water-based lube  to enhance pleasure and reduce the risk of breakage .

Myth: You Can’t Get STIs from Oral Sex

Oral sex is often considered low-risk because it can't cause pregnancy.

Truth: Oral sex can still transmit STIs, including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis A. Protect yourself by using condoms or dental dams during oral sex and getting regular sexual health checks, especially after unprotected sex or changing partners .

Myth: STI Testing Always Involves Someone Looking at Your Bits

Many fear STI testing because they believe it always requires a physical examination.

Truth: Most STI tests involve urine samples, blood tests, or self-collected swabs from the vagina, anus, or throat. Physical examinations are only necessary if you have symptoms. Health professionals perform these tests routinely and without judgment. If you're uncomfortable with your usual GP, consider finding a new one or a different sexual health service. Use this clinic locator to find a nearby service .

Stay Informed and Protected

It's crucial to separate fact from fiction when it comes to sexual health. Stay informed, use protection, and get regular health checks to ensure your well-being and safety.

References:

  1. Queensland Health. (2024). Sexual health myths vs truths.