If you are sexually active, you may be at risk of an STI – a sexually transmitted infection – and the best way to avoid getting infected is to wise up to the truth about them. There are plenty of myths surrounding STIs but if you sort out the truth from the fake news, you will know what to do to lower your risk factor.
You only get an STI if you have loads of sexual partners
STIs don’t care whether you have sex once or 1,000 times – the number of partners is not the issue. You are at risk of an STI if you have unprotected sex, whether full intercourse or sharing sex toys, even if this is just the once.
You can tell if someone has an STI
You can’t. Don’t wait for lumps, bumps and a smelly discharge, as often there are no symptoms at all. You won’t know you have an infection until you have been tested, which you should be if you have had sex without a condom.
You can get an STI from a toilet seat
This is one persistent myth that still does the rounds, even though STIs are transmitted by skin to skin contact or having unprotected sex. If you genuinely don’t want to put yourself at risk of an STI, pick up your free condoms in Bexley from an organisation such as https://www.pitstopplus.org/ and get protected.
Oral contraception is effective against STIs
Oral contraceptives such as the pill are brilliant at preventing pregnancy; however, they are rubbish at preventing an STI. This is because you need a barrier method of contraception, such as a male or female condom or an oral dam, to prevent infection spreading when you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Don’t worry about STIs – treatments are great these days
It is true that huge strides have been made in the treatment of STIs and that infections can now be successfully treated; however, you really want to avoid getting an STI in the first place. Some viruses, such as herpes or HIV, can hang around in the body; others, such as gonorrhoea, are becoming resistant to antibiotics. The message is clear – whenever you have sexual contact with a partner, make sure you use a condom for maximum protection against STIs.