When it comes to sexual health and sexually transmitted infections and diseases, there are many misconceptions out there.

Since sex still not openly talked about in all homes and schools, it is easy for these myths to be perpetuated due to lack of awareness. If you’re trying to find out a little more and focus on caring for your sexual health, it is important to wade through all the misinformation with care.

To help you get the facts straight, we’ve debunked some of the most common sexual health myths out there:

A toilet seat can give you an STI

This is a complete myth that has been doing the rounds for years. Direct contact between your skin and a toilet seat will certain not lead to an STI. You can get an STI if you come into contact with infected skin, but such an infection can not last for long outside the human body on such surfaces.

It’s impossible to become pregnant while you’re on your period

Yes, the chances of falling pregnant while you’re menstruating are unlikely. But, it is not totally impossible. While pregnancy is most likely during the ovulation period, some women may ovulate quite close to their period. Also those of you who have shorter periods or an irregular menstruation cycle may have an egg or two present during it.

We’d advise taking precautions if you have sex during your period for peace of mind that you won’t fall pregnant.

Oral sex does not lead to STIs

While it is less likely that you’ll contract an STI from oral sex, there is still a small risk that you could. It is possible for STIs such as herpes, syphilis and chlamydia can spread through oral sex.

If you’re worried about this, lower the risk of STI transmission through oral sex by using a condom.

You can prevent pregnancy and clean your vagina by douching

This is another myth which could lead to people causing themselves more harm than good. Firstly, the vagina is great at self-cleaning and there is no need to use any extra soaps or liquid washes down there. In fact, douching can actually disrupt the bacteria balance within and result in infections such as bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. Save yourself the discomfort by avoiding douching altogether.

The point about douching preventing pregnancy is also a dangerous myth and does not work. Stick to scientifically tested birth control methods.

At Duality Health, we offer a wide range of sexual health tests. You can book an appointment using our simple online form.