In the week of Valentine’s Day, many of us have romance and intimacy on our minds. While this is undoubtedly one of life’s greatest pleasures, sex can also lead to some serious health problems if you are not careful. National Condom Week is also next week and serves as a friendly reminder to protect our sexual health so that we do not unwittingly put ourselves at risk in our moments of passion.
Sexually transmitted infections or STIs as they commonly know, are infections caused by organisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) that pass from person to person through sexual activity. Not all STIs can be cured, so rather than putting yourself at risk for a lifetime of health issues, protect yourself by using a condom each and every time you have sex. You may think you know all about STIs but make sure you are not falling prey to some of these common myths.
Common Myths about STIs:
Only “slutty” or “trashy” people get STIs
- Anyone and everyone who is sexually active and not using condoms consistently is at risk of getting an STI.
Only adults get STIs
- Anyone having sex is at risk. Young girls are actually at higher risk than older adults.
I am only at risk for an STI if I have penetrative sex.
- STIs can be passed through any kind of sexual intimacy including vaginal, anal or oral sex. Some spread through body fluids (blood, semen or vaginal fluids) but others pass through skin-to-skin contact.
You can get an STI from a toilet seat.
- In general, the organisms that cause STIs can’t survive outside the human body for long.
You can’t get an STI if you only have sex once.
- If you have sex with a partner who has an STI, you are at great risk to get an infection.
There are so many fun and sexy condoms available now, from flavoured to glow in the dark condoms and non-latex condoms for those with latex allergies, so you can enjoy some hot and worry-free sex without getting your knickers in a knot this Valentines.
In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, MediHub cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.