Due to the fact that there is a lot of wrong information about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), it is essential to distinguish between truth and myth. The reality is that STDs are quite dangerous and cause a lot of complications. Wrong treatment options or neglect can lead to severe pain and infertility. If you want to know the truth, check these eight debunked myths about sexually transmitted diseases.
1. Condoms can protect you from all STDs
Indeed, condoms (both male and female) are deemed the most effective protection from STDs. But you should know that some STDs can be transmitted not only through sexual intercourse but also during skin-to-skin contact. If the affected area is not covered by a condom, you can get human papillomavirus and/or herpes.
2. STDs always cause severe symptoms
People who are infected with STDs may even not know about their condition for years. That’s why they can easily transmit STDs to other people. The only effective way to be aware of your condition is to perform STD testing. However, some people with STDs can experience symptoms like pain during sex, abnormal discharge, and itching.
3. All STDs are curable
Even though it is essential to treat STDs, there are some viruses like herpes and HPV that can’t be cured. Herpes can be asymptomatic for most of the time and rarely cause symptoms. HPV has many strains (types) that can be cancerous, cause genital warts, or be completely harmless.
4. STDs can be transmitted only through vaginal sex
STDs can be transmitted through any type of unprotected sex including oral and anal. The main thing is that if STD were passed, for example, through oral sex, the symptoms will occur in the mouth and throat. That’s why it is essential to use condoms any time you have sex.
5. All contraception options prevent the spread of STDs
Hormonal and non-hormonal birth control options can help prevent pregnancy. But only condoms can provide the most efficient protection from STDs. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect using condoms even if you take oral contraceptives or have a birth control implant.
6. You can become immune to STDs after treatment
Unfortunately, successful STDs treatment doesn’t guarantee that you will not be infected again. You may get reinfected after treatment if your partner wasn’t treated. That’s why all sexual partners should undergo treatment if even one of them was diagnosed with STDs. Otherwise, you may get STD again.
7. You can get STDs in the restroom or swimming pool
If you think that you can get STDs in the swimming pool, public shower, or restroom, it’s high time to change our mind. The reality is that bacteria and viruses that cause STDs can’t live outside the human body. They can be spread only through direct contact like sex. You should also know that herpes can be passed through kissing especially if the person has blisters or sores on the body.
8. Only STDs cause abnormal vaginal discharge
Even though abnormal vaginal discharge is one of the most common symptoms of STDs, there are many other conditions that can also cause spotting or unusual discharge. For example, bacterial vaginosis or yeast infection can lead to the development of discharge. Bacterial vaginosis causes thin white or grayish discharge with the unpleasant smell while yeast infection causes thick white discharge that has no odor.
The bottom line
STDs affect many people all over the world because of a lack of knowledge and neglecting the right contraception. If you want to stay safe and avoid infection, you should always use condoms during sex unless you are not going to get pregnant. It is also important to perform regular STD testing even if you don’t have any symptoms. Timely treatment can prevent further complications and improve your health.