10 myths about sexually transmitted infections

Health Tips

What are sexually transmitted infections, more or less accurately everyone knows in our time. But so many myths are associated with “shameful diseases” that it is sometimes quite difficult to figure out where is the truth and where is a lie. Goodshapetips, with the help of a dermatovenereologist, debunks the most common myths about STIs.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)/Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)/STDs are a hot topic in the health sections.

It is not so easy to understand the huge flow of information, and most importantly, to find the most reliable and most simple for the perception of a person who has not studied the art of healing.

Coming to an appointment with a doctor, especially dealing with issues “intimate” diseases, Every patient experiences stress in one way or another.

Waiting for test results is a period accompanied by anxiety, even if you are completely confident in yourself and your sexual partner.

And finally, the conclusion of a doctor with unfamiliar words in the line “diagnosis” – almost every person experienced all this.

It is great if the doctor tries to explain his condition to the patient and answers all the questions of interest, but quite often doctors do not waste time on empty, in their opinion, explanations.

In addition, relationships with loved ones can deteriorate due to lack of information and myths that still exist today.

In this article, we have collected the most common misconceptions about STIs that are often heard from patients or seen on the pages of the global Internet.

Read more: 10 myths about sexually transmitted infections

Risk of infection

You and him

What is an STD

Risk zones

You and him

Can you get it in the pool?

Myth 1.
STIs include: gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, anogenital warts (human papillomavirus), chancre, lymphogranuloma venereum, donovanosis, gardnerellosis (bacterial vaginosis), mycoplasmosis, ureaplasmosis, candidiasis, HIV, hepatitis B and C.

This statement contains both true and false information.

STIs do include: gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, anogenital warts (human papillomavirus), soft chancre, venereal lymphogranuloma, donovanosis.

As for “gardnerellosis” – such a diagnosis does not exist at all.

The condition (and not the disease) of a violation of the microflora of the vagina (dysbacteriosis) is called bacterial vaginosis, and can be provoked by many reasons.

This condition does not apply to STIs and can occur even in girls who are not sexually active.

The vaginal biocenosis includes a huge number of microorganisms and a violation of the microflora can be associated not only with a microorganism called Gardnerella vaginalis (Gardnerella vaginalis).

Mycolasmosis and ureaplasmosis are not STIs and still remain a topic of discussion among physicians.

Both myco- and ureaplasmas are classified as conditionally pathogenic microorganisms and require treatment under certain conditions.

It is worth noting that both myco- and ureaplasma can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, and then, getting into the body of a healthy person, they can:

  • after a while, be forced out (that is, disappear) under the influence of normal microflora;

  • remain in the body in small amounts without causing disease;

  • remain in the body in small quantities, but at the same time cause clinical manifestations of inflammatory diseases – discharge from the urethra, genital tract, discomfort during urination, etc .;

– be found in large quantities with or without clinical manifestations.

On practice, treatment is more often prescribed in cases 3 and 4, as well as before a planned pregnancy.

Candidiasis (or thrush), in fact, is a type of violation of the microflora of the vagina, but is not called bacterial vaginosis. Candidiasis is not an STI.

HIV, viral hepatitis B and C are infectious diseases.

The risk of transmission during sexual intercourse is not so significant, the main route of transmission is hematogenous (through the blood).

However, since there is a risk of transmission of these diseases through sexual contact, it is recommended to include them in a comprehensive screening for STIs.

Sexual infections do not always have bright symptoms!

Myth 2.

STIs can be contracted in swimming pools, baths, bathrooms

It is also a very common misconception. All STI pathogens are unstable in the external environment and quickly die outside the human body.

In addition, infection requires that a certain number of pathogens enter the body, as well as conditions of close contact, which is achieved only during sexual intercourse.

Myth 3.


STIs are only transmitted through vaginal sex

This is one of the most common misconceptions. Almost all STIs, with the exception of trichomoniasis, transmitted through all types of unprotected sexual contact – vaginal, oral and anal.

The causative agents of STIs, in addition to lesions of the genitourinary system, can cause proctitis, pharyngitis, conjunctivitis.

Myth 4.


Urinating and washing the genitals immediately after intercourse significantly reduces the risk of contracting an STI

To what extent do these procedures reduce the risk _STI infection,they do not reduce the risk of infection.

Even with the use of local antiseptics, there is a possibility of infection, and pure running water does not have antiseptic properties.

Myth 5.


Douching immediately after intercourse reduces the risk of contracting STIs

Douching should only be used as directed by a doctor. At first glance, this is a harmless procedure, but it can harm your health.

This method not only does not reduce the risk of infection, but in some cases contributes to the penetration of pathogens higher through the genitourinary system and may lead to severe infections.

Myth 6.


The use of oral contraceptives and topical spermicides protects not only against pregnancy but also against STIs

It has now been proven that The most effective protection against STIs is a condom.

Neither combined oral contraceptives nor topical spermicides can provide reliable protection against STIs.

Myth 7.

You can’t get an STD from coitus interruptus

Coitus interruptus occupies one of the leading places among the methods of protection against pregnancy and STIs, according to a survey of patients who come to the appointment. It all happens because of the same lack of information.

Many women believe that pregnancy can only occur if, at the peak of arousal, ejaculation (ejection of spermatozoa) into the vagina occurs.

However, from the very beginning of sexual intercourse, along with the lubrication of the urethra, single spermatozoa can enter the vagina, which can also fertilize the egg and, accordingly, pregnancy will occur.

The percentage of pregnancies that occur during interrupted sexual intercourse is low, however, there is a possibility of its occurrence.

As for STIs, the probability of infection is in no way connected with the process of ejaculation. If the partner is sick, most often she/he will have either a rash or a discharge (except in cases of latent, asymptomatic infections), and with unprotected intercourse – regardless of whether it is interrupted or not – the likelihood of infection is very high.

Myth 8.

If there is an STI infection, there will definitely be symptoms

One of the most dangerous misconceptions! STIs are often asymptomatic and are found only during examination.

A striking example of such an infection is chlamydia, which most often occurs either asymptomatically or with minor symptoms. mucous secretions. Infection is most often detected during a comprehensive examination.

The danger of chlamydia is that it causes the development of obstructive infertility in both women and men.

Myth 9.

Since the condom is made of a porous substance, HIV and some other pathogens are able to enter the body.

Modern scientific research proves that, when used correctly, latex condoms reliably protect against HIV and causative agents of sexually transmitted diseases.

Myth 10.

Sexual contact with a married man (married woman) is completely safe for contracting STIs

Unprotected sex with married sex partners does not protect against STIs.

It is foolish to consider the presence of a family as a panacea for any diseases – everyone should understand this.

We hope that the information provided in the article will help you feel more confident at the doctor’s office and in relationships with your loved one.

Maria ZOLOTOVA,
dermatovenereologist

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