The best place to get information about your sexual health is from your doctor, but for whatever reason—convenience, privacy, or anxiety and urgency—you may one day find yourself searching for answers from other unreliable sources for intimate and important questions.
It’s great to learn more about your body and your choices, but explore those search results with caution. A lot of information is chock full of errors, omissions, and outdated advice, and that it’s not always easy to find the truth about common myths believed by many teenagers (and probably many adults as well!).
MYTH: You can catch an STD from a toilet seat
Sexually transmitted diseases or infections can’t live outside the body for a long period of time—especially not on a cold, hard surface like a toilet seat. Plus, they aren’t present in urine, anyway (it’s usually sterile), so the chances of you catching one from whoever used the bathroom before you are slim to none.
What you do need to worry about, however, is what may seem like benign skin-to-skin or mouth-to-mouth contact. Kissing, for example, can spread herpes (and deeper kissing can even spread oral gonorrhea and chlamydia), while skin rubbing together can pass infections such as genital warts, herpes, scabies, and pubic lice.
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant the first time you have sex
It may seem like the odds are in your favor, but there’s no reason to risk it: You are just as likely to get pregnant the first time you have sex as any other. In fact, some statistics say that 20% of people get pregnant within a month of starting sex. CONTINUE READING