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Teen Myths About Sex, Pregnancy and STDs

Teen Myths About Sex, Pregnancy, and STDs


1.      Myth: If a boy masturbates frequently or before having sex, he can’t get a girl pregnant.

FACT: No matter when or how often a boy masturbates, it is CAN still get a girl pregnant.  Sperm will still be present in his semen.  A boy can make 170 million sperm per day.

2.    Myth: If the guy withdrawals (pulls his penis out of the vagina before he cums), you can’t get pregnant.

FACT: A girl CAN become pregnant even if the boy withdrawals before ejaculating.  Fluid is released for the penis prior to ejaculation as a form of lubrication.  Sperm is present in this seminal fluid.

Myth: If a boy doesn’t put his penis all the way in, he can't get the girl pregnant.

FACT: A girl CAN become pregnant even if the boy only puts his penis in a little.  Any contact of the boy’s penis to the girl’s genitals can cause pregnancy.  The seminal fluid that is released when a boy is excited and has an erection contain sperm.  Even if the penis is not fully inserted, passing sperm into vaginal fluid can cause pregnancy to occur.  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

3.    Myth: A girl can’t get pregnant if she has sex while on her period / just after her period / just before her period.

FACT: A girl CAN become pregnant at any time in her menstrual cycle.  There is no safe time in the cycle.  Girls in their teen years may have irregular cycles or ovulate at unexpected times.  Also, sperm can live up to 4 or 5 days inside a girl’s body.  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

4.    Myth: Douching (with anything) can prevent pregnancy.

FACT: Douching after sex DOES NOT prevent pregnancy. The thought is that washing the semen out of the vagina can either remove or kill the sperm.   Whether you use over the counter solutions or homemade douche (vinegar, cola, peroxide or any other substance), it WILL NOT wash out or kill all of the sperm.  In fact, it may push the sperm further up in the vagina and uterus.  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

5.    Myth: If you pee after sex, you won’t get pregnant.

FACT: Peeing or urinating after sex DOES NOT prevent pregnancy.  Although a girl should urinate after she has sex to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI), it has no effect on pregnancy.  Semen and sperm are placed in the vagina while urine is passed through the urethra (a separate opening).

6.    Myth: Jumping up & down after sex, prevents pregnancy.

FACT: This DOES NOT prevent pregnancy.  Although some semen may fall out of the vagina, there will always be sperm already mixed into the vaginal fluids and left behind. .  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

7.    Myth: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up or with the girl on top.

FACT: You CAN become pregnant no matter in what position you have sex.  Seminal fluid and sperm will mix with vaginal fluids.  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

8.    Myth: If the girl doesn’t have an orgasm, she won’t get pregnant.

FACT: A girl CAN become pregnant whether she orgasms or not. It does not matter if the girl orgasms or even if the boy ejaculates for that matter.  Any contact between the boy’s penis to the girl’s genitals can cause pregnancy.  The seminal fluid that is released when a boy is excited and has an erection contain sperm.  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

9.    Myth: A girl can not become pregnant if her menstrual cycles are not regular (monthly).

FACT: A girl CAN become pregnant if she has irregular cycles.  There is no safe time to have sex even if a girl’s periods are not regular.  In fact, girls with irregular periods can ovulate and become pregnant very unexpectantly.   If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

10.  Myth: You can take certain herbs, use drugs or drink a lot of alcohol before or after sex to prevent pregnancy.

FACT: Herbs, drugs and alcohol WILL NOT prevent pregnancy.  Using drugs or alcohol may affect your ability to make decisions including choosing to have sex or use birth control or protection for STDs.  The only medication that can be taken after sex to help prevent pregnancy is Plan B.  This is a progesterone pill that will prevent ovulation if it has not already happened.  If the girl has already ovulated, Plan B will not prevent pregnancy.  It is best to take Plan B as soon as possible after unprotected sex.  It is available over-the-counter if you are 17 years old or older.  You will need a prescription if you are under 17 years old.

11.  Myth: Having sex in a hot tub can prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and/or pregnancy.

FACT: Pregnancy CAN and does occur no matter where you choose to have sex.  Having sex in the swimming pool, hot tub, shower, bath tub, etc will not prevent pregnancy.  If you do not want pregnancy to occur, use birth control every time or abstain.

12.  Myth: You can’t get pregnant the 1st time you have sex.

FACT: You CAN pregnant the first time you have sex.  It only takes one time to become pregnant.  If you do not want to become pregnant, you need to use some form of birth control every time you have sex or abstain.

13.  Myth: You can’t get pregnant if your partner is a virgin.

FACT: Pregnancy CAN and does happen even if one person or both partners are virgins.  It only takes one time.  If you do not want pregnancy to occur, use birth control every time or abstain from sex.

14.  Myth: You can’t get a STD the 1st time.

FACT: You CAN get any sexually transmitted disease the first time and any other time you have sex.  If you do not want to get an STD, use protection (condoms) every time or abstain from having sex.

15.  Myth: You can’t get the same STD twice.

FACT: You CAN get the same STD more than once.  For instance, if you get chlamydia and receive treatment and have a negative test for chlamydia, but have sex with the same partner who did not receive treatment, you will get chlamydia again. 

16.  Myth: Oral sex or anal sex is not real sex and maintains your virginity.

FACT: Any contact with the genitals is considered sex.  Whether the contact is made mouth to genitals or penis to anus, IT IS STILL SEX.  If you wish to stay a virgin, do not participate in any sexual activities.

17.  Myth: You can’t get a STD from oral or anal sex.

FACT: You CAN get a STD from oral and/or anal sex.  STDs can live in and around your anus/rectum or your mouth/throat.  STDs can be spread from the mouth of one partner to the genitals or anus of the other.  STDs can also be spread from the penis to the mouth or anus.  If you do not want to get a STD, use protection every time or abstain.

18.  Myth: My partner says he/she is a virgin; we don’t need to worry about STDs.

FACT: If you choose to have sex, you NEED to worry about STDs every time with every partner.    He or she may have participated in forms of sex other than vaginal penetration and be carrying a STD.  There is no way for you to 100% sure that your partner is a virgin.  Play it safe and protect yourself every time or abstain from having sex.

19.  Myth: You can only get herpes if the person has a sore.

FACT: You CAN get herpes from a person before the sore appears.  Herpes simplex virus (HSV) starts to shed or release from the skin surface before the sore appears.  People who have had several outbreaks of sore can sometimes recognize the buzzing or tingling sensation that occurs prior to the sore.  If your partner has HSV, abstain from sex if any sore is present and use condoms every time.  Even with good condom use, your partner may still pass the virus to you.  This is because HSV can be passed by skin to skin contact and the condom only covers part of the shaft and glands of the penis.  Sores can occur on the lower part of the shaft, scrotum, and skin beneath the pubic hair.  HSV can also be passed through oral or anal sex. 

20.  Myth: Oral herpes (cold sores) can’t be spread to the genitals.

FACT:  Oral herpes and genital herpes CAN be passed through kissing, oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex and any skin-to-skin contact.  In the past, HSV type 2 was typically genital sores and HSV type 1 was usually related to cold sores (oral or mouth sores).  This is no longer true since more and more people are practicing oral sex with their partners.  It is possible to have type 1 on the genitals and/or type 2 on the mouth.  “Genital herpes” really only means that the sores are occurring on the genitals.  Hence,” oral herpes” are sores that occur on the mouth.  If your partner has a cold sore, avoid kissing or receiving oral sex from your partner.  If your partner has a sore on his or her genitals, abstain from oral, vaginal and/or anal sex.  Unfortunately, HSV can be spread prior to the sore occurring.  For more information, see Myth #19.    

21.  Myth: You can treat all STDs by just taking some antibiotics.

FACT: There are some STDs that have NO cures. 

·         HIV or AIDS is a virus that has no cure.  Once you become infected, you will have it until you die. 

·         HSV or herpes is also a virus that has no cure.  Although we can give you medication to reduce or treat the sores that occur with HSV, you will have the virus forever and can potentially infect others. 

·         Human papilloma virus (HPV) is again another virus that will stay inside your body forever.  Although you may not always have warts or bumps, the virus will always be present and can cause new warts or lead to cervical cancer. 

·         Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are 2 other STDs that are viruses.  Hep B and Hep C live in your blood and attack the liver.  Once you have become infected, you will have the virus forever. 

22.  Myth: You can prevent STDs by washing your genitals after sex.

FACT: Washing after sex WILL NOT prevent STDs.  The bacterial and viruses that cause STDs can pass into your body and infect you very quickly.  If you do not want an STD, protect yourself with condoms, make sure your partner has been tested for all STDs or abstain from all forms of sex.

23.  Myth: If my partner has a STD, I will be able to tell.

FACT: For most STDs, there WILL NOT be any sign that will be visible on your partner.  Several of the STDs are caused by viruses that live within the blood and body fluids (vaginal secretions or seminal fluids).  Bacteria and viruses are too small and simply can not be seen.  Your partner could have one or more STDs and have no signs visible to you.  If you do not want a STD, use protection every time or abstain from all forms of sex.

24.  Myth: I’ve been to see my healthcare provider, so I’ve been tested for STDs.

FACT: Healthcare providers (doctors, nurses, etc) DO NOT routinely test for STDs unless you ask to be tested.  You should never assume that any physical or lab work has included screening for STDs.  If you are sexually active, you should inform your healthcare provider and ask to have STD testing done.

25.  Myth: I would know if I have a STD (I would have signs or symptoms).

FACT: You can have a STD and have NO symptoms at all.  If you are sexually active, you should be screened for STDs at least once a year and with every new partner.  You should also be using condoms to help prevent contracting a STD. 

26.  Myth: Condoms can prevent all STDs 100% of the time.

FACT: Condoms DO NOT prevent all STDs 100% of the time.  Condoms can break, leak, slip or fall off.  Also, condoms only cover the tip and  shaft of the penis.  Many STDs can be passed by skin-to-skin contact.  Contact with any uncovered part of the genitals can pass STDs from one partner to another.

27.  Myth: Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent STDs and pregnancy.

FACT: This is TRUE!  Abstinence, or not having sex, is the only way to prevent all STDs and pregnancy 100%.  Abstinence includes not participating in oral sex, vaginal sex and/or anal sex.

28.  Myth: The first time a girl has sex it will be painful.

FACT:  Sex is very different for each person.  It may or may not be painful the first time a girl has sex.  However, if sex continues to be painful after the first time, she should see a healthcare provider to discuss the possible cause of pain.

29.  Myth: If the girl doesn’t bleed after sex, she wasn’t a virgin.

FACT:  Not every girl will bleed after she has sex the first time.  It is thought that the bleeding occurs when the hymen (thin layer of tissue at the vaginal opening) is first broken.  However, there are other things that may cause the hymen to be broken prior to having sex. 

30.  Myth: Birth control also prevents STDs.

FACT: Birth control DOES NOT prevent STDs.  The only exception is condoms.  Condoms can be used as both birth control and STD prevention.  However, birth control pills, shots, patches, rings or IUDs DO NOT prevent transmission of STDs.

31.  Myth: There is a cure for HIV or AIDS.

FACT: There is NO cure for HIV or AIDS.  Once you have become infected you will have HIV and be able to infect your partner(s) until you die.

32.  Myth: Only promiscuous or dirty people should get tested for STDs.

FACT: Only SMART people should get tested for STDs.  Even if you have only had 1 sexual partner, the smart choice would be to have yourself tested.  Getting tested means that you are ready to take responsibility of your body and take care of your health.

33.  Myth: Girls are able to orgasm with penile penetration alone.

FACT: Most girls ARE NOT able to orgasm with penile penetrations alone.  For most women it is necessary to also stimulate the clitoris.

34. Myth: If I talk to a healthcare provider, they will tell my mom or dad that I’ve had sex.

FACT: Healthcare providers CAN NOT release your private information to anyone (even your parents) without your permission.  Providers can discuss your information with other medical professionals that may be involved in your care.  You should be open and honest during your visits.  

35. Myth: I need my parents permission to have a STD screening or take birth control.

FACT: You DO NOT need your parent's permission to be tested for STDs or to start birth control.  I encourage parents and teens to have open communication about sex.  However, teens can seek and receive care in relation to sexual health without their parent's knowledge or approval.

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