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, so the chances of you catching one from whoever used the bathroom before you are non.
What you do need to worry about is 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
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.
MYTH: You can’t get pregnant during your period
It is unlikely, but still possible—especially if you’re not using a condom or birth control. Some women have long periods that overlap with the beginning of ovulation, which means they can be fertile even though they’re menstruating.
Say you have a short cycle (21 days, for example) and your period lasts a week. If you have sex close to the end of your period, you could become pregnant since sperm can live for up to 72 hours in your reproductive tract.
There’s also the infamous late-in-life pregnancy that can occur during perimenopause, when periods are erratic. Experts say it’s not safe to ditch birth control until you haven’t had a period for a year.
MYTH: IUD birth control is not safe for use in adolescents
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are small objects inserted through the cervix and placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to 12 years. Because you don’t need to take a pill every day when using an IUD, it can be a convenient and long-term way to prevent pregnancy.
Outdated information suggested that IUDs may increase the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease in women under 18.
MYTH: Douching is a healthy way to clean the vagina
The vagina is self-cleansing, and douching actually causes more harm than good, according to The National Women’s Health Information Center. The natural bacteria found in the vagina help keep it clean and healthy, and douching can disturb that balance and spread vaginal infections into the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. Additionally, douching does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy. In fact, douching makes it easier for a woman to get pregnant because it pushes semen farther up into the vagina and cervix.
Regular washing with warm water and mild, unscented soaps will help keep the outside of the vagina clean. Try to avoid scented tampons, pads, powders, and sprays, which can increase the chance of vaginal infections.