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Valentina Milanova, Founder of Daye, a gynaecological health company spoke exclusively with Daily Star to help debunk some of the most common STI myths.
STIs are common in the UK – with chlamydia taking the top spot. The disease is acquired by sexual contact including bacteria, viruses or parasites which are passed on from person to person in blood, semen or vaginal and other bodily fluids.
Where there are STIs there are unfortunately plenty of myths and bizarre attitudes surrounding the diseases.
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Condoms protect against all STIs
When asked if using a condom is all you need to help reduce STI risk, Valentina Milanova answered: “While condoms are generally great at protecting against most STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea, you can still catch herpes, genital warts and syphilis even if you always practice protected sex.
“This is why it's important to ensure that both you and your partner get tested regularly, even if you do use a condom when having sex.”
Using more than one condom
Relating to condoms and STIs, some may think having more than one could help.
However, Milanova adds: “Using two condoms at once is actually riskier. The likelihood of the condoms breaking is higher because they rub against each other and create extra friction.”
Not all STIs need treatment
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When asked if STIs eventually going away over time, Milanova said: “Unfortunately, STIs will not go away by themselves. However, most STIs can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics.
“Early detection is important. Like other infections, the longer an STI is left untreated, the more serious the potential health implications become.”
All STIs cause visible symptoms
There are also several myths in relation to symptoms – not all STIs present them.
“One of the most common myths associated with sexual health is that all STIs have symptoms.
“In fact, some 70% of female STIs are asymptomatic, so you won't know you have an STI unless you get tested.
“This is why it's extremely important to get tested regularly, even if you are in a monogamous relationship.”
All contraception can help prevent STIs
When it comes to STIs, contraception and pregnancy there are a number of bizarre beliefs.
“The pill can prevent pregnancy, but it cannot stop you from catching an STI,” said Milanova.
“The most effective way to protect against STIs is by using a condom.”
She added: “The chance of becoming impregnated while on your period is low, however, it is not impossible.”
Catching STIs from a toilet seat
Luckily, it turns out you can't get STIs from a toilet seat. Milanova explained: “If your skin touches a toilet seat, you will not catch an STI.
“STIs cannot survive for long outside the human body, so they die quickly on surfaces like toilet seats.”
- Curious Health
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