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Iceni Magazine | July 5, 2022

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STI Myths: 1 in 10 adults believe they can contract an STI from a toilet seat

STI Myths: 1 in 10 adults believe they can contract an STI from a toilet seat

It seems that many of us still believe myths around Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), according to an eye-opening new survey.

In a study carried out into the myths surrounding STIs by online pharmacy, Pharmacy2U, one in ten UK adults believe it is possible to contract an STI from a toilet seat, whilst a fifth of people weren’t sure. This belief was more prevalent in those aged 18-24 than in any other age group.

Nearly a third (29%) of people believe that it’s impossible to get an STI from oral sex, while one in ten believe the myth that only those with lots of sexual partners can contract an STI.

Almost one in five (19%) believe that it’s impossible to contract an STI if their partner is a virgin and nearly a quarter (23%) were unsure whether this was true or not.

Between the genders, men were more likely to believe an STI myth than women and the confusion was highest among the younger adults aged 18-24. The other common myths respondents were asked about included:

  • STIs will go away without treatment (one in ten either believed this was true or didn’t know)
  • Once you’ve had an STI you can’t get it again (nearly one in five thought this was true or didn’t know)
  • If your partner contracts an STI, you will always see it (more than one in ten believed this was true or didn’t know)

Dr. Phelan from Pharmacy2U, said: “Our survey shows there’s still work to do in order to educate the public about sexual transmitted infections and safe sex.

“Many of these myths, such as contracting an STI from a toilet seat, have been perpetuated for decades. It’s so important that people are equipped with the right information and that they consult a professional if they feel like they might have an issue, rather than relying on friends or what they’ve heard in the pub or at the gym.”

STI Myth Buster 

You will always get symptoms if you contract an STI

Many people don’t notice visible signs of infection, so someone with an STI might not look or feel any different. If you have soreness when you pee or an odorous discharge then it’s worth getting it checked out.

You have to have many different sexual partners to get an STI

This is a common misconception. It only takes one time to contract an STI, so it’s always recommended that you practise safe sex. Of course, the more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to contract an infection.

You can’t get an STI from oral sex

Although there may be less risk of getting an STI from oral sex than vaginal and anal, the risk is still significant. You can help protect yourself from infection by using a condom or oral/anal dam.

STIs go away on their own

This is very unlikely and leaving it for too long can cause complications for both men and women. It’s important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

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