MYTHS

There's a lot of incorrect information out there about sex and pregnancy.  Here are some common myths and some honest, factual information:

 

A person can't get pregnant if they:

  • stand on their head or jump up and down after they have sex,

  • have sex standing up, 

  • have sex in a hot tub or swimming pool,

  • pee immediately after sex,

  • douche or take a bath after sex,

  • don't have sex for very long or there isn't any penetration

  • don't have an orgasm,

  • don’t orgasm at the same time,

  • push really hard on their belly button after sex or

  • sneeze after sex.

FALSE: There is no position that will prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. Once the sperm have entered the vagina, there is a chance that someone could get pregnant. If someone has sex, no matter what position, and does not use a condom or other form of birth control, the only way to make sure is by taking emergency birth control within 72 hours. The only way to prevent pregnancy 100% is by being abstinent and not having sex.

A person can't get pregnant before they have their first period.

FALSE: Ovulation (egg being released by the ovaries) happens before someone gets their first period. If an egg is present, sperm can fertilize that egg resulting in pregnancy. 

A person can't get pregnant if they use the withdrawl method. (pulling out)

FALSE: When a young man gets excited he can secrete some fluid (pre-ejaculate or pre-cum) before he actually ejaculates. He cannot tell when this happens. Since this fluid may contain sperm, it is possible to get pregnant even if he pulls out before he ejaculates.  The pull out method also requires a lot of trust between partners.  A lot of trust is placed on the man to know when to pull out and to make sure that he can pull out in the heat of the moment.  For these reasons, the pull out method should only be used in a relationship with a lot of trust and communication.

A person can tell if someone is a virgin.

FALSE: It is very difficult to tell if someone is a virgin just by looking at their genitals.  Some people think that if the hymen- the thin tissue that stretches partly over the vaginal opening- is perfectly intact then a person is a virgin, but this not always the case.  People all have varying amounts of hymen tissue, and the hymen can be stretched and opened from many non-sexual activities such as riding a bike or playing certain sports.

People who have an intact hymen may experience some pain or bleeding the first time they have vaginal intercourse.  However, a lack of bleeding or pain does not necessarily mean that someone has had vaginal intercourse before.

A person can get HIV/AIDS from kissing.

FALSE:  Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) cannot be spread through casual contact.  Casual contact includes things like sharing drinking cups, utensils, combs, hugging, or touching.

HIV is only spread through four kinds of bodily fluids: semen (cum), blood, vaginal fluid, and breast milk.  Activities that include risk of HIV spread are unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex; sharing needles for drug use or for self-tattooing and piercing; or an HIV positive woman breast feeding a child.

HIV is not spread readily through saliva.  So kissing alone will not spread HIV.  However, if both of the kissing partners has a bleeding sore, bleeding gums, or a bleeding cut in their mouth the blood could potentially spread HIV. 

A person can't get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from oral sex.

FALSE: Some sexually transmitted infections  such as Herpes can be spread through intimate skin to skin contact.  You can protect yourself by using a dental dam for oral sex.  A dental dam is a thin sheet of latex that can be used as a barrier for cunnilingus (oral sex on a female) and analingus (mouth to anus).  You can find dental dams online or make your own by cutting a condom on one side and flattening it out. 

A person can’t get pregnant while on their period.

FALSE: There is a chance that someone can get pregnant while on your period. While most people ovulate (release an egg from the ovaries) mid-cycle, everyone is different. Also, sperm cells can survive up to a week inside the vagina. 

Drinking Mountain Dew will prevent pregnancy.

FALSE: Contrary to popular belief, Mountain Dew does not lower a man’s sperm count.

Condoms are reusable.

FALSE: Condoms cannot be washed out and re-used. Condoms should be thrown away after one use or if the package has been previously opened. Also, if you or your partner put a condom on upside down, you should throw that condom out and start over with a new one, you cannot turn the condom around and use it once it touches the penis or risk pregnancy or STI infection. 

Someone can tell if a person has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by looking at them or their genitals. 

FALSE: Most often sexually transmitted infections can be present without any symptoms. The best way to know for sure is to get tested. Someone who is sexually active, especially those with multiple partners, should get tested on a regular basis. 

Plastic wrap works the same way a condom does in pregnancy prevention.

FALSE: Condoms are specifically made to fit snuggly on the penis as a barrier for semen and STI's. Plastic wrap does not offer the same fit or protection for vaginal or anal intercourse. In a pinch, non-microwavable plastic wrap can be used as a barrier for oral sex only. 

Taking the birth control pill on day one of the menstrual cycle or only taking it when a person has sex ensures that they will not get pregnant.

FALSE: It can take about a month (or one menstrual cycle) of taking the pill every day at the same time for it to be fully effective. In fact, some birth control pills (progestin only) are inneffective if not taken at the same time every day for the entire time someone is taking them, not just the first month. It is recommended to use a second form of protection (like a condom) for the first few weeks of taking the pill. Also, a person should always use a condom along with hormonal birth control methods to protect against STI's. 

Everyone is doing it.

FALSE: In 2013, less than 20% of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) middle school students report having ever had sex, and only 52% of MPS high school students report ever having sex. 

 
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