STD Myths That You Thought Were True: Part 1

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Blog post by Remy F.

STD MYTH: If I use birth control, I don’t need to worry about STDs, right?

Birth control, such as the pill, patch, the ring, Depo/the shot, and the IUD are excellent ways to prevent pregnancy, but they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The only method of protection against both STDs and pregnancy is the (male or female) condom. Check out this video created by one of our TeenSource Peer Educators for the correct way to use a male condom.

STD MYTH: If my partner or I had an STD, I could tell by just looking.

Some STDs have no physical symptoms. Many STDs, like Chlamydia, can be what we call "asymptomatic" meaning they don't show symptoms, so it's possible to have an STD and not know it. The best way to know if you have an STD is to go get tested, and while you’re at it, why not make it a date and take your partner? Get dinner, get tested, and catch the latest movie out in theaters. You'll both feel better knowing if you are STD free! To find a clinic near you, check out our clinic finder.

STD MYTH: Only cheaters, players, and “trashy” people get STDs.

STDs don’t discriminate. Many people assume that only cheaters, players, or people who have lots of sex partners can get STDs. Actually, STDs are very common, especially among teens and young adults. It is recommended that all sexually active young women, regardless of their number of sex partners, should get tested every year for Chlamydia, and also for Gonorrhea if they have new or multiple sex partners. Since young people are at a higher risk for STDs, it's a good idea for everyone who is sexually active to get tested on a regular basis.

STD MYTH: If I needed to get tested for STDs, my doctor would tell me and then test me.

Doctors sometimes forget to tell you about a check-up or procedure that you should get. Your primary care doctor might not tell you about the importance of getting an STD test because they don't know it's recommended for someone in your age group or because they haven't asked you about your sexual activity. The best way to make sure you are healthy and safe is to talk with your doctor about your health behavior, including your sexual activity.

In the state of California, you have the right to consent to sexual and reproductive health care services at age 12 and older. If you are not comfortable talking to your regular doctor about sex, you can go directly to an STD or family planning clinic and be guaranteed affordable and confidential services. Know your rights in California, and be proactive about your health!