There are so many common misconceptions out there when it comes to sex…
Most of us, at one point or another, have heard some information about sexual health that we were not so sure about whether it was true or not.
Asides from living in ignorance, relying on information from unofficial sources (friends, social media, etc.) puts us at risk of STIs and HIV, and may even prevent us from getting adequate treatment/protection against certain diseases that may be life threatening.
This alone is reason enough to debunk the myths out there, yes? Let’s do this.
CONDOMS CAN BE RE-USED
NO. NAY. Ra Ra. Hapana. Cha! I have so many questions for whoever came up with this. Condoms were created for just one use and one use only! Also, consider how unhygienic this is. Re-using a condom would even further increase the risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases (or making that baby) you’re trying to so hard to avoid. Condoms are super cheap, and are even available for free in some clinics, so there’s no excuse not to purchase as many as you would need. No amount of cleaning, scrubbing or washing will make it reusable. EVER. Don’t do it my people.
NO BLOOD DURING SEX MEANS YOU’RE NOT A VIRGIN
So many women across the world have been subjected to embarrassment because of this myth. In Nigeria, many years ago, spreading out a plain white fabric on the bed just before a newly wedded couple had their first sexual intercourse was the norm. If there was no blood on the sheets, she was therefore a non-virgin and she’s disgraced and sent back to live with her parents. Not all women bleed when they first have sex. Some girls bleed, some don’t. A woman cannot have control over her anatomy. Sexually oppressing a woman because of cultural or religious beliefs is unacceptable. The hymen can’t always be used as a proof of virginity.
A MAN’S TESTICLES WILL EXPLODE IF HE DOESN’T HAVE SEX
I’m actually laughing out loud. Okay, let’s get serious. This myth talks about having ‘blue balls’, medically known as vasocongestion. This happens when there’s a build up of blood in the testicles when a male is turned on but doesn’t ejaculate. Sometimes, you feel pain in your abdominal area and it makes you super uncomfortable. This doesn’t mean your testicles will explode guys! There are ways to get rid of this. You can either masturbate to ease yourself of that build up or simply give it time to fade away (it always does). This is definitely not an excuse to pressure your partner into having sex with you. Sort yourself out decently.
PREGNANCY AND STIs CAN BE PREVENTED BY PEEING AND DOUCHING IMMEDIATELY AFTER SEX
No ladies, it doesn’t work that way. Peeing after sexual intercourse MAY reduce your chances of getting urinary tract infections but it definitely won’t reduce any chance of pregnancy. The sperm goes into the cervix, then the uterus through the vagina. Urine is released from the urethra. Even if you release gallons of urine, it wouldn’t come into contact with the sperm that has travelled through the cervix. Also, douching can destroy the useful bacteria that prevent STIs. To avoid pregnancy, check out the various contraceptive methods mentioned here.
STIs ARE NOT THAT SERIOUS AND WILL DISAPPEAR ON THEIR OWN
This is a dangerous myth. Gonorrhea, Herpes, Chlamydia, HPV, Syphilis, etc. have to be properly treated. Sometimes, they may even reoccur after several treatments. If you’ve been having painful urination, unusual penile or vaginal discharge, blisters/sores in the genital area, see a doctor as soon as possible. If these infections aren’t detected early and treated, they may result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which can cause infertility.
CIRUMCISION PREVENTS HIV/AIDS AND UTIs
Apparently, some males have decided that because their foreskin has been removed, they now possess superpowers and are untouchable. Circumcision is not a guarantee that you are protected from HIV and STIs. Have you considered the fact that there are other routes of HIV transmission? So you see, this myth is exactly that; a MYTH. The only way to prevent HIV/AIDS and UTIs is by using a condom – no other way can keep you safe, regardless of whether you’ve been circumcised or not.
The importance of sex education cannot be overemphasised. We need to equip ourselves with proper information in order to debunk myths like these.
Money, myths, misconceptions and dialogue of ampiclox beecham
For store owners, the motivation for selling antibiotics without a license is clear. But what about the customers requesting drugs that might not be appropriate for their condition? Often, it comes down to misconceptions about what antibiotics can be used for.
Monsurat Abayomi has been running her patent and proprietary medicine store for six years. On weekends, it is common for young women to come into the store requesting a combination of the emergency contraceptive Postinor-2 and a branded antibiotic called Beecham Ampiclox. The combination is widely, though falsely, believed to enhance the efficacy of the emergency contraception — an idea often promoted by PPMVs themselves, who can then sell the drugs at inflated prices.
The women who come in “are often desperate and are always willing to pay anything to get the drug combination that will prevent pregnancy,” Abayomi told Devex.
Pharmacist Habidat agreed. “Once they ask me for Postinor and Beecham Ampiclox, I know right away the purpose of the request and I refuse to sell to them, but I know they will see many PPMVs that will.”
Another issue is the financing system for health care in Nigeria, which is dominated by out-of-pocket payments. That discourages people from attending medical facilities for a proper diagnosis.
When Balogun Adeniji developed a fever, he paid 12,500 Nigerian nairas ($35) for a consultation and tests at his local private hospital. He was subsequently treated for malaria with Arthemeter and Lumefantrine tablets, which cost only N500 ($1.40).
“I felt cheated. How will I spend N12,500 for something that can be treated for just N500?” he asked. Nowadays, when he has similar symptoms, he visits a store to procure the drugs directly.
As a result of out-of-pocket payments, “many Nigerians don’t see lab tests and medical consultation as equally important as treatment in the management of health conditions,” explained private practitioner Dr. Ibikunle Adeyemi. Forced to pay, they would rather spend money on treatments than tests.
Lower-income patients who receive antibiotics from NGOs may also require follow-up doses that they can’t afford — further increasing the risk of drug resistance.
No simple solutions
In spite of the ambitions of Nigeria’s national plan for AMR control — including increasing awareness among Nigerians, building an AMR surveillance system, and investing in research and development — experts in the field said there is no quick-fix solution to the problem. Citizens will continue to seek out drugs indiscriminately as long as they are easier and cheaper to access than hospitals.
Hamidat added that health ministries at the state level are overwhelmed by the task of regulating drug stores.
“Oyo state [of which Ibadan is the capital] has tens of thousands of places where you can get drugs but only two people are saddled with the task of performing oversight functions on the drug outlets,” she told Devex.
The state government said it is revamping its health sector and strengthening its workforce.