Let's clear up some misinformation about sex, pregnancy and birth control.

Myth: Everyone is having sex.

Not everyone is having sex. Recent surveys show most young people don't have sex until at least 17 years of age. Nearly 40% of graduating high school students are still virgins.

Myth: A girl can't get pregnant the first time she has sex.

A girl CAN get pregnant the first time she has sex and any other time. Any time a sperm is released and enters the vagina, she is at risk for an unplanned pregnancy.

Myth: A girl can't get pregnant if she is on her period.

Wrong! While there is less risk of pregnancy, the sperm can stay alive for several days in the vagina and uterus. Some girls will release an egg soon after bleeding. If an egg is released while the sperm is still alive, she can get pregnant.

Myth: Girls can't get pregnant if they have anal sex.

FALSE! While it is less common to get pregnant with anal sex, if semen leaks from the anus to the vagina, a girl could get pregnant. STIs are easier to contract because the lining of the rectum is easy to tear. The tear causes more blood contact and creates an opening for bacteria and viruses to enter. Always use a condom with anal sex.

Myth: If a guy pulls out before ejaculating, he can't get a girl pregnant.

NOT TRUE!! During sex, before a guy ejaculates, he can release a small amount of fluid which can contain sperm. He has no control over the release of this fluid. Anytime sperm enters the vagina, there is a chance of getting pregnant.

Myth: Mountain Dew will lower the number of sperm a guy makes.

Mountain Dew IS NOT a form of birth control. The coloring in the drink does not decrease the production of sperm. Guys can choose to abstain from sex, which is the BEST form of birth control, or use a condom. There are no other methods of reversible birth control available for guys.

Myth: A guy has never gotten a girl pregnant so he must be sterile.

Just because a guy has never got a girl pregnant DOES NOT mean he is sterile. It is possible his partner was using birth control without him knowing or did get pregnant but never told him. It may be just luck that he did not get a girl pregnant. The only way to know if someone is sterile is through testing.

Myth: Emergency birth control will cause an abortion.

Emergency birth control WILL NOT cause an abortion, it is meant to delay the release of an egg. If you are already pregnant, it will not stop the pregnancy or harm the baby. It is 75% effective in PREVENTING a pregnancy if it is taken within 5 days of unprotected sex. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.

Myth: Birth control will cause weight gain.

Most birth control will NOT cause weight gain. Some studies show "the shot" may cause weight gain in SOME girls but most girls will not gain weight from birth control. If a girl is having trouble controlling her weight she may want to choose something other than "the shot".

Myth: Intrauterine devices are not safe for young women.

IUDs are safe and highly recommended for the young woman who has never had a baby. They are one of the Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) methods the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends as a first choice for birth control. Years ago some IUDs caused problems for women, but they have since been redesigned and studies show them to be very safe and highly effective in preventing pregnancy in all women.

Myth: Sexually transmitted diseases can be picked up from a toilet seat.

It is nearly impossible to catch an STI from a toilet seat. Bacteria and viruses need a warm moist place to live. The bacteria responsible for STIs must come in contact with the urethra, vagina, a cut or a sore. The urethra and vagina do not usually touch a toilet seat.

Myth: Oral sex is safe sex.

Oral sex will not lead to pregnancy but STIs are spread by contact with blood, semen and vaginal secretions. Use a condom on a penis or a dental dam over the genitals of a girl to decrease your risk of infections. If you have oral sex without using a condom or dental dam, your mouth and throat can become infected with an STI.