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Fact or Fiction? 12 Sex Questions Answered

Fact or Fiction? 12 sex questions answeredDo people still get syphilis? Can a penis really break? Find out what’s fact and what’s fiction!

Sex can break a guy’s penis

Rough sex can leave your man with a broken penis. Fact or fiction?

Fact: Broken Penises Are Real and Really Painful!

There’s no bone in the penis, but it sure can break. It’s called a penile fracture and it’s painful! Very vigorous sex or an abrupt change in position can cause the corpus cavernosa — the cylinders that become engorged with blood during an erection — to rupture and the crack heard around the world will be his penis.

His bruised and bent penis will require surgery, says Roshini Raj, M.D., author of What the Yuck?! The Freaky and Fabulous Truth About Your Body. To lower the chance of this actually happening to your beau, Ian Kerner, Ph.D, author of Passionista: The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Pleasuring a Man, suggests starting in the missionary position and then gently rolling over if you want to be on top. We’re not saying tone it down in the bedroom. Just be careful!

You can feel a condom break

A condom tear, small or big, will be obvious. Fact or fiction?

Fiction: Even a big tear can go unnoticed

There are plenty of reasons why condoms break: “One common reason is not enough lubrication,” Dr. Raj says. “That can tear the condom and create little holes that you can’t feel.” Oil-based lubricants degrade rubber and shouldn’t be used with latex condoms — pick water-based instead. It’s not just the little breaks you have to worry about, an obvious break may go unnoticed too, Raj says. An expired condom, or one stored improperly, can both be reasons for an unwanted tear. Protect yourself by keeping your condoms in a cool, dry place because heat, air and light exposure increase the risk of a condom breaking.

Syphilis is a disease of the past

Nobody gets syphilis anymore. Fact or fiction?

Fiction: Syphilis rates are going up

Syphilis is not the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), but it’s no disease of the past either, says Beth Rackow, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine. Rates of syphilis increased in 2004-2008, particularly for men and women ages 15-24. There were 36,000 cases of syphilis reported in the U.S in 2006 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

You can contract it just like any other STD — through direct contact with an open sore during vaginal, anal or oral sex. Don’t underestimate this STD. A case of untreated syphilis can lead to organ damage including the brain, nerves, eyes, liver, blood vessels, bones and joints, and can even be fatal.

You can get pregnant while nursing

Since you don’t get your period while nursing, you can’t get pregnant. Fact or fiction?

Fact: Although it’s unlikely, getting pregnant while nursing can happen

Less than one in 100 women get pregnant while continually breastfeeding, according to Planned Parenthood. What exactly does “continually breastfeeding” mean?

For six months after delivery a breast milk meal cannot be substituted. The baby must be fed every four hours during the day and six hours at night. And you cannot have had your period during this time. “While you are breastfeeding you are creating hormones that work against ovulation.

However, you can ovulate two weeks before your first period so you can be fertile and not know it yet,” Raj says. She recommends using a condom or a low-dose birth control pill while breastfeeding for extra protection.

You can’t get herpes unless your partner has a breakout

Once herpes sores have healed you are in the clear. Fact or fiction?

Fiction: You can get herpes at any time

No sores, no virus? No way. You may not see it but the genital herpes virus can still “shed” (the active virus is at skin level) and can be passed on, says Rackow. First and foremost, steer clear of people when they have active infections. Although safe sex is key, condoms don’t always protect against herpes infections. Areas protected or covered by a condom can still be affected by genital herpes, according to the CDC.

Using a condom correctly and on a consistent basis can help reduce that risk. The best way to avoid a herpes infection is to abstain from sexual contact with people who have herpes, especially during an outbreak, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

You could be allergic to your partner’s semen

Semen can cause an allergic reaction just like dust and pollen. Fact or fiction?

Fact: Some women have a semen allergy

It’s true; you can develop an allergy to semen. Like other allergies, a reaction ranges from a rash to hives to anaphylactic shock, Raj says. Planning on spending the rest of your life with this person? Visit an allergist and try a desensitization treatment.

The doctor will introduce small amounts of his semen into your vagina to develop a tolerance to your partner’s semen so you don’t have any more allergic reactions. The most effective treatment against a semen allergy is using a condom. If you want to get pregnant but you have a severe allergy, try IVF or insemination, where the sperm is separated from the proteins that cause the allergic reaction.

If He has big feet (or hands) then…

Big hands and feet mean a large penis. Fact or fiction?

Fiction: Big feet only mean a large shoe size

This old wives’ tale is exactly that — a tall tale! A man with big feet can very well have a small penis. “A group of urologists did measurements and found that there was no correlation [to foot size],” Raj says. Besides, it’s men who care about penis size. Women are more interested in personality and looks rather than penis size, according to 2007 study published in BJU International.

If he can’t get it up, he’s just not that into you

If he isn’t getting (or keeping) an erection, maybe you just don’t turn him on. Fact or fiction?

Fiction: He may actually be too into you

There’s a possibility that he isn’t into you, but more often than not, that’s just not the case. “He may be so intent on putting on a big show that he is experiencing performance anxiety,” says Joel Block, Ph.D., psychologist, sex therapist and the author of Naked Intimacy: How to Increase True Openness in Your Relationship. Block says the most common cause of erectile dysfunction is “trying too hard.”

There are many other reasons that may cause your partner’s performance to be under par. His member may be keeping a “low” profile because of stress, depression, too much alcohol or fatigue. So if you think this is a failure on your part, you’re probably wrong.

STDs can give you cancer

If you get an STD it can cause cancer. Fact or fiction?

Fact: You can get cancer from certain STDs

Human papillomavirus or HPV is a cancer-causing STD and it’s nothing to mess with. There are about 40 types of HPV, and most go away on their own without you ever knowing you had it. But certain types of HPV can change normal cells into genital warts, while other strains can cause the cells on the cervix to become cancerous. If untreated, that can lead to cervical cancer.

The problem: there often aren’t any symptoms of HPV-related cancer unless a routine Pap test comes back abnormal. There are a few ways to prevent it: Use condoms to help lower the risk of transmission, and consider Cervarix and Gardasil HPV vaccines which can protect against some of the high-risk types of HPV.

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The risk of getting cancer is also increased if you have HIV. According to The National Cancer Institute, people who are HIV-positive are also at an increased risk of developing anal, liver, and lung cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma. HIV-positive women are at least five times more likely to get cervical cancer.

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