When it comes to sex there are a lot of myths on the topic, but thankfully experts are separating fact from fiction.
Healthista has revealed the truth behind seven commonly accepted myths.
So pens and paper at the ready guys and gals.
Don’t Piss Before Sex
In the past, it was believed that taking a quick trip to the bathroom before sex would lower the risk of contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI), but this apparently is not the case.
The NHS claims that 50 per cent of all women and one in 2,000 men will contract a UTI each year.
According to experts, your best chance of avoiding the bastard pain of a UTI is to visit the bathroom post sexy time.
Speaking to Healthista, one doctor argued that, while having a wee before sex doesn’t necessarily increase your chances of infection, there is a very good reason why weeing afterwards helps.
Dr Amallah said:
Urinating after sex means you’re flushing out any bacteria that has lodged during intercourse into the urethra, which is the source of this transport of bacteria into the bladder, thus helping minimise your chances of a post-sex UIT.
Women Can Get Pregnant During Their Periods
This will probably come as a surprise to many people, but there is in fact no time of the month when a woman who hasn’t yet reached the menopause can’t get pregnant.
According to the Daily Mail, this is because an egg released during ovulation can survive for up to five days. Meanwhile, healthy sperm has the ability to fertilise an egg for up to four days.
Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility Services, is reported as saying:
This is why we hear about lots of women who’ve thought, ‘Oh, it’s the tail end of my period. I’m perfectly safe’, but actually, they get pregnant.
People With Back Pain Shouldn’t Avoid Sex
Healthista claims that ‘four out of five people experience at least one episode of debilitating lower back pain in their lifetimes and up to 84 per cent of men and 73 per cent of women with the condition report a decrease in the frequency of sex’.
New research suggests that these people are in fact depriving themselves unduly as there are positions which make sex more than just possible.
Tim Allardyce of Surrey Physio said:
They have to ensure they are on their knees rather than standing up.
One of the biggest causes of pain for lower back pain sufferers or those with slipped discs is forward bending.
By kneeling the back remains in a safe position, maintaining its natural curve which will minimise the pain during sex.
Allardyce also added that doggy is advisable for women with back pain, so long as they don’t flex too much.
The main thing is to keep that natural curve in the spine and not round or arch.
Missionary is also an advised position, but the one to avoid? ‘Definitely a man trying to pick someone up – literally – against a wall, in the shower or into mid-air,’ said Allardyce.
Lying With Feet In The Air Doesn’t Maximise The Chance Of Getting Pregnant
Sitting with your legs above your head is apparently an over the top measure. Lying down with a pillow under your back is actually more likely to help.
Dr Gabrielle Downey, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at BMI Hospital, The Priory in Birmingham, told Healthista:
A woman’s uterus is bent slightly forwards so if you tilt your pelvis upward a little, say by putting a pillow under your lower back as you lie down, the sperm will have less of a distance to travel.
That means they are effectively travelling downhill and need less energy to get to where they want to go.
I would actually suggest that lying down for half an hour after sex would be better, to ensure this process has enough time to happen.
Sex Doesn’t Increase The Chance Of A Heart Attack
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology has published research which suggests sex isn’t a key factor in inducing a heart attack.
The data collected showed that just 0.7 per cent of 536 studied heart attack patients reported they had sex one hour before suffering a cardiac arrest, while 78 per cent had sex more than 24 hours before suffering an attack.
Deitrich Rothenbacher, lead author of the study, said:
Based on our data, it seems unlikely that sexual activity is a relevant trigger for heart attack.
Looks like gold diggers everywhere will have to find an alternative weapon to sex then.
Sex Can Induce Labour, But Only If You’re Already Close
Within semen there are hormones called prostaglandins which can soften the cervix and cause contractions, but only if the cervix is already preparing for birth.
Dr Downey told Healthista:
Your cervix has to ripen and be receptive to prostaglandins and this only happens near the end of your pregnancy.
If your cervix isn’t ready, having sex at 20 weeks won’t make you go into early labour.
Downey does claim that sex can cause ‘false labour’ or more correctly ‘prodromal labour’, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions.
Anything that stimulates movement in the uterus can cause Braxton Hicks – including sex – but the difference will be that they tend to only last 20-30 seconds and will rarely stop you from doing what you’re doing, which is a tell tale sign you’re in labour.
Sex Can Actually Help A Headache
A headache is the age old excuse to avoid having sex, but perhaps not anymore.
Research conducted at the University of Munster in Germany examined the effect sex had on migraine sufferers, and the results were pretty compelling.
According to the Daily Mail, over half of the sufferers reported a positive effect on their symptoms after they indulged in sexual activity during an episode.
One in five actually reported that they finished with no pain at all, and it is believed that is the result of endorphins being released into the bloodstream.