The fun stuff
NSW Government
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Have you ever had questions about sex and sexual health, and wondered if anyone else has the same questions? There are so many myths when it comes to sex and sexual health that it can be hard to know what the facts are.

We have pulled together questions and answers about commonly asked questions about safe sex, contraception, sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and HIV. 

1. If I shower before and/or after sex am I safe from STIs & pregnancy? 

No! Showering before or after sex does not prevent against STIs or unplanned pregnancy. Condoms are the best way to protect you from STIs and unplanned pregnancy. You can find out more about condoms and how to use them here 

2. Do we need to use condoms when I am on the contraceptive pill?  

Yes! The pill is a type of contraception which will help reduce the chances of an unplanned pregnancy. The pill does not offer any protection from STIs. It is best to use condoms while taking the pill to protect you from STIs. You can find out more about condoms here and contraception options here 

3. Is using two condoms better than one?  

No! Using any type of two condoms at the same time will increase the risk of the condom breaking and is not effective. Using one condom with water-based lubricant is all you need to have safe and healthy sex life. You can get condoms from your local supermarket, chemist and at most university health clinics! For more information about condoms, click here 

4. Does pulling out before ejaculating mean you can’t get pregnant or get an STI? 

No! The withdrawal method is when the penis is removed from the vagina before ejaculation occurs. It is not a reliable form of contraception and does not provide protection from STIs. Condoms are the best protection against unplanned pregnancy and STIs. You can find out more about condoms and how to use them here 

5. Does the natural method of counting days, avoid unplanned pregnancy and STIs? 

Not always! The fertility awareness method or natural method is not as effective as other forms of contraception, and most importantly does not protect against STIs. It is best to use condoms to prevent STIs and to chat to a doctor about safe and reliable forms of contraception. You can find out more about contraception options here. 

6. Can I catch an STI or HIV from a public toilet? 

No! You cannot get an STI or HIV from using any toilet, or from kissing, hugging and sharing foods. STIs are passed on from a person with an infection to another often through sex without a condom. To find out more about STIs and HIV, go to the International Student Health Hub 

7. If I get an STI or HIV test, will the doctor tell my parents? 

No! It is a legal requirement for health professionals to keep your health information private and confidential. Only you can see your health information and the doctor won’t tell your parents if you get an STI or HIV test. It is illegal for Health staff to share your health information without your permission.  

8. Can I catch an STI from kissing, hugging and sharing food with someone? 

It’s unlikely! STIs are passed on from a person with an infection to another through body fluids like blood, semen, or vaginal fluid. It is possible for STIs such as herpes, gonorrhoea and syphilis to be passed on through kissing (usually from saliva and/or skin-to-skin contact), though kissing is a low-risk activity. Most STIs are transmitted via anal or oral sex, and the exchange of anal, front hole, and penile fluids Condoms are the best way to prevent STIs. You can find out more about condoms and how to use them here 

9. Can I tell if someone has an STI or HIV by looking at them? 

No! You cannot tell if someone has an STI or HIV by looking at them. Get tested regularly and use condoms for the best protection. To find out more about STIs and HIV, go to the International Student Health Hub 

Do you have questions about sexual health? Ask our sexual health nurse, Nurse Nettie a question. Or head to the International Student Health Hub to find out more about safe sex in Sydney and NSW.