STDs Expert Forum
Molluscum in my mouth?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Molluscum in my mouth?

A gal I was dating (I'll call her 3D)and I had very close genital contact and brief penetration. I also gave her oral sex for about 10 minutes.  5 weeks later about 20 little red bumps appeared on my lower abdomen (none on the penis).  At the same time my tongue and gums became very red and sore and little white spots appeared under the skin on the inside of my upper lip (none on the bottom lip). The health care provider diagnosed the pubic bumps as molluscum.  I showed her my lips and after a quick glance she said it looked like it "could be" molluscum.  (In subsequent conversations she said she had never actually seen molluscum in the mouth before and didn't know if it looked like regualr molluscum.) I removed the molluscum from my pubic area (as instructed by the doctor).  Five weeks after removing them another 6 or so showed up.  When these showed up I got a very sore throat that took 7 days to settle down.  I found 3 more, two weeks later.  Nothing has shown up now for the last 3 weeks and the spots are mostly healed.

The spots on (or should I say "in") my upper lip are not raised, like the pubic ones, are 1mm wide or less and somewhat irregular in shape.  I've also noticed 6 or so small raised bumps on my gums.  They are < 1mm wide and just a little lighter color than my gums.  I made a couple, very limited, attempts to remove them from my lip.  On one attempt I thought I may have removed a waxy core, like I did from the pubic area, but never was really sure if it was one or not.

I am a 48 year old heterosexual man. 3D, whom I am not seeing anymore, is my only partner since a 2 1/2 year monogomus relationship.  She had a pelvic exam a few weeks before we were intimate.  She has been back to the doctor twice since I informed her of my molluscum and says that they didn't find anything.  It has now been 13 weeks since we were intimate and she says nothing has shown up.

My questions are:

1) How difficult is it to detect molluscum in women?  Could 3D have it and not know it after 2 exams?

2)How could I have contracted molluscum if not from 3D?

3)How common is molluscum in the lips and gums?

4) What else could the spots in my mouth be?
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I have never seen oral molluscum contagiosum in an adult or that was sexually acquired; if it happens, it is rare.  MC of the face is common in young children, however.  The spots you describe don't particularly sound like that diagnosis, and your provider seemed to be uncertain about your oral lesions.  However, I cannot speculate further; a dermatologist would be able to tell for certain just by looking at them.  

1) I'm sure MC can be easily missed during a pelvic exam.  Conceivably she could have it.  But if so, it will clear up on its own; the immune system naturally cures MC within a few months.  Once your pubic area lesions have been treated and cleared up, and if MC doesn't explain the oral lesions (or when they clear up), you can forget this minor STD entirely.  It never causes significant health risks.

2) Pubic area MC generally is sexually acquired.

3) Rare; see above.

4) I cannot speculate about specific diagnosis without personal examination.  See a health care provider.

Good luck-- HHH, MD
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