STDs Expert Forum
Risk of Bacterial Infection from Handjob
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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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Risk of Bacterial Infection from Handjob

I have reviewed your previous answers to questions, but still would like some reassurance regarding my particular situation. I received an unprotected handjob 33 days ago (with some oil as lubricant).  Two days after the contact, I began to feel a frequent need to urinate.  I believed it to be my imagination and simply tried to ignore it.  It continued and I began to have slight irritation/tingling at the tip of my penis, worst at night when I would lay down fom bed.  The need to urinate was still there but less of a concern to me at that point.  I went to my doctor, who did not inquire about sexual activity and preformed a urinalysis (I don't know what they really did, it only took ten minutes or so) and did a visual exam of genitals and preformed a prostate exam.  She then prescribed Bactrim for possible prostitis.  The symptoms continued and I began to have insomnia (whether due to medication or to stress I'm not sure).  After a week of medication the symptoms persisted, but the tingling/irriatation seemed to resolve more each day (worse in morning, but much less in afternoon and evening).  On day 32, I had the first slight discharge since the exposure, but it might have been the result of my being aroused a half-hour earlier.  In any event, it was clear and very slight and has not continued (it happened in the late afternoon).  At two weeks post exposure  and again at three weeks, I had negative tests for gon. and chyl. by DNA amplified urine test from a private anonymous lab.  I want to simply put this behind me, but I need some reassurance that I do not have something I can give to my long-term girlfriend.  This was my only exposure in the last three months (I have been out of town away from my girlfriend), and my only exposure in last three years other than my girlfriend.

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts

Specifically,

1) Do the symptoms above suggest any STDs to you?

2) Is it possible to get Gon., Chy. or NGU/NSU through a handjob?

3)  Would Bactrim be effective against Gon. Chy. or NGU/NSU?

4)  How conclusive is DNA amplification test for Gon.  Chy.? Would it show anything regarding other types of NGU/NSU?

Thank you in advance
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From your description, I am uncertain you have any infection of your urethra, prostate, or elsewhere in your urinary tract.  If you do, you did not acquire it as a result of the handjob you describe.  Hand to genital contact in theory can transmit herpes or HPV (neither of which can possibly be the cause of your symptoms), but carries absolutely no risk for bacterial STD or urinary tract infection.  So the direct answers to your questions are:

1) No.  2) No.  3) Bactrim is poor against gonorrhea, usually effective against chlamydia, and not well studied (ie, hard to predict) for nonchlamydial NGU.  4) The test results are 100% conclusive that you don't have those infections.  There are no DNA or other tests for other possible causes of NGU.

Follow up with your own provider if your symptoms persist or you have other questions or concerns about it.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
7 Comments
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You can get herpes or HPV from a handjob?
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I knew it!  As soon as I hit "Enter", I realized that somebody was going to interpret "in theory" as contradicting what I have said before about herpes and HPV transmission by hand jobs.  I almost went back and added my own comment, but mf beat me to it.

There is no contradiction.  It is possible to have HPV or herpes infections of the hands or fingers, so it is theoretically possible that those viruses could be transmitted by hand to genital contact.  But it never happens, or so rarely as to not matter.  (I have never seen a case.)

HHH, MD
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How is it possible that so many people have HPV?
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Dear b-baller,

I'm in a situation that is nearly identical to yours. I'm a 32 year-old male. I got an oil massage / handjob about six days ago. I started noticing a tingling/burning in my urethra and at the tip of my penis about a day or two later. I also now have some mild pain in my left testicle, and a general feeling of malaise (being run-down).

I can't figure this out! I do have quite a bit of anxiety about the situation (since I am married), but it seems unlikely that these persistent symptoms are just a product of my imagination.

Several causes of the symptoms seem plausible to me:

1) Some kind of persistent chemical irritation to the penis/scrotum from the massage oil, or

2) Some other kind of bacterial infection (urinary tract infection?) that was either triggered by the massage or independent of the massage.

I wish I had some advice to offer. It seems that you're further down the road than I am, so if you have any insight, please post again.

Best wishes,
Ben
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Avatar_n_tn
Doc,

I was recently placed on Levaquin by my GP.  Would this be effective against non-chlym. NGU?
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I had a massage with oil this past Monday and have had pain/burning...weird feeling in my **** for the last two days (3 days after exposure).  I think that when the massage takes place if the person has bacteria on their hand it can be massaged into the urethra.  This can't be a coincidence that three people have had this happen - or seem to happen.  I got ahold of some zithromax from a friend and took it a few hours ago.  I hope when I wake up tomorrow a.m. the pain is gone.  I'm somewhat paranoid that I could have herpes in the urethra although i see no redness.  I will never, ever get a massage like this from someone i don't know again.  I thought I was being safe!  Now I'm left watching my **** for the next 2 weeks hoping I don't have herpes and another 6 months (from what I read) for genital warts.:(  I feel like an idiot for not having looked this stuff up before I did it.
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A related discussion, HPV OR HSV-2 risk was started.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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