STDs Expert Forum
Sore Throat
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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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Sore Throat

I am woman (20+ yrs married) who has only been with 1 man in her life until recently-2 regretted incidents of mutual oral sex with ejaculation & swallowing-the incidents happened 2 days apart. He is a trusted man, low risk as far as I know & tells me he has no STDs & is HIV free as recent blood & platelet donations have determined that. His most recent experiences (in the last 6 mo.) have been limited to 1 person who claims to also be STD free & has not been with anyone other than him in 2 1/2 yrs. Answers to similar oral related questions are noted, but I still have concerns. 8 days after the 1st occurance I noticed a sore throat-the worst of it (which was rather mild)lasted only 2 days & with it was drainage from my sinuses (I presume)& some minor ear pain with sensations in my jaw/ear region. The sinus drainage has continued & the irritated throat has been off/on but is pretty minor & I'm guessing it's due to the drainage & my constant need to rid my throat of that & nothing more.  Still, need your opinion here to either put this to rest or go have it checked. Today is day 16 after the 1st experience with this person. 3 questions-I have read that for women inparticular, 1 noted STD will have symptoms of a sore throat although usually this is not evident-when it is, how servere are the symptoms - this isn't clear in any documentation anywhere & none that I have found note any other symptoms that go with it. What are the implications of not treating an oral infection caused by an STD?  What is the likelihood of transferring this, if it is an oral STD to my spouse?
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In general, STD risks are low from oral sex--which is much safer than vaginal or anal intercourse.

Your symptoms are classical for a garden-variety upper respiratory infection, not an STD.  For your specific questions:  You are wrong about symptoms; most STDs of the throat cause no sore throat or any other symptom.  When symptoms rarely occur, they generally are mild.  Chlamydia almost never infects the throat; when gonorrhea is there, it clears up on its own in a few weeks--but of course antibiotics make it go away faster.  Transmission of oral gonorrhea to a partner's genitals can occur, but is rare.

If you want to be 100% certain about all this, go to your local health department's STD clinic and have a throat culture for gonorrhea.

Good luck-- HHH, MD
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