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Vaginal irritation from boyfriend?
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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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Vaginal irritation from boyfriend?

Hi,

My boyfriend and I have only ever been with each other.

But just under 3 years ago (October 2003),  my boyfriend received unprotected oral sex from a promiscuous woman. I forgave him and we moved on. But here's what's happened since the oral sex episode (we went through a lot, so I'm trying to recall the best that I can):

November 2003: boyfriend complains of painful scrotum. He's diagnosed with prostatitis.

Januray 2004: I begin to feel what I can only descibe as "irritated" in my vaginal area. Doctor prescribes me some cream. No effect.

February 2004 - June 2004: irritation continues, with tip of vagina looking red. Pain comes and goes. Doctor continues to prescribe creams and antibiotics.

July 2004: boyfriend confesses and we get tested for all STD's (minus herpes). All negative.

August 2004 - December 2004: irritation comes and goes for the remainder of the year.

March 2005: A scary few weeks. A huge rash breaks out on my my inner thighs. It looks red and white with a few blisters on the vagina as well open sores on the legs. This last for about 2 painful days. Doctor sends me to a specialist. He puts me on sitz baths. This helps a little, but irritation persists. It's only ever been this bad this one time.

June 2005: specialist does a biospy which comes back as genital warts. Upon futher examination, we discover that I was misdiagnosed, and I was put on Aldara cream for nothing, which only intensified the vaginal pain.

August 2005: go to another specialist. She diagnoses me with a bacterial infection. She gives me antibiotics which helped. For the irritation, she prescribed me some antidepressants, because she said that I have senstive neve endings down there. That helps.

November 2005: refill the antidepressant perscription as irritation still hasn't gone away completly.

April 2006: Still on the antidepressants, and just last night I noticed that my vagina has a red mark on it about the size of a pinky finger (both with and length). I'm nervous that it may turn into the rash that I got in March of 2005.

My questions:

1) Is all this caused my by boyfriend's oral sex encounter? Or is it just a big coinicidence? We've tried so hard to put the cheating episode behind us, but it's so difficult when this problem keeps reminding us of the possibilty. We just want to get on with our lives.

2) What are the chances of herpes? Boyfriend never had any symptoms.

3) Are we passing something back and forth... he's still sore. He went to a urologist who just did a cystoscopy and found nothing, however. He's still on diclofenac (?) for his discomfort.

This has gone on for way too long, and is effecting our relationship, and our sex life. He never knows when to be intimate because he can never tell if I'm sore or not.

I'm extremly frustrated because not only is this still going on, but my doctor is so busy I can ever get into see her when my vagina is actually red so she can see it. :-(

What do you think?



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You have been through a lot, and you and your boyfriend have my sympathies.  But as you undoubtedly understand, with such a complex sequence of events, it is risky for me to speculate about the cause(s) of your problems.  However, I wonder about a yeast infection that is resistant to the usual antifungal creams and antibiotics.  If you haven't been checked for that, you should raise it with your providers.  (That diagnosis requires a culture test for yeasts, not just examining discharge under the microscope, the usual approach to diagnosing vaginal yeast infections.)  To your specific questions:

1) I do not believe any of this has anything whatsoever to do with your partner's oral sex encounter.  That includes not only your symptoms, but his scrotal pain and the diagnosis of prostatitis--which to my knowledge has never been linked to oral sex.

2) Neither your symptoms nor your partner's sound like herpes.  However, herpes can be highly atypical and it would not be unreasonable for you and your partner to be tested for it.  I predict you both will be negative for HSV-2, but if positive, perhaps your providers would try antiherpetic therapy to see if it improves your symptoms.  But don't count on this as the answer.

3) I do not believe you are suffering "ping pong" infection.  However, it is conceivable that some of your symptoms could be related to exposure to his semen.  For example, your "bacterial infection" might have been bacterial vaginosis.  BV is often referred to as a sexually "associated" (but not "transmitted") infection, and in some women it may be triggered by semen exposure.  In any case, it wouldn't hurt for you and your partner to use condoms 100% of the time for several weeks, just to see if it has an effect on your symptoms.

Finally, if the specialists you have seen have not included an expert in both ObG and infectious diseases, you should look into that possibility.  Although formally trained ID specialists aren't common in the ObG world, such expertise often can be found at academic medical centers.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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Thanksyou, that makes me feel so much better.

We're not sure about getting tested for herpes... it's expensive, and we don't have the money right now. He said that the other woman was clean as they were friends and he believes her. He doesn't recall seeing any sores or anything on her regardless.

I'm going to my doctor's tomorrow (thank God).
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