4 weeks ago I had unprotected oral sex with a guy who has had multiple partners. Since then, I have had a tingling/itchy sensation at the tip of my penis -- it comes and goes throughout the day, but is fairly persistent and occurs essentially every day. I have no other symptoms -- no discharge, no pain during urination, and no visible sores/blisters. At ten days after the encounter, I tested negative for gon/chlam with a urethra swab test at the clinic. What should I do now?
1) Should I return to the clinic for additional testing? They only did gon/chlam -- which seemed appropriate at the time. If so, would other tests be appropriate now?
2) Should I see a different specialist? Dermatologist? Urologist? PCP?
3) Should I just wait this out? How long would such symptoms typically last if they are not due to STD?
Thanks for your advice. I was feeling relieved after the gon/chlam results but now feeling anxious.
Symptoms like yours are reported pretty commonly after anxiety-provoking sexual encounters. You may well be in the same situation as "ThoroughlyConcerned" (early today).
Most likely the symptoms will just fade over a couple of weeks, but get a second opinion (e.g., from your local health department STD clinic, or your PCP) if they continue. Many docs will give patients like you a trial of antibiotic--but as suggested in the thread below, don't expect miracles.
Relax-The Doc will most likely say the itchy feeling does not sound like an STD. Neg for Gohn/Chlm would rule that out-Herpes usually would show up within four weeks, usually 10 days, so four weeks sounds like you are good there. Syphillis could be a rare chance, depending on your location as there are some higher rates of it- i.e San Fransico- But at foru weeks you could get tested for that as well to rule it out-and it usually appears with a painless sore- I beleive it could show up within 3 months, but that outside range- it usually appears sooner-
So depending upon you anxiety level, you could get tested to ease your mind, but I bet the doc says not to worry and no testing needed.
Thank you (and yoy) for your quick responses. I am hopeful these annoying symptoms will dissipate soon and I won't fall into the trap you refer to in the thread below.
Since I live near SF, what are your thoughts on the possible increased risk for syphilis as mentioned in yoy's comment? Is it wise to just wait for a symptom or should I ask for testing at the clinic? From other comments, it seems like 4 weeks might be a little too early for testing.
Your symptoms don't suggest syphilis. Most people with syphilis of the penis--which apparently is the only site exposed--get a very noticeable sore (the chancre). If that happens, of course get tested. And every man who has sex with other guys should have a syphilis blood test once a year--so if you haven't been tested recently, this might be a good time. Otherwise don't worry about it.
Dear Dr. H,
I would be happy to make another donation to MedHelp, but I am wondering if you could go a little further as part of this thread in answering some more questions about syphilis. Is there some point at which the vast majority of infected people would develop a chancre? As you can imagine for someone who is a little anxious -- I am inspecting my penis more than once a day for any sign of a chancre -- and I am hoping that at some point, but earlier than the 3 month time point I see mentioned at many websites, I can feel confident that one won't suddenly pop up. It has now been 4 weeks.
Also, a question about infectivity if in fact I have contracted syphilis. Would I only be infectious only at the site of infection (penis)? Could I resume sexual activity with my regular partner through kissing or giving (but not receiving) fellatio?
Thank you for your very direct answers to questions and the wonderful service you provide through this forum.
There are no data available to answer you in any more detail. Some people have syphilis without ever noticing a chancre, but most of those are women and gay men with internal (rectal, vaginal chancres). But nobody can tell you how often someone exposed only on the penis don't get visible chancres. It's not common.
But if you remain nervous, get tested. I truly don't think it is worth your time and energy, but a blood test is accurate once 6 weeks has passed.
Early in the course of infection, syphilis is transmitted only from the chancre. Other anatomic areas can be infectious later, but that's irrelevant to your case.
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