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Avatar universal

How did I contract this?

I have MC, diagnosed by derm who says that in his days, he doesn’t consider it a STD, he is one of the best in the Boston area. It started about 2-3 months ago. At that time I was with my gf (still with her) for roughly seven months. She doesn’t have any symptoms of it and never had. Before her the last time I was intimate was the beginning of March 09 with another girl. If these are popping up now and she doesn’t seem to have symptoms, where could have I gotten them from? I hope she’s not cheating, I know I’m not cheating. I’m just so worried now. I don’t understand how something like this can come about in a monogomaous relationship. How long can this lay dormant? I’m worried. A few things, we had an issue of non chly and non Gonn NSU, so I always checked for discharge…i.e. would stick hands down there at lunch, in public, in restroom, at the gym. She is a 2nd grad teacher so I don’t know if that’s how it was passed. But she has nothing like the symptoms I have. When I first got it, there was one or two, didn’t know what it was, so I popped them all the time and they began to spread. I just want to know that in your days, is it possible and or common to see this in monogamous relationship, to this day, we’ve been together for 10 months. She swears by her faithfulness (has come to tears many times) and I know I’m the same. Is this just a result of our pasts hitting a head and coming together or a freaky incident at the gym or something. Any light you could shed would be great. Thanks Doc.
9 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome back to the STD forum.

The origins and transmission of genital area molluscum contagiosum are somewhat controversial, and as you have found there are somewhat different opinions about it from dermatologists compared with STD specialists.  Some cases definitely are acquired nonsexually, perhaps especially in persons who are in regular contact with young children -- e.g., day care workers, parents of 2-4 year old kids, etc.  MC is most common in young children, with lesions usually on the face or around the mouth -- transmitted by contact with each others' saliva via toys, hands, etc.  It's easy to understand how an adult could come into contact with such a child, then transfer the virus to the genital area by touching, scratching, wiping after toilet, etc.

That's the dominent view among dermatologists.  From the STD perspective, there are 2 problems with that theory.  First, MC in adults is generally in or around the genitals.  Why not the face, or anywhere else on the body that people touch themselves?  Second, among people presenting to STD clinics with MC, careful exam usually finds one or more sex partners who also have genital area infections.  In summary, I believe most genital area MC infections are acquired sexually, but clearly there are some exceptions.  

Asymptomatic genital area MC probably is qutie common, perhaps especially in women.  A few minor lesions might easily be mistaken for pimples or something else, and other lesions might be internal, not noticed by the infected person and hard to find even by careful examination by a health professional.  The incubation period certainly can be many months in duration.  Even if your infection was sexually acquired from your partner, it doesn't necessarily mean she has had other partners recently, or that you have.  I can easily imagine MC showing up 6-7 months into a relationship.  Or perhaps one of you caught it from a small child, as discussed above, then began to share the infection sexually.  For these reasons, even if sexually acquired, MC often doesn't have the same implications about fidelity as other STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc.

I am concerned by your statement "She swears by her faithfulness (has come to tears many times)...."  This makes it sound like you might have been pressing her pretty hard about her fidelity.  A single straightforward discussion is what you should have had, not repeated questioning.  In glancing at your previous thread on this forum and your very frequent questions on the STD community forum, I see you also had repeated questions about nonchlamydial NGU and its implications for sexual fideltiy.  On briefly scanning those threads, it isn't clear you had NGU at all (no penile discharge, for example) and if you did, nonchlamyidal NGU is also something that often appears in the first few months of a new reliationship, without implying other sex partners.

MC is a trivial condition, as is nonchlamydial NGU.  Both go away on their own, never cause complications, and should be viewed as minor inconveniences, not serious health problems.  They certainly should never be allowed to interfere with a mutually committed sexual relationship.  So my advice at this point is that you (and your partner) need to get mellow about all this; follow your doctors' advice about treatment; and stop worrying about all this.  And please treat her to a wonderful dinner with flowers and the best wine you can afford!

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Doctor,

Thank you for your prompt reply. So what you are saying is that both her or I could have had this from a past experience and mostly means that it wasn't acquired sexually in our relationship window from an outside source/partner. I am in love and would be crushed, that's why i think i'm so focused on the negative.
Have you seen MC inside mutually monogomous relationships before?
Does it sometimes take a while for it to be transfered if present on a party?
And, is it plausible that it can be caught from the gym, we both go quite frequently?
And why would it present itself so deep into our life together?

This is very important to me, I don't want to always have thoughts of her possible infidelity in my head, and your view and expertise on the subject is very important. If you think that it's possible to show without infidelity being involved, it means alot in my view of the situation, due to your profession in this matter.

Kind Regards
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Except for the gym business, your follow-up questions are re-asking the same things with different words.  Read my reply above; all the answers are there.

As for acquiring MC in a gym, it might be possible but probably unlikely. Some cases are just unexplained.  As your dermatologist told you, he undoubtedly has seen lots of cases that did not seem to be sexually acquired.  I suppose things like shared towels or other exposures in moist, humid environments might be possible.  

I already explained that MC is "possible to show without infidelity being involved".  I'm not going to repeat the reasons.  Given your partner's reactions to your repeated questioning, clearly it is time for you to believe her.  If you find yourself dwelling on the possibility she has been unfaithful, I suggest you just terminate the relationship or seek counseling about it.  Frankly, given your attitude, I would advise HER to be careful about continuing in the relationship.
Avatar universal
Doctor,

Sorry for badgering you, I just wanted to know if you have seen cases of it in your time as a medical professional in a monogomous relationship, or more like if it can be deemed sometimes common in monogomy. That's all, I love my GF and have taken the steps to seek counseling weeks ago and she's standing by me. But after reading this forum for the past few months, i've come to admire you and respect your opinions.

Regards.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
What does it matter whether or not I have personally seen MC in monogamous couples?  It happens, whether or not I have seen any or not, and it seems your dermatologist has seen this.  Probably I have seen such a case now and then, but I don't recall.  (STD clinics aren't heavily populated by monogmous couples!)
Avatar universal
One more thing Doc, you say it could have gone unoticed on her. Could by discovery of it and ensuing popping without discretion have spread it and made it noticable on me...ie could i have had it all along an not noticed. And what you said about MC and NGU (ie non chly and non gonn....these are things that can happen in monogomy and not mean infidelity and be happening overtime cause we aren't even at a year yet?) Doctor, thanks for your help, this will be my last question.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Yes, the local spread of MC can be increased by inadvertant scratching or "popping" of lesions, without knowing they are there.

This fact is irrelevant to the fidelity/monogamy issue, on which you obviously remain fixated -- irrationally so -- despite all I have written so far.  I doubt the reason you are fixated on that you "love her and would be crushed" etc.  More likely it is a control issue.  That you have "taken steps" toward counseling is meaningless.  Until you actually have started sessions with a therapist, that simply doesn't count for anything.

But now I'm far afield off the STD issues themselves.  That's the end of this thread.  I'll have nothing more to say.
Avatar universal
By taking steps, I mean I've gone to 5 sessions.
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Tha't good to hear.  Keep working on it.  Reallly, your genital health problems are definitely not reasons to suspect your partner of infidelity.

That's definitely all for this thread.
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