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STD Anxiety

Hello Doctors,

Last Friday night (1/18) I had protected sex with a CSW who showed no signs of any disease.  I apologize for the graphic detail but it was brief (less than 1min) and she was on top for the duration (in a sort of crouch), and in retrospect was seemingly making an effort to minimize skin to skin contact.

In the first two days following I had genital itching. On Monday I shaved my pubic region, and on Tuesday evening I noticed several tiny white bumps spread out on my scrotum which disappeared over the next 12-24 hours, this was the only visible evidence I saw of anything and I am of the thinking they were related to shaving.  Throughout this week I have had periodic itching but it's hard to tell if its due to shaving or once again if I am just hyper focused on it. At various times this week I have experienced other symptoms including lack of appetite, feeling overheated, lightheaded, out of sorts, etc.

I am in an otherwise monogamous relationship and have been for 2 years with someone who has recently tested clean in a standard std test. I am terribly afraid of giving her something. We have an active unprotected sex life and I am curious as to when it would be "safe" to resume sexual relations. My biggest fear is herpes and without lesions I understand this cant be detected for several weeks to months.  How long should I wait for symptoms to arise of herpes or another std before I can feel pretty confident that I was not infected without taking a variety of tests? And I understand this is not 100% foolproof as I could show no symptoms at all.  HPV is also a significant concern of mine as I believe her clean STD test indicates she is one of the few who doesnt have it and i would hate to be the one to give it to her esp considering the ramifications from certain strains. I know one encounter is enough to get anything but I take great comfort in long odds.

Thanks so much for your help
5 Responses
300980 tn?1194933000
Welcome to the Forum.  You really need not worry about any STDs related to this encounter.  Most CSWs do not have STDs and when a person does a single, brief sexual exposure, even without a condom usually does not lead to infection.  In your case the presence of a condom makes your risk still lower- condoms reduce the risk for all STDs, including HSV and HPV.  Your risk for STDs from this exposure is immeasurably low.  

That your partner had a "clean" examination does not mean that she does not have HPV and the appearance of an abnormal exam on her part would not necessarily mean that you had transmitted something encountered through the low risk exposure sure describe.

Further, the itching and bumps you describe occurred too soon after exposure to represent STDs- no STDs cause symptoms within a day or two after exposure and lesion diseases (i.e. those that might cause bumps) would take longer than that. Further, untreated STD symptoms (i.e. your "bumps" do not go away without therapy in just a day or two.

My advice- don't worry. there is no realistic medical reason for concern related to the exposure you describe and no need for testing.  thus there is also no reason for you to abstain from sex with your regular partner.

I hope my comments are helpful. EWH
Avatar universal
Thank you Dr., that is very reassuring. One final question: would the other symptoms I have described feeling intermittently (decreased appetite, fatigue, lightheaded, overheating ) typically precede visual lesions? Or would they occur concurrently? Or could those symptoms occur in the absence of lesions yet point to infection? I recognize thy could also be due to anxiety/guilt
300980 tn?1194933000
None of these symptoms is typical for early HIV infection.  EWH
Avatar universal
Hello Drs,
I would like to follow up on my aforementioned predicament. Last weekend (5 weeks post exposure) I noticed two small white colored bumps on the underside of my penis, towards the tip. They are no more than 1-3mm and slightly raised, appearing almost like a zit or whitehead that cannot be popped. Note that these occurred in an area protected by the condom. I have two questions:
1) I know genital warts are notoriously hard to diagnose, but I remain hopeful that these aren't them given the lack of similarly to any pictures or descriptions I have seen. That being said, what should I watch for before deciding this is something that needs to be seen by a doctor? (I.e growth, spreading, etc)  Or should I bite the bullet and see a dermatologist regardless?
2) I plan on getting full STD testing in the next day or two (close to the six week mark). Am I at any additional risk of exposure to an STD given that these warts (if that's what I'm dealing with) appeared in an area covered by a condom? My concern is that my penis came into contact with vaginal fluid after the condom was removed, and given the bumps proximity to the tip, it's possible some may have come in contact with my urethra.
Please let me know your thoughts.  Thank you
300980 tn?1194933000
You ar eworrying entirely too much and probably spending far too much time looking at your genitals for signs of a problem that is not going to be there. In doing so you will "discover" lots of irregularities which have been present for some time and are normal. this is likely what is going on here.

What you have seen is NOT HPV.  Warts appear on average 3-6 months after exposure, not after just five weeks. further the lesions you describe simply do not sound like HPV.

Try to relax.  EWH
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