[Question #1728] All tests negative but intermittent itching in genitals remains for months

45 months ago
For four months, I have a distracting intermittent (days on and off) itch in my genitals which waxes and wanes but never fully resolves.  I have been tested repeatedly for HIV, HSV 1 & 2 (IGG and IGM), Gonorrhea, Syphlis, Trichomoniasis, and seen by a board certified dermatologist.  All negative. Never a visible sore or rash or wart. I understand concern or anxiety can produce these symptoms but these are unlike past only in that they never resolve and provide unwelcome distraction. Sometimes feel like miniature razors slicing skin.  If I did have an infectious STI, what possibilities remain and what would you test for.  I fully understand the likelihood is it is just anxiety but would like to understand the potential STIs that might remain possibilities to be safe and sensitive to my partner.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your qeustion.

You have no STD. There are no STDs that cause symptoms of the kind you describe. Your statement about anxiety contains an internal illogical inconsistence:  You say you understand that anxiety can produce such symptoms (true -- or at least anxiety can magnify trivial symptoms or normal body sensations); and yet they "never resolve and provde unwelcome distraction" -- which is exactly typical for anxiety symptoms!

I see no need for any additional STD testing. You should be continuing (or resuming) sex with your regular partner. Your symptoms are not due to any STD or other infection that you can transmit to her.

I hope this information is helpful. Best wishes and stay safe--  HHH, MD

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45 months ago
As I suspected- Many thanks- sometimes an impartial answer from a knowledgeable Doctor can be very reassuring- thanks
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to ahve helped.

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45 months ago
If a woman I have just had sex with starts complaining of the same sort of genital itching within a few days of intercourse, how would you interpret that, and are there any lesser knows STI's or tests that you would pivot too?  Of course I am jumping the gun out of anxiety, but if that happened, what would you coulee?  Many thanks
45 months ago
I meant- "what would you counsel?"
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
I remain confident you have no STD and haven't infected your partner with anything that would cause genital itching. This is an exceedingly common symptom in all humans, usually with no discernable cause. The most common infectious cause of genital itch in women is yeast infection, which nearly all women have from time to time. Yeast isn't sexually transmitted (we all have yeasts on our skin, especially moist surfaces like genitals, etc), but sex often triggers yeast symptoms in infected women. Also, if your partner also has an inclination to anxiety about genital symptoms, and if you told her of your itching, that alone might explain hers. I'm speculating of course, but that seems more likely than any STD.

Come to think of it, if the itching is primarily in the pubic are --  i.e. not penis, her labia, etc -- one possibility of a semi-STD is crabs, i.e. pubic louse infestation. If that's it, you both should be able to see nits (eggs) attached to pubic hairs, and the lice themselves, which at first look like small brown spots ~1 mm diameter. (You can google it for photos.) 


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