[Question #2750] Belated symptoms?

42 months ago
I (male) had an unprotected encounter with another male over a year ago.  Giving and receiving oral, probably less than five minutes each, no ejaculation.  The other guy had been in a monogamous relationship with another male for several years and informed me both he and his partner were tested and clean.  Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, three weeks later I got tested for gono/chlam, which was negative, although I only had my urine tested, not my throat. 

I had no symptoms of any kind for the next year.  Almost a year to the day from the exposure, I started feeling bad pain in one of my testicles.  Based on an ultrasound, torsion was ruled out and I was diagnosed with epididymitis and orchitis.  I was given, and took, ceftriaxone and dody. I got a “regular” urine screening, which was negative for bacteria or elevated WBCs, although this was not specifically a gono/chlam test. I was never specifically diagnosed with gonorrhea. A follow-up with a urologist revealed no other testicular problems. I have felt mostly fine since finishing my meds, save for occasional twinges of pain in the *other* testicle, but nothing like what sent me to get the first one checked. 

Now, in the past year I’ve also had a female partner. She didn’t have any symptoms of any kind over the past year either.  My question is: what is the likelihood my recent symptoms were related to the encounter over a year ago?  I feel like for this to make sense, I would had to have had oral gonorrhea, passed it to my female partner somehow, who somehow passed it back to me...
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
42 months ago
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your question.   I'll try to help.  The encounter with another male that describe was very low risk and  for all practical purposes, your subsequent testing proved that you were not infected.  While there is a TINY change that you might have acquired gonorrhea or chlamydia through of your throat from the encounter, even if you had been infected in the throat, this would not cause epididymitis. 

Your doctor treated you with appropriate and recommended therapy for epididymitis which, in men under that age of 30 is most often but still not always caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.  The therapy would also work for the other, non-STI bacteria which sometime cause epididymitis (and do so increasingly as men get older- you did not mention your age).  There is little reason to worry that your recent bout of epididymitis was related to your male encounter a year ago.  On the other hand, are you sure that your more recent partner did not have chlamydia or, less likely, gonorrhea, both of which are usually asymptomatic in women.  Was she tested or treated at the time you were treated for epididymitis.  I might have done that, both for her sake and yours.  EWH
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42 months ago
Thanks, Dr. Hook.   Without getting into details, I’m certain my female partner did not get gonorrhea or chlamydia from any third party.  So just to be clear, I should not worry about a scenario in which I got oral gonorrhea a year ago, passed it to my female partner via cunnilingus at some point, and then got it (back) from her via vaginal-penile intercourse, resulting in my epididymitis?