[Question #3180] Discharge due to STIs

37 months ago
Dear Dr. HHH/Dr. Hook,

Can you please let me know how the penile discharge due to STIs normally looks like? I woke up at night to notice a clear and slightly viscous fluid on my penis head. I am concerned if this is due to an STI/ or was just pre-cum.
Also, can you please let me know how many days post-exposure the urine test results for Chlamydia and Gonnorhea are reliable (considering the discharge is due to an STI) ?

Thanks!

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
Welcome back to the forum, but sorry you found it necessary again. It seems you continue to worry unnecessarily about your low risk oral sex exposure a month ago -- and maybe a more recent one? (You said "a few days" in your question yesterday, to be answered by Terri.) Many or all your "symptoms" are normal body sensations and skin appearance that otherwise you would ignore or not even notice. 

In this case, your description suggests normal pre-ejaculate fluid (sometimes called "pre-cum"), which occurs naturally during sexual arousal, including the erections that occur naturally during sleep, sometimes several times a night. Or perhaps you had ejaculated recently (masturbation?) and woke up with a little more ejaculate becoming apparent.

Urethral discharge due to STD generally starts within 2-5 days of exposure for gonorrhea or after 1-2 weeks for chlamydia and other kinds of nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). It is generally cloudy white or yellow, like pus.

Urine testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia is valid any time more than 3-4 days after exposure, and for several weeks thereafter.

HHH, MD

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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
I should have said many or all your symptoms *sound like they may be* (not "are") normal body sensations....---
37 months ago
Thanks a lot, Dr. HHH.

Yes, am overly concerned, especially due to the bumps that am seeing that I might have acquired STDs. I did not masturbate, but remember feeling being aroused at night. I think it was pre-cum most probably but my anxiety is getting the better of me. 

I will go in for urine test tomorrow morning to put my mind at ease. Thanks again.

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
The only STDs that causes "skin bumps" are genital warts and molluscum contagiosum. Although the word "bumps" sometimes is applied to herpes, herpes lesions do not remain unchanged in appearance for days or weeks; they always go from red bump to blister to sore over several days. I suggest you google warts and MC to see photos. If your bumps don't match them, for sure they are not an STD. Given your virtually zero risk exposure, I would advise against urine testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia. There is no chance you have either one.

The main problem here obviously is psychological, i.e. your anxieties over a sexual decision you apparently regret. Deal with that as you need to, but don't confuse these feelings with infection risk. They aren't the same.
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37 months ago
Thanks a lot for your reassuring words, Dr. HHH.
The bumps don't look like warts or molluscum contagiosum to me. I will try to do my best to explain how they have progressed. 

They had first appeared almost like 3-4 small hard whiteheads. One of the physicians who saw me rubbed her finger over them, but they did not break and were not tender. She had then tried to get a good sample for PCR swab. I did observe a break in one of the bump next morning and it had turned red, with little blood at the opening. Another bump had also turned red. Though I am not sure if swabbing had caused that to happen. The open cut did not seem to ooze any other kind of fluid later and remained red. However I observed redness or chaffing in the skin surrounding these bumps and am observing pain in my left groin area which had me worried.


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
Thanks for this description, but I didn't intend to offer any attempt at actual diagnosis. We are strictly limited against doing that:  this is a medical advice site, not a resource to actually provide health care through diagnosis, treatment, etc. I'll just say these could be pimples or superficial sebaceous glands, yeast infection, or just some sort of chafing; and I continue to doubt herpes or any STD. In any case, what did the doctor say who examined you and collected the HSV PCR specimens? Her diagnosis is far more reliable than anything anyone can say by written description.

That concludes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each thread, so this discussion is now closed. Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. This being your third on this exposure and STD concerns, it will have to be your last one; once your current thread with Terri also has been closed, future new questions about this exposure, testing, and your fears about HIV or other STDs will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties rather than reducing them. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. I trust you will understand.

Best wishes and stay safe. I hope this discussion has been helfpul.
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