[Question #3902] Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Risk

34 months ago
Approximately five months ago (20 weeks) I had a one night stand with unprotected oral and vaginal sex.  The vaginal lasted maybe 30 seconds before putting on a condom.  This is someone I previously knew and assured me that she was STD free.  8 days later I tested for both chlamydia and gonorrhea and both came back negative.  Fast forward 17 weeks later (3 weeks ago) and I experience a stinging sensation at the tip of my penis.  This lasted for a few seconds for once or twice a day for three days or so.  I have since been experiencing groin pain (feels like a pulled groin or muscle).  I have never experienced any discharge or pain during urination.  My fear is that I tested to soon for Chlamydia and received a false negative.  I have not had any other partners since then other than my wife and I obviously fear I may have spread something to her (she has never complained of any symptoms.)  Any help that can be provided is greatly appreciated.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thank you for your confidence in our services.

It is very unlikely you have any STD from the exposure described. First, statistically, it is unlikely a partner like you describe would have a transmissible STD that could cause such symptoms. Second, even with infected partners, most exposures don't result in STD transmission. Third, the unprotected exposure was brief. Fourth, the standard gonorrhea and chlamydia tests are highly reliable and 8 days is plenty of time for accurate results. (That is, your fear of false negative results is not really justified.) Fifth, STDs almost never cause "stinging" of the penile tip. The main symptoms are discharge from the penis or penile blisters or sores, not stinging alone.

Anxiety over a regretted sexual exposures is a common explanation for symptoms like yours. Anxiety and psychological factors commonly magnify trivial symptoms, or even normal body sensations that you otherwise would ignore or not even notice. However, you're in a much better position that I am to judge whether this might be likely in your case. But I see no reason for additional testing and if somehow I were in your situation, I would continue unprotected sex with my wife without worry I could infect her with any STD from the exposure described. If your symptoms continue or you otherwise remain concerned, you could return to your doctor for further evaluation. But I'm confident nothing serious is wrong.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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34 months ago
Thank you doc.  If you tell me that 8 days is plenty of time to test for chlamydia and gonorrhea then I will move forward with confidence.  I had read in a number of places on line that you should wait two weeks and I got nervous.  Thanks again!!
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Indeed, there are online and other sources that recommend waiting 2 weeks. I don't know where that comes from, but I have a guess:  some studies of test performance might have limited research to persons exposed at least 2 weeks earlier. If so, regulatory agencies like FDA in the US, and FDA's counterparts elsewhere, might require a statement that test performance isn't known for more recent exposures. That might be technically true, except we have plenty of data (and a couple decades of clinical experience) to document gonorrhea testing is valid within 3-4 days and chlamydia within a week or so. Don't worry about it!---