[Question #4160] Epididymitis and Genital Apposition

32 months ago

I am a 39 year old male who was in a monogamous relationship until about 1 year ago. About 6 months ago I engaged in unprotected Genital Apposition for several minutes. My partner was a 33 year old women. There was no penetration. I don't have any symptoms except for having pain in my lower abdomen, which began about 2 months ago. There are no other symptoms at all. My knowledge of the human anatomy is somewhat limited, so it is not clear to me if it is my lower abdominal or my pelvic area that feels the pain. The pain is just below the waist line and is really only painful when doing certain activities such as running, sit-ups, planks and at times when getting up off the floor. The women is a doctor and requested that I get an STD panel done to provide her with reassurance. STDs never really crossed my mind until she requested this and then I started Googling lower abdominal and pelvic pain in men and Epididymitis came up. I would describe the pain as what I typically feel if I pull a muscle or work a muscle too hard. My only concern is that it has not subsided for about 2 months where if I would have expected it to be gone after resting for a week.

Before I go get the panel done, I just wanted to better understand my overall risk. Could you be so kind to help answer the following questions:

1) General Risk associated with Genital Apposition
2) Is this type of symptom an indication of Epididymitis

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
32 months ago
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your questions.  I'll go straight to your questions.

1.  Genital apposition is not a risk for any of the STIs transmitted through penetrative sexual contact, i.e. HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, NGU, trichomoniasis, etc.  While there is a theoretical risk for acquisition of STIs which cause lesions (syphilis, herpes, HPV), the fact is that this sort of transmission is vanishingly rare and, unless you develop new lesions at a site of apposition, I would not be worried about such STIs and therefore would not test for them in the least. 

2.  Your symptoms are not suggestive of epididymitis.  The primary symptoms of epididymitis are testicular in nature and include marked new testicular tenderness, swelling and pain.  Occasionally these symptoms may be accompanied by lower abdominal discomfort but it is the testicular symptoms that are most important.  Your discomfort sound muscular in nature to me, as I sense it does to you.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  EWH