[Question #6388] Molluscum Contagiosum

17 months ago
I am a male that has a single bump on my pubic area that I am almost certain is molluscum contagiosum (please work under that assumption). I had penetrative vaginal sex with someone the other night. I had noticed the bump before this, but it was smaller and I assumed it was an ingrown hair and forgot about it.  What are the odds that I might have transmitted this to the other person. I’ve read conflicting reports. Some places say most adults have immunity against MC?  Some places say it is more likely to transfer if it burst (it did not). I want to know the likelihood that the other person would get this from contact with a single bump of MC. Thanks
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I'll try to help. While I will provide information about MC below, let me first strongly encourage you to see an experienced health care professional and have them examine the lesion you mention.  MC typically does not occur in the pubic hair area and would not change rapidly following sexual activity in the manner you describe.  It really sounds more like folliculitis or some other dermatological process.  If you are going to have this examined and I hope that you will, please do not manipulate or traumatize it. This will just confuse things. 

If the lesion is MC, it could be transmitted through direct contact.  MC is most commonly an infection of childhood and from observation of children, it appears that friction/abrasion does enhance the likelihood of transmission.  It is relatively uncommon in adults.  Transmission of MC following a single sexual contact is unlikely although admittedly, research on this infection is limited.

I hope this helps.  EWH.



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17 months ago
Thanks for the quick response, Dr. Hook. 

Is there any truth to the fact that most adults are immune to MC?

Separately, on the off chance it is something like a single genital wart, what would the chances be that I transmitted this to my partner during the aforementioned encounter? Again, it is a single lesion located in my pubic area. 

(I don’t think it necessarily changed dramatically after the encounter. That was just when I noticed it again.) 

Thanks 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
17 months ago

The observation is that MC is largely a disease of children.  Whether specific immunity to MC occurs in adults (presumable following an initial infection) is not known.

Both MC and warts most commonly occur as multiple, not solitary lesions.  Precise, per encounter transmission rates are not know for either HPV or MC but like all STIs, transmission is unlikely following a single encounter.

I worry that you may be overthinking this.  I again urge you to seek a diagnosis rather that going down the "what if it is …." rabbit hole.  In addition, it may be helpful to you to review some of the many other threads on this site in which HPV transmission and consequences are discussed.  Part of our goal in making these interactions available is to help clients work through their own questions.  EWH

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