[Question #6694] Pregnant and STI concern

14 months ago
Hello Drs,

I am currently 26 weeks pregnant. I have once again had unprotected sex with the same man I wrote about in June.  Emotionally I am a mess as I don’t know why I would make this decision and risk my child and husband.....I am beyond ashamed and my anxiety is at an all time high.   We are both upper middle class, educated colleagues who should know better.   And we are both happy in our marriages.....  I’m sick about this.  Last summer, all STI screenings came back negative at that time as well as when I found out I was pregnant. (gon, Chla, HIV, Syphilis) I discovered that I am genital HSV 1 positive during this pregnancy  - Dr says it is an established infection and I am on Valtrex.  Both my husband and him have a history of cold like sores. 

I should add that him and his wife had a baby two weeks ago  - healthy to my knowledge. He says him and his wife barely ever have sex.... maybe a few times since conceiving last spring.   He swears to me once again that he is “clean”.  He doesn't engage with men or do drugs, but I know when he drinks it is highly possible he goes outside of his marriage.  I want to believe him in his status but will still get tested.  He said he totally understands if I want to be tested for peace of mind.   I will be going to a std clinic because typically my husband attends all of my appointments at my Drs office with me and I’m so as

I plan to be tested on Thursday (5 days from last possible exposure) for gon and chlamydia.  And again in 4 weeks for HIV and Syphilis...... I am seeking guidance and reassurance here on what to do.  I’m almost in 3rd trimester with my first baby and I’m panicked.  I’m trying to think logically that he probably doesn’t have syphilis or HIV but you never know.   Does my plan seem to be the “responsible” one? I am abstaining from any kind of sex with my husband as well. 

I realize I am a flawed human being but seeking logic and peace.... I can’t lose my sweet husband over this stupid transgression. 

Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum.  On this occasion I happened to pick up your questions.  To prepare to reply I reviewed your earlier interactions with Dr. Handsfield.   I'm struck by the similarity of this encounter to the two earlier times you came to the Forum regarding an encounter which you then came to regret.  The answers are the same as with your prior questions. 

As with your prior encounters with this partner, this is most probably a low risk encounter,  He says he not infected and to your knowledge does not engage in high risk encounters outside his marriage.  That said, particularly given your concerns due to being pregnant I understand your desire to rule out the possibility of infection.  I suspect that your tests will be negative.  The important STIs to rule out are gonorrhea and chlamydia.  Syphilis is very rare among heterosexual men and women and I do not feel it is important for you to test for syphilis or, for that matter HIV but understand if you choose to test.   The timing of the testing your have suggested is appropriate.

I hope these comments are helpful.  EWH 

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14 months ago
Hello Dr Hook, thank you for your patience with me and understanding my concerns due to the pregnancy. I went in for Gon/Chl testing today 5 days after last exposure.    I will find out results tomorrow - if negative, can I feel 100% confident that my baby isn’t at risk and I’m also protecting my husband? If positive and in need of treatment, should I be concerned for my child and how long do I wait until resuming sex with my husband without concern of infecting him? Disclosing an infection would destroy our marriage..... 

I did not test for Syphilis or HIV as it is too soon to detect anything, correct?  - part of me wants to trust that it is highly unlikely and just move on after this.  I hope he tells me the truth about his extra-marital affairs, but he drinks heavily and I do not fully trust what he says.  Also I have a small bump that has formed on my butt cheek near where the groin and butt cheek connect if that makes sense. I am prone to folliculitis and boils. This one is somewhat hard but not very tender..... of course my mind went to Syphilis. Would I have a chancre this soon after the encounter? It started a couple days ago.....

That said, if my tests come back negative tomorrow, do you think I can very safely resume sex and normal life with my husband without putting him at risk for any STI? 

Thank you for your advice and lack of judgement. My life is so blessed, and I have never been a cheater my whole life... very few partners overall before my husband. I do not know why I’ve been acting out.....  anyways thank you so much for your guidance. 


14 months ago
I just thought of this... should I have had a throat swab? We performed unprotected vaginal a handful of times and I performed oral on him one time. Would it be safe to assume that if I had contracted something it would show in the vaginal and not just be isolated to the throat? 

Thank you
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
14 months ago

I anticipate that your tests will be negative and when they are you can be confident that neither you nor your baby nor your husband will be at risk.  Further, it will certainly be OK from an Infectious Disease perspective to have unprotected sex with your husband at that time.  In the unlikely event that your test is positive, following successful treatment there will be no continuing risk to your baby and you can have sex with your husband any time more than 3 days after your treatment. 

As I said before, I see no need for syphilis or HIV testing. 

The bump on your rear end is unlikely to  be an STI. 

To be entirely sure that your throat is not infected, you should test.  Throat STIs will often be asymptomatic although I must say again that your risk for having any STI anywhere at this time is extraordinarily low.  EWH

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14 months ago
Thank you Dr Hook - initial gon/ch swabs came back negative. Already so much burden is lifted off my chest -  I called the clinic back to ask about throat swabs and they said they usually do not do it unless there is a known exposure...  I am going to go back Monday anyways just to be 100% sure as you suggested. I hope they will do it at my request - it is an urgent care.  Are you pretty certain it is likely to be negative? 

I’m assuming it is safe for me to move forward with vaginal sex with my husband at this time as long as I avoid giving him oral sex?  what would you do? 

If you do not feel HIV/Syphilis testing is necessary, then I’m going to do my best to move on from this without anxiety and worry once I receive the throat swab results.  


Thank you for all you do!


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

Thank you for the follow-up.  I'm not surprised at your results but I know that it is a relief to you.  In answer to your follow-up questions:

1,  I am confident that your throat tests will be negative as well.

2.  Yes it is safe for you to have unprotected vaginal sex with your husband.

3.  Correct, I do not see a need for syphilis or HIV testing in your circumstance. 

I hope that this will help you to move forward.  As you know, we provide up to three responses to each client's questions. Thus this will be my last response and the thread will be closed later today.  Take care.  Please don't worry.  EWH

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