[Question #7224] Chlamydia gonorrhea

5 months ago
Hi experts, sorry to return so soon, I stupidly went and got a massage that ended in protected vaginal sex, I withdrew and checked the condom all was good there no breaks or slippage. While I did this the lady cleaned her vagina using tissue. I removed the condom then she grabbed a tissue and cleaned the end of my penis without washing her hands, my concern is that the tissue was contaminated with her vaginal secretions and then it came into contact with the opening of my penis. Can you please comment if this has put me at risk for chlamydia or gonorrhea? From reading your other interactions I believe the risk is low.  Thanks for taking the time to answer my question this will be the last for 6 months as per forum guidelines 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
5 months ago
Welcome back, but sorry you found it necessary.

Condoms do not prevent all contact with a partner's genital or other body fluids. There is almost always a certain amount of contact with penile skin abive the condom, and often with body fluids on partner's hands. These are among the reasons that condoms do not provide 100% protection against any STD. Which also is why people who are sexually active (outside monogamous relationships) should be tested from time to time -- maybe once a year, in most cases -- for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV, even if condoms have always been carefully and correctly used, with no known condom failures or mis-use. However, the risk of transmission from any single exposure remains extremely low, and the chance of any infection being transmitted by the details you describe is exceedingly low, probably zero. This event did not carry any signficant risk and I do not recommend testing at this time.

I hope these commens are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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5 months ago
Thank you for your response, I was in particular concerned over the tissue she cleaned me up with at the end, would such an event carry similar risk to mutual masterbation with vaginal secretions?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
5 months ago
STDs are harder to transmit than you might think. They aren't imply infections that happen to involve the genital area. The bacteria and viruses that caused them evolved to require sex itself for transmission, primarily because large numbers of them must reach certain susceptible cells, which for the most part are deep inside the body or below the outer layers of skin. The amounts that can be carried on the hands or on tissues, clothing, bed sheets, or toilet seats simply are too small for infection to take hold, and also these do not allow access to the susceptible tissues or cells. There's no measurable risk from peper tissues, regardless of whether vaginal fluids are present.---
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