[Question #7437] Gonorrhea or Chlamydia?

3 months ago

Hello Drs. 

I hope you’re well. i hate to be back so quickly but i just wanted some reassurance on what this could be. 

Dr Hook explained its not HIV, so now Im worried it could be another STD like chlamydia or gonorrhea. 

ever since september ive been having strange symptoms, and this was all after an unprotected oral (giving) sex exposure. 

The headaches lasted a week, diarrhea for 2 days, some itchiness, muscle and joint pain, frequent cold sores, rashes that appear and disappear. Also for the past 3 weeks or so i have been getting unusual/frequent discharge and my periods have been irregular. 

This whole time ive been testing for HIV so i havent been tested for any of the other STDS which i will be doing at my appointment tomorrow. I’m a little confused on it works though. 

1.since it was only oral sex would i have to do a throat swab for chlamydia and gonorrhea or would a urine test still work? 

2.are these symptoms suggestive of either gono or chlamydia? or any other STD? 

3.i have never tested for herpes but i know i have it since i get cold sores from time to time. Does having herpes put you at a bigger risk of catching an STD orally if it there is no visible outbreak?

4.my last HIV test was an insti at 13 weeks. If i hadn’t taken 2 lab tests at 6 weeks and 10 weeks would the 13 week rapid test be sufficient?  I’m only asking because my family doctor wants me to test again at 6 months which confuses me because i thought i had ruled it out already. 

Any bit of advice would help in this time of stress. I’m getting tested for everything again tomorrow and will have to wait a long week or two for the results so i’m looking for some answers in the meantime. 

thanks so much and i apologize for coming back again. 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
3 months ago
I am disappointed to see you return to our forum for the fifth time in less than a month. On the other hand, all of the symptoms you describe are consistent with anxiety or stress. I suspect that is the source of your symptoms.  The symptoms you describe are not suggestive of any STI, including gonorrhea and chlamydia. Let me go directly to your questions:

1.  Gonorrhea and chlamydia are transmitted by direct contact. For diagnosis of gonorrhea and chlamydia acquired from performing oral sex on an infected partner you would need to have a throat swab. A urine test would not detect infection in your throat.

2.  See my comment above. The symptoms to report do not suggest any STI.

3.  No.

4.  Your doctor is being overly conservative. You have proven that you did not acquire HIV from the exposure you reported. There is no need for further testing for HIV related to that exposure.

My advice is that it is unlikely that you have any STI acquired from the exposure you reported. Your multiple posts and their repetitive nature however suggest did you remained quite anxious and perhaps guilty over this. If that is the case no amount of testing is going to change that. I strongly recommend you discuss your concerns and anxiety with a trained counselor. EWH
3 months ago

Hi Dr Hook 

I will be seeing a counselor about this if it really is just anxiety induced. It’s just hard to believe that anxiety could cause all of these symptoms right after that incident.  it was non consensual and he has cut all contact with me, which makes this situation harder to deal with. 

i have one final question. 

I got my throat swab today but i forgot to throw my gum out before doing so. the doctor said it’s fine and it won’t affect the test. I just want to reassure myself that this is true and if you agree. 

thank you for your help, this forum has helped me more than you will ever know.

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
3 months ago
Let me start by emphasizing that your symptoms are in no way suggestive of any STI, including HIV but are entirely compatible with heightened anxiety.  Please seek counseling.  The fact that the encounter was not consensual only adds to the potential value of counseling.

The fact that you still had gum in your mouth does not reduce the accuracy of your throat swab.  EWH