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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: HIV and AIDS
Satisfied Customers: 18436
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I have a question about some genital-related symptoms I

Customer Question

I have a question about some genital-related symptoms I have.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HIV and AIDS
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer. This is Dr. Love.

What question do you have?

How can we be of assistance?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 2 weeks ago I presented with a sporadic burning feeling in my penis upon urination. That is no longer the case, but now I need to urinate very frequently and I have some soreness in that area. I am in a monogamous relationship. I was in an open relationship that ended about 8 months ago. I would like to know if I could possibly have an STI?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, while I was in an open relationship I did not engage in intercourse with anyone except my partner, but I know that she did engage in intercourse with other men.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you need anymore info?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it is possible. While germs transmitted as STI will frequently cause symptoms sooner than 8 months, there are cases in which the germ is present and is not causing symptoms. The relative risk of this depends upon the sexual history of the populations tested, but there are some populations in which this is fairly frequent. For example, studies done on young adults, mostly college students, have found chlamydia detected by tests in about 1/3rd of the population that did not have any symptoms. We do not have any good studies to know how long these germs can last, since we routinely treat them whenever they are detected, but from individual stories, it is apparent that these germs can survive without causing symptoms for months and years.

So, the fact that you have been in a monogamous relationship for 8 months would not preclude an STI.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long do I have to wait? I paid for the "Right Away" option so I thought this would be faster.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh sorry ok I will read your response.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

I have already posted an answer.

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. But is it not more likely that I just have a standard UTI?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Add to this the fact that I always used protection with my partner in my last relationship.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

It depends upon what you mean by a standard UTI. The most common meaning of the term is a bladder infection, and men only rarely get bladder infections. However, the most likely cause of your symptoms would be an infection of the prostate, called prostatitis, or the urethra, called urethritis, and these are usually not called UTIs. A prostatitis is most often caused by non-sexually transmitted germs, while a urethritis can be caused by either.

However, your original question asked if it is possible if it could be an STI, and that is the correct question, because it is also proper to test for STIs whenever there is a possibility that they could be present, rather than only testing when they are the most likely cause of symptoms.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks. Last question: what is the likelihood of getting an STI given that I always used condoms? As far as I'm aware they never tore. I always check after intercourse by holding them upside down and looking for spillage.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

The likelihood is very low, but it is not zero. Condoms are the best that can be done to prevent STIs, but no intervention will work 100% of the time. The condoms are much better at preventing STIs that are transmitted by body fluids, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV, although still not 100%. The condoms are not as good at preventing STIs that are transmitted by skin to skin contact, such as genital warts and herpes, since condoms cover only a small portion of genital skin. However, the germs that would be a consideration with your symptoms would be in the first category.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok great, thanks!
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome.

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