Sexually Transmitted Diseases/little lump external labia

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Question
Hi Mark, i'm 21 and really in panic about this lump in my outer labia. I had it since January. At first i thought it was a small pimple or something like that so i tried to pop it though i do not know whether it has something inside. So after, it hurt when I pee beause of what I did. I thought when it healed, it would just go away but I was wrong. It became that little lump in the picture. It's quite flexible and i can even try to pull it but of course the skin connecting hurts. I can also flaten it. It's soft and skin-like. It doesn't hurt, itch or anything and no fluid inside. It's just there. I was hoping this was just a skin tag but the longer it is there the more suspicious I become. I think it has increased in size slowly. Is this some sort of a symptom of cancer or HPV? I haven't had a penetration from the male organ but i had a rubbing with it and some time after that i had the pimple like bump. It really made the skin of my labia sore after we did that. I have been freaking out after some internet researches. I was scared that others might grow but as of the moment, it's the only one there. I am really shy in telling my parents for help or other people. Hoping for the best. Please do answer this. Thanks.

Answer
Hello Jem,
Your description of the bump makes it sounds like a wart caused by human papilloma virus, a very common skin-to-skin transmitted virus. Cancers usually are not like this at all, and take many years to develop, so your age is a factor. If you had the same thing first noticed at age 40 or 50 or 60, I would be much more concerned. The only way to know for sure is to have a knowledgeable health care provider examine the area.  Sometimes family planning clinics (such as Plannned Parenthood in the US) can make such assessments and can manage the actual treatment without getting your parents involved. HOWEVER, it is important to at least have some expert check it out, so you will have to tell someone.

Good luck!
--mark  

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Mark P. Behar

Expertise

Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!

Experience

Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Organizations
Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Publications
Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Education/Credentials
Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

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