Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Bumps on my labia

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Labia
Labia  
Hello, I am 29 years old and live in western Europe. I have a new partner, who I have had sex with since about a little more than 3 months ago and (yes I know that is not what we're supposed to do) we had unsafe sex. I must say, that because of our jobs we're tested for HIV and Hepatitis on a regular basis, meaning every one or two years. (Also before me, he has been in a relationship with the same girl for 3 years and they recently had a baby, so I doubt she'd have any STDs he wouldn't know about - hopefully) - so I thought it was safe.
Now my problem is the following: The inner parts of my labia majora started itching yesterday evening after I have had diarrhea for a little more than a day, so at first I thought it was due to using a lot of toilet paper. But though the diarrhea is gone and I have been very careful rinsing my lady parts with water, even cooling occasionally, it's still itchy and won't go away. Now this is my first time having a problem like that, so I never really looked at my vagina before. But now I did, and I noticed some bumps on the said inner parts of my labia majora (which could have been there all along, cause I never looked), but now I wonder if they could be anything else, but normal.. (please see picture)
And that is pretty much my question.
If they're 'normal' I was hoping it might be a candida infection. If not, I guess I'll have some serious talking to do.. and a visit to my gynecologist. :(

Answer
Hi Sara,
You may  have a yeast infection, but this is not evident in the photograph. Yeast is NOT a sexually transmitted condition, but sometimes fungi from the colon do find their way to the vagina to cause the itching and discharge associated with yeast. Over the counter and prescriptive creams (different in different countries) are usually effective. The little bumps do look like enlarged sebaceous (oil) glands/fordyce spots, which is a normal variation.

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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