Sexually Transmitted Diseases/vagina


vagina 7/4/15
vagina 7/4/15  
vagina 7/5/15
vagina 7/5/15  
QUESTION: hi, my name is crystal. i am 34 years old.

i have these symptoms:
1. yesterday my vagina (inner vaginal entrance) was red, sore, felt raw.
2. feels like there is a 'rock' or something in it.
3. almost feels like a burning sensation, sometimes.
4. no discharge, no bumps, no blisters, no sores. no itching. just feels raw and sensitive.
5. i notice a tiny red spot last night in the pic, up at the top of my vaginal entrance, i dont know if thats there before. i never have ever inspected my vagina this closely.
6. i think i see some minor red blotchiness along my inner vaginal wall. i applied vaginal creme to it, but it feels raw and something does not feel right. i dont know if i have a vaginal infection, but i have no discharge. my vaginal entrance just feels raw and sore and dry. is this herpes? i dont see any blisters or sores. i dont know what t is i have never had any issues like this before.i have not been to a doctor to get std testing in years, but i rarely have sex and have never had any symptoms. the last time i went to the gynecologist was in 2008 and she said i had some abnormal cells on my cervix. but i never got treatment for it.

ANSWER: Hi Crystal,
Hard to say exactly what it might be since you really require a pelvic exam. You may have herpes, or an abscess or a bartholin gland cyst, possibly with a vaginal infection with yeast, trichomonas, or gonorrhea/chlamydia.  If you had abnormal cells on your cervix, than you MUST have a pelvic exam and Pap smear to rule out early signs of precancer or cancer.  Nothing to fool with or ignore, as this is easily treatable in those early stages (within a 5-10 year of first diagnosis with "abnormal cells").  This is completely different than your primary complaint of burning, foreign body sensation and pain involving your vulva and vagina.  

Get an appointment for URGENT evaluation Monday!

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dr. Behar, thank you so much. I already made an appointment for this month to meet with a gynecologist.This feeling I am feeling, it literally just started yesterday. Are these symptoms of cervical cancer? Or of herpes? I do not see any sores or blisters. Just a raw, a little burning sensation maybe and throbbing and minor itching. Right now, it feels like it is throbbing a tiny bit. Given these specific symptoms, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Do yeast infections typically have an odor? I have no odor, no discharge, no cuts, no sores. It is a mystery. Does this strike you as being cervical cancer or herpes? Evertything about herpes that I am reading says sores and blisters. And I have nothing visual other than minor redness in splotchess, but this is the first time i have ever inspected my vagina this closely, so i dont know what to compare it to. If feels like inflammation and "throbbing". Also, this is something else that I just thought of. Also, I just thought of something else, around my anus it looks like I have either hemmroids, or small "fissues". I use preparation h, and this helps keep the tissue normal but this has been going on for about a year. I do not know if they are anal fissures. Thank you so much, again, I just wanted to ask these critical follow-up questions. I am interally having a panic attack and unable to calm myself down right now, I do not know what to think  and it is taking all of my strength to type this. Thank you so much.

Hi Again, Crystal,
Such acute and immediate symptoms sound like pressure from a mass such as an abscess or cyst, and the burning, throbbing and itching may be related to the same. Cervical cancers are silent, and would typically NOT cause such symptoms.  Herpes may cause some of these symptoms, but usually are accompanied by blisters or ulcerations, which are not visible, yet may be unseen where the camera did not photograph.

The fissures you have noticed around the anal area may also be due to herpes (typical blisters and ulcers may not be present), as well as fungal infections or just dietary insensitivities to coffee.  It's not really a food allergy. (Yeah, I know it's hard to believe, but excessive coffee sometimes may cause persistent anal irritation, itching, fissures, etc.  Stop the coffee for a few days, and see if symptoms improve.  Continue to use topical antifungal such as terbenifine cream (Lamisil) externally to anal area.)  However I think this remains a separate and unrelated issue to the vaginal complaint, since it's been going on for a year or more.

My guess is that you have an abscess, possibly herpes, but an immediate DNA/PCR herpes test will rule that in our out.  Until you see the gyn, apply moist heat to the affected area for as long as you can tolerate.  Let me know what is eventually determined!

Good luck,

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Mark P. Behar


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!


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.

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)

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

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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