Sexually Transmitted Diseases/HPV or Vulvar Papillomatosis


Small bumps above vaginal opening
Small bumps above vagi  
Hi Mark, I am 16 years old and have had unprotected sex twice in the last 3 months. I have had itching for the same amount of time, maybe longer, since then and have had white/milky discharge all my life. Discharge color and smell vary time to time. No burning or stinging except from constant scratching. Today I decided to look down there to see if there was anything unusual. I did notice these slight bumps above the vaginal opening, they're very soft to the touch. I don't know how long they've been there because I've never thoroughly checked before. It is a little red as I just tried the vinigar method and have been scratching. I left the vinigar for 30-60 seconds and no real color change occurred other than redness due to what I believe is inflammation. The itching is not constant and only occurs when I got to scratch it. My diet is unfortunately not the best and i have been under quite a bit of stress recently as well as using a scented soap lately which I've also read can be an issue. Any help is highly appreciated, thank you.

Hello Rose,
You may have a vaginal yeast infection, which can usually be effectively treated with over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medications.  The bumps are a normal part of the vulva, nothing to be worried about.  Some women have them, some don't.  The redness and discharge may be from the itching and possibly the yeast.  

If the itching is terrible and you can't get benefit from the available medications, try this over the counter product for diaper rashes in the baby section: Calmoseptine is a thick pink colored ointment with a very light touch of soothing menthol, which helps reduce the itch.  At least until you can get in to see a health care provider!

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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