Sexually Transmitted Diseases/STD


Bumps and discharge
Bumps and discharge  
Age-19 San Francisco, CA. I have a swollen Vaginal opening with bumps on my opening as well. My vagina is itchy at times, I have irregular discharge that is yellow/dark yellow and has been getting more "creamy" or thicker since I first started getting it. Last time I had sex was Monday night, I usually wash my body or wipe my vaginal opening with a wipe if we don't use protection but Monday night I did not follow my routine and only wiped with TP. I have only had one sexual partner and I am his only sexual partner. His sperm has always burned my vagina when we don't use protection, the burning varies. It will either burn only when I pee after sex or it'll burn right away and won't go away until about 5-10 min.  I started getting the irregular discharge around noon on Wednesday and Wednesday night all of a sudden around 8pm my vagina began to ich and I felt a bump on the inside and my vaginal opening was sore. Thursday my vaginal opening was tender and I had 3 bumps. Friday-Sunday (today) my vaginal opening is swollen/sore, I have discharge, and the bumps in my vaginal opening are still there. I don't know what to think, is this herpes?! Yeast infection?

Hello Anna,
The swelling, itchy area with discharge and bumps are very suggestive of a vulvovaginal yeast infection.  The burning sensation you experience with exposure to your partner's semen may be a bit more challenging.  

Normally, the vaginal flora promotes a mildly acidic pH of about 4.5. Semen is alkaline, about a pH of 8.  Water is neutral, about pH 7. When the vagina is extremely irritated as from a yeast infection, than you are extremely sensitive to those pH changes, especially when exposed to an alkaline environment, and that causes burning.  

The bumps you have noted may be due to trauma from too much friction, not enough lubricant during sex. It is difficult to know whether you may have a secondary infection from herpes or something else.

I would recommend that you treat yourself with an effective anti-yeast medication, such as miconazole or terconazole topical vaginal creams, and/or diflucan tablet by mouth. If symptoms persist, than another cause may need to be considered.  In the meantime, I would avoid sex until fully healed.

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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