Sexually Transmitted Diseases/HPV? Yeast Infection? Something else?


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Hi, my name is Amanda, I'm 20 and live in NY. I noticed these bumps around my vagina about a week ago and thought it might of been caused by friction so I ignored it. But yesterday, I went to check again and they were getting worse, seems to have spread and looked more yellow. Now today, I started to feel and irritation/ itchiness. I last had sex (with protection) on Wednesday 3/23 and I was very dry (because of drinking). There is also a light brown discharge, not very thick, that started today.

Please help me identify this

Hello Amanda,
Unfortunately, it is difficult to identify anything with great certainty based only on some photographs.  Accurate diagnosis requires a  history, a physical exam, and laboratory tests to support or reject the suspected diagnosis.  Vaginal yeast usually causes a whitish, clumpy (cottage cheesy) discharge. Hormonal changes during the cycle sometimes influence how the external and internal tissues look.  This is somewhat like how the appearance of your tongue varies-- sometimes pink, sometimes white or coated, depending on food or drink ingested, acute illness, acid reflux, oral hygiene, etc. The brownish discharge may be due to proximity to your menstrual period.  The vaginal dryness may have caused enough friction to have caused some irritation. All of these things together might account for the bumpy texture you notice. It is not suggestive of an abnormality. The only way to know for sure is to have yourself examined by a knowledgeable health care provider/gynecologist, but I would wait several more weeks, just to see if everything clears by itself, without intervention.

Good luck!

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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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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