Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Redness....


QUESTION: Hello. Thank god you're back.... Question. I had sexual inter course with my husband on Friday and Sunday. Saturday I was a little uncomfortable down there and yesterday while shaving i noticed a patch of redness in the opening of my vagina. Should I be concerned? Pictures attached. They feel a little sore today but I think that's because I have been stretching the area to try to get the right picture. Photo one shows yesterday and photo two is today. Any advice you can give would be great. I don't have the money to afford a dr right now. Thanks!"

ANSWER: Hello Jackie,
Sorry that you've been anxious for so long.   Redness means dilated blood vessels, probably from friction or irritation. Give yourself a few days, and things should get better soon.  

Good luck, and don't worry!

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

This morning
This morning  

This afternoon
This afternoon  
QUESTION: So it's definitely not herpes or something of that nature? I get paranoid when I have down there issues...thanks!

Hi Again, Jackie,
Herpes usually causes a rather typical presentation of signs/symptoms: redness, irritation, itching, sometimes pain, blistering, ulcerations and then healing, all over 1-3 weeks. You don't have any of that. Herpes sometimes causes ATYPICAL presentations as well, but these also are of relatively short duration-- less than a month.  Persistent white lesions like what you have do require further evaluation to rule out the serious from the nuisance conditions!

Good luck!

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]