ZocdocAnswersCould I have an STD?

Question

Could I have an STD?

This morning I found a bump on my bikini area and, upon self examination, it has since become red and painful. At first I thought I may have an ingrown hair or something along those lines, but now I'm starting to worry. I have not had sex in three months. Could it take that long for an STD to present symptoms? I have no other signs or symptoms suggesting that something is wrong with me.

Answer

It would be unusual to have no symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection until a full three months after having sex. However, this is definitely still always on the list of possible causes of genital sores in anyone who is sexually active, and going to see your primary care doctor would be a good idea. They will be able to help you figure out whether testing for sexually transmitted infections is a good idea. At the same time, there are other things that this red bump could be. Based on where you say the bump is and how it has evolved, something like an ingrown hair, as you mention, is definitely still on the list. In addition to ingrown hairs, there are also other minor types of skin infections that this could be, such as a boil or folliculitis (infected hair shafts). Your doctor will be able to tell quickly if one of these conditions is the cause of your bump. Many times, these conditions can be treated with good skin hygiene, but sometimes antibiotics are required to keep the infection from spreading. I recommend you make an appointment with your primary care doctor at your earliest convenience.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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