QUESTION: I had unprotected sex about a month ago. Then this week, I noticed what looked like a pimple on the shaft of my penis. It popped on its own and had pimple ooze come out of it, like a regular pimple, and now it is almost gone. This made me scared that maybe it was herpes instead of a pimple. Could this be possible?
I don’t know if you have herpes or not, but I can tell you that it is extremely common for both men and women to have regular old pimples on or around their genitals.
Not Necessarily An STI
The genital skin, just like skin on the rest of one’s body, can easily get clogged with dirt, sweat and oils and make pimples more likely to appear. That said, men and women tend to be more observant about their genitals when they start having sex, or in the days and weeks after they have unprotected sex, and they sometimes worry that lumps or bumps are signs of a sexually transmissible infection, or STI.
Worth Checking With A Healthcare Provider
Even though in many cases such symptoms are not signs of STIs, it is always worth checking in with one’s healthcare provider if you have any doubts, questions or concerns about your genital or sexual health.
Your healthcare provider can talk at greater length with you to learn more about your sexual behaviors and to help advise you on ways to reduce your risk, or when or how often you should get tested for STIs.
Genital herpes is a relatively common STI, with about 1 out of 5 Brits having it. Unlike Chlamydia and gonorrhea, there is no cure for genital herpes, although there are effective treatments available.
Also, while condoms may reduce the risk of transmitting herpes, they cannot fully eliminate the risk, so all sexually active women and men should ask their healthcare providers about their risk for genital herpes, even if they use condoms when they have sex.