A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control

Close

Search

Answered Questions

In the years since SmartSexResource launched, we have developed a library of questions asked by you, and answered by our expert sexual health nurses.

Our answered questions library cover a broad range of sexual health topics and common questions we hear at our clinics.

All Q&A (1183)

I’m 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for about 6 months. I don’t have a GP and would like to have a pap and pelvic exam done to confirm that I’m healthy, it’s been over 5 years since my last. Is it appropriate to go to the local options for sexual health clinic in Kitimat for this? Can they refer me to a doctor here if I need one? Or is there a better option for finding a local doctor for fertility concerns? Thank you for your help.

Hi, and thank you for your question

Yes, the local Options for Sexual Health Clinic in Kitimat can absolutely see you for a PAP screen and pelvic exam. I’ve linked the contact information page for the Kitimat Clinic here. I don’t have any specific information about connecting with a family doctor or fertility specialist in your area, however the nurses and physicians at the Opt clinic should definitely be able to help you get started and may be able to refer you to a local GP for follow up

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I recently had unprotected sex and immediately after I was sore. Within 5-10 hours a developed a thicker yellowish/green discharge and it became uncomfortable to urinate. I’m wondering if it’s possible to have symptoms of an STD this early? And can an std be passed from my fingers to a mans genetalia? Thank you.

Hi, and thank you for your question

It would be pretty unusual to develop symptoms of an STI that quickly after possibly being exposed. A very likely culprit of the soreness you felt might have been due to friction and not enough lubrication during insertive sex. Sometimes adding some extra lubricant can really help with comfort and with preventing damage to the skin such as small tears.

I don’t know what the discharge might have been, but it can be common to have some irritation to the urethra after having sex. During intercourse there are lots of microbes (non-harmful, normal healthy bacteria) that can be passed between partners. While these microbes don’t necessarily cause an infection they can get up into the urethra and cause some irritation. Staying well hydrated, urinating frequently (especially right after sex) and drinking cranberry juice or taking some cranberry supplements can help with this discomfort.

Finally, yes some STIs could be passed from your finger’s to a male partner’s genitals, if your fingers had been touching your own genitals first and there is an infection already present. The most common things would be infections passed through skin to skin contact such as HPV, herpes or even syphilis. So for example, if a person has an active herpes outbreak on their genitals and touches the sores, then immediately touches their partner’s genitals, it would be possible to pass that infection to the partner.

You might find our STIs at a Glance chart helpful as it gives a quick overview of how different infections are passed.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

My hand get quite deep cut and was bleeding. This cut was dressed with plaster. After that I had contact with some guy. During our meeting the plaster slid down from the cut. Is there any risk when my bloody skin get contact with his penis after ejaculation or his bleeding scratch on the body? This contact was quite short (when I noticed it I take hand from him), but it leaves some blood stains on his skin. Could you let me know your comments, please?

Hi, and thanks for your question

From what you have described, there is no risk to either you or your partner from the above encounter. For blood-borne infections (like HIV or Hepatitis) to be passed from one person to another, it really requires entry of one person’s blood (who has the infection) directly into the body of the other person. We typically don’t get these infections simply by having blood contact on the surface of the skin.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I’m finishing my 7 day since I got a shot from a Doctor and 4 pills I had the next day that were prescribed. Can I have sex today?

Hi, thanks for your question

Yes, you can have sex today! BUT if the person that you’re going to have sex with was a partner from before you got treatment, make sure they took the treatment and waited for 7 days before sex as well!

If you have sex with an ongoing partner that has not been treated for the infection, you will likely get it back again.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

5 months ago I broke out in a rash on the head of my penis and my testicles became red and burned. For a short period of time it burned to urinate. I went and got tested for the standard std’s at the 1 and 3 months mark and all clear. I am wondering if there are any std’s that are not included in the standard tests that this could have been? I believe I was tested for chlamydia, ghonorea, syphilis, Hep abc, HIV, and Herpes. So, it can’t have been any of these as the tests were negative. I googled and found one called trichomoniasis…is this normally tested? For the most part the rash has disappeared but I am left with a little redness in my testicles and some inflamation in the head of my penis. It doesn’t seem to have every really gone back to normal. Any help or advise you can provide would be appreciated. If there are any doctor’s you can refer me to see for an exam I would attend. Thank you so much and keep up the good work :)

Hi, and thanks for your question

It sounds like you got a very thorough set of testing done. With negative results at 1 and 3 months, you can be reassured that the tests are accurate as the window periods for any infection have passed. The window period is the time between when a person comes in contact with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and when the STI will show up on a test.

We often forget that the skin on our genitals is just like the skin on the rest of our bodies and there are any number of things besides STI’s that can cause irritation and rashes. Just because it’s on the genitals doesn’t mean it’s automatically an STI!

Things like dehydration, alcohol, nicotine and soaps/detergents can causes irritation to the urethra which can result in a discomfort when urinating. Soaps and detergents can also cause irritation or rash on the skin of the scrotum.

That being said, if these symptoms have been there for a couple of months and are not resolving, then I would recommend visiting a walk-in clinic or family doctor for a full assessment. You really don’t need to go to a sexual health clinic, as they will likely repeat the tests which you’ve already had. It would be worth having a physician assess. Without knowing which area you’re in I can’t really recommend a specific clinic. However, you should be able to find a walk-in clinic near you with a quick internet search.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

I was injected with a dirty needle ( unbeknownst to me at the time) 8 weeks ago.I have developed some lesions on my tongue as well as mild thrush.Yet all my public health lab blood draw tests (13,22,28,35,40,44,56)days have come back non reactive. Is 90 days test conclusive? Why hasn’t hiv antibody been detected in your opinion? I was very healthy before this exposure. Thanks

Hi, and thanks for your question

Yes, the window period (the time between when a person comes in contact with a sexually transmitted infection and when the STI will show up on a test) for HIV using the 4th Generation HIV Antibody test is 3 months (90 days). This means that if you have a negative, or non-reactive, test more than 90 days after the exposure you do not have HIV.

The reason that HIV antibodies have not been detected in your case is presumably because you do not have HIV.

The symptoms you are describing are not specific to HIV and could be attributed to any number of different causes.  If you are concerned about the symptom, you could revisit your family doctor to discuss the symptoms themselves, knowing that your HIV test is negative.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

If someone contracted HSV 1 on their genitals from oral sex,can it spread to another person from sex? I was told it was a low chance.

Hi, and thanks for your question

Actually the herpes virus, whether it is HSV-1 or HSV-2, is very easily spread by skin-to-skin contact. So yes, if someone gets a herpes infection on the genitals from oral sex, it is absolutely possible to then pass that infection to another partner during sexual contact.

Keep in mind, however, that while herpes is easily spread (which is why it’s so very common!) it is only being passed when the virus is active. Typically this means that it’s only spreading when the symptoms of blisters or lesions are present on the skin. When the blisters heal, the virus goes to “sleep” on the nerve pathway and is not being passed until it wakes up again. The frequency of when the virus “wakes up” and spreads from person to person varies. Some people only ever get one outbreak in their lifetime, while other people might have 2 or 3 outbreaks per year.

If you’re interested in reading more about herpes and the virus that causes it, have a look at our Herpes: Patient’s Guide.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

Are there any medical conditions that could affect testing results. I believe I have a gum infection from a root canal issue. Would such an issue affect a sti test result? Thank you

Hi, and thanks for your question

No, this kind of issue would not affect any STI results. Even bacteria from a gum infection will not affect the results of a throat swab for STIs. The tests we use and the laboratory machines that we run them on  are very sensitive and very specific to the test they are designed for, so you should have no problems with the accuracy of an STI test in this instance

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

HI, I HAD PROTECTED SEX WITH TRANSGENDER ONLY ONE TIME ON 1 MAY , AFTER 2 MONTH IN MY BODY LOT’S OF CHANGES.I READ IN INTERNET I HAVE SYMPTOMS LIKE HIV BODY PAIN, HEADACHE . THEN I HAVE TESTED HIV DUO COMBO TEST AFTER 3 MONTH EXPOSURE MY RESULT IS NON REACTIVE CAN I CONSIDER THIS AS A FINAL REPORT. BECAUSE I CAN CONSENDRATE ON MY WORK. PLEASE SUGGEST ME . I CAN’T ESCAPE MY SOUL HE KILLING ME EVERY DAY.

Hi, and thank you for your question

The 4th Generation HIV antibody test is accurate 3 months after potential exposure to the virus. So if you had a negative, or non-reactive, result 3 months after exposure, this means that you do not have HIV.

It sounds like you have quite a lot of anxiety about this encounter and the fear of HIV. Our Worry and Anxiety page has some helpful tips on managing when worries are taking over. If you find that you are unable to concentrate or function due to your anxiety, I would also recommend seeing someone like a counsellor or even a family doctor to discuss this.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse