Q&A: Should I be worried if my boyfriend's been unfaithful and I have vaginal discharge?
I suspect my boyfriend has been "sleeping around," and I have a discharge. What should I do?
This response is in no way intended to address the extremely powerful psycho-dynamics of infidelity, alleged or proven. I merely use it as a starting point to describe what’s best for the woman who feels she’s been exposed to STD (sexually transmitted disease) risk.
For proper evaluation, a vaginal exam must be done to check a smear of the discharge for trichomonas and to obtain cultures for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Herpes culture is optional, because without symptoms, it is very unreliable. A pap smear should be done to look for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the virus that causes the pre-cancerous cervical dysplasia and genital warts. If the pap were to come back anything but perfect, colposcopy is indicated, which is a microscopic evaluation of the cervix.
Blood work should be done to rule out Syphilis, hepatitis, and AIDS (or HIV infection). And then to be completely sure, all of these should be repeated in a month (the HIV in three months).
Since chlamydia and gonorrhea have such devastating consequences on fertility, many doctors will begin treating the patient with the appropriate antibiotics before the cultures even come back. This protects the patient from false negatives, careless missing of follow-up appointments, and will get the jump on the infection by a few days before a culture were to come back positive.
When in doubt, treat.
For a woman’s safety, always look out for yourself first. That is, go—GO—to the doctor and get these tests if you suspect possible exposure, even if your boyfriend were to swear on a stack of Bibles, the Koran, to Allah, on his mother’s grave, or even on his very testicles. Because YOU are the one who’s going to have the problem. In the future, with the real Mr. Right, you are the one who may not be able to have a baby. It’s just a doctor’s visit, it can be discreet, and it’s the best investment you can ever make. And if all of the tests come back negative, and it ends up you should have believed him, that’s a good thing.