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Does STD come without any symptoms ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
My right groin lymph node is slightly enlarged and painful. Not serious pain but a dull uncomfortable pain. I had unprotected sex 6 weeks ago but I have never had any drip, puss, redness, itch, pimple, cyst or anything. Just this pain now. My doctor took my blood and is checking for chlamydia, HIV and syphilis. I haven't been sick and haven't lost weight. Everything has been very normal until this pain. I did fall down and scraped my knee around 5 weeks ago but that is the only time i can remember hurting myself. Is it possible to have a STD without having any other symptoms?
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 31 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

It is good that your doctor is testing you for STD’s like syphilis, Chlamydia and HIV. Although less likely for STD’s to present with only swollen lymph node and no other symptoms but since there is a history of unprotected intercourse in your case, so it is better to get investigated for these STD’s.

STD’s usually present with many symptoms chief ones being any discharge, burning sensation in urethra, redness, irritation, ulcer of sore, pain or blood during ejaculation, pain in the genitalia or early flu like symptoms in case of HIV. Swollen lymph node is usually not the only presenting symptom of a STD.

However lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes) is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Other causes include allergic reactions or some malignancy. So it is best to rule out STD’s first and then move on to investigate other causes of swollen lymph node.

For this, a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) of the lymph nodes and swollen glands is the best test. FNAB is aspiration of the material of the glands which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe. This will confirm the diagnosis as swollen neck glands are often caused by an infection, allergic reactions, cancer or metabolic diseases.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.
Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does STD come without any symptoms ? 17 minutes later
My doctor has prescribed metronidazole and zithromax. Are these appropriate anti-biotics for my current condition?

I did perform a 2 self-HIV tests. One 2 weeks ago and the other yesterday. They both came back negative. So do you think I am clear from HIV?

If it is just an infection how would it have entered my groin lymph node? I did shave that area 3 weeks ago, so could that be the cause? I also had an open sore on my right thigh. It was an ingrown hair. But none of these showed any type of infection.

I am just trying to understand what happened. But struggling.
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 9 hours later

Thanks for writing back. Both metronidazole and zithromax are antibiotics and swollen lymph node is most commonly caused by infection for which antibiotics is the first line of treatment.

It is very difficult to comment upon the HIV status at the moment. Confirmation is only done by specific tests for HIV like western blot, PCR and ELISA.These tests may show accuracy after 6 weeks to 6 months as HIV antibodies take time to develop in the body.

Infection does not enter the lymph node. Lymph nodes are basically defense against the infectious agent and in response to any infectious agent, to fight it back, it swells in size. Since the groin lymph node is enlarged, it can be due to the open sore that you had on the right thigh.

Open sores are often an open house for infections and even a slight infection can cause the lymph node in the surrounding vicinity to get enlarged. If it is due to the open sore then with the healing of this sore, swollen lymph node will also regress in size. The antibiotics that you have been prescribed should help with any infection of the open sore as well.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.
Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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