Do I have an STD

Monday November 11 2019


By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

Dr, I have an embarrassing question about my health. These days I get a small swelling on my vagina lips three or four days before my periods. I asked my husband whether this is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) but he instead quarrelled bitterly. Is it an STD or not? Anita

Dear Anita,
Pimples on the body result from a rise in male hormone testosterone. Both males and females have both male and female hormones but in varying balanced proportions.

The fall in female hormones towards periods causes a relative rise in male hormones leading to a break out of pimples then. Also, the rise of progesterone hormones after ovulation increases oil in the oil glands with a likelihood of the gland openings getting plugged. The skin bacteria having a field day on the excess oil then may inflame the oil glands leading to painful pimples.

Women are known to shave towards periods and the hair on the pubis being kinky may grow backwards irritating and piercing the pubis causing pimples (pseudo- folliculitis or razor bumps). Also, direct injury of the pubic skin can lead to painful swellings around cut hairs (folliculitis).

It is likely that you do not have a sexually transmitted condition, but it is still useful to visit a doctor to rule out STDS like Venereal warts but this except herpes may not be cyclic appearing related to periods only.