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Why is there sore throat and swollen lymph nodes after protected sex?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 5, 2018
Reviewed AtNovember 2, 2022

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I recently got divorced, and I have children. I have not had any new sexual partners, but last week I met a man, and without planning it, by the weekend, we had sex. I was under the influence of alcohol, so my judgment was impaired. He performed oral sex on me (but I did not), and we rubbed genitals to make him hard. He never penetrated me fully, but his penis was around that area for a while and probably pushing around the entry area. When we had sex, he used a condom and ejaculated into that. I am completely panicked. It is day six, and I have got a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and achy muscles, and I am itchy all over. I went to the doctor today and got tested for everything, but in the meantime, I am going crazy. He is a bit of a stud and has had other women. Do you think I am at risk?

Answered by Dr. Sushil Kakkar


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern. Receptive oral sex carries a risk of transmission of herpes simplex virus if he has a history of cold sores. Otherwise, it can be assumed to be safe. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is not a risk because saliva is not infectious. As far as rubbing genitals are concerned, if there is no penetration or fluids exchanged (precum), it carries a negligible risk of HIV. However, there is a risk of genital herpes and HPV (human papillomavirus), especially since it was a prolonged rubbing. However, penetrative sex is unsafe, and there is a risk of HIV and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) like herpes simplex virus infection, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HPV. You may take a full panel STD screening, including genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV, especially if you are unsure whether he penetrated and had precum.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Sushil Kakkar
Dr. Sushil Kakkar


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