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What is the risk of getting an STD from a stained bed linen?

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 July 3, 2017
Reviewed AtOctober 17, 2019

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I recently had a pap smear done. The bed on which I lay had a stain, which I am assuming was, from the person before me. The doctor had to put a finger inside my vagina to check my ovaries. So, if she mistakenly touched the stain, before inserting her finger into my vagina, am I at a risk of getting an STD, if that stain was from a person with an STD? I do not know if the stain was wet or dry. So, let us assume either.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • You need not worry. Doctors never touch anything with gloved hands before touching you. And, even if she did touch the stain, it is less likely that you will get an STD (sexually transmitted disease).

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

I understand that doctors usually do not touch anywhere else with gloved hands, but mistakes can happen. I feel she may have leaned on the bed, with her hand on the stain, and then inserted the finger from that hand into my vagina. Is there absolutely no risk?


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • If she has accidentally touched any infectious material, in the case that it is wet and fresh, there is a possibility of an infection. But, if the stains are dry, the chances are very less.
  • The absolute risk can not be ruled out, but believe me, it is very less likely. The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) does not survive in the external environment for more than 10 minutes. And, the other STDs are treatable. So, you need not worry right now.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

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

Dr. Satpute Ganeshkumar Suresh
Dr. Satpute Ganeshkumar Suresh

Internal Medicine

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