Before I begin, I'd like to thank the owners of this forum for providing such a great resource for those dealing with very personal, and sometimes very painful, issues. I spent quite a lot of time reading generic articles and viewing worst-case photos of genital warts before finding this forum and medhelp.org, both of which provide excellent advice from very qualified people.
I'll start with my sexual history. I'm a 32-year-old male who's had a grand total of 5 partners since the age of 19. Of those relationships, 2 involved unprotected oral sex only, while the other 3 involved long term, monogamous unprotected sex after testing confirmed no diseases were present.
My most recent relationship ended in November of last year. Around September or so, I had a recurring itch just above my penis under the pubic hair. I would occasionally scratch it and think nothing of it. I trim the area to keep it tidy and assumed it was just the irritation that can come with short/growing pubic hair. One day, I decided to take a closer look and found some type of fleshy growth that looked to me like a skin tag. I'm prone to skin tags, cherry moles, and the like, so I thought nothing of it and did what I always do with skin tags--I snipped it off.
A couple months later, I found another one and did the same thing, thinking that it had been there the whole time and I'd simply missed it during my initial examination.
Unfortunately, that last relationship's end was due in part to infidelity by my girlfriend. She assures me it was nothing more than a drunken makeout session at a bar, and I believe her in this regard. She was always the type to take meticulous care of herself and had regular gynecologist visits while we were together. I haven't had this discussion with her yet, but I'm pretty sure that when I ask her if they ever found anything--warts, abnormal pap results, anything--she's going to say no, and that she would've told me if they had. Despite her mistake, I believe her to be a generally honest person.
We tried to reconcile, and during this time we had unprotected oral sex. After we broke up, the infidelity got me thinking about what can be transferred orally, so I started searching online, and it didn't take long before I ended up finding out things about HPV that I never wanted to know. And when I look at some of the pictures of genital warts (the milder cases), they look very similar to what I snipped off.
I know how unlikely oral transmission of HPV is based on what I've read, and it's probably very unlikely that the guy my ex kissed gave her oral HPV, who then gave me genital HPV through oral sex.
That didn't matter, because like many people, I went into full panic mode. I searched my genitals methodically and discovered a couple raised bumps toward the bottom of my shaft that weren't like the other two growths, but definitely weren't Fordyce spots (which I have in abundance and caused me a lot of worry growing up). I applied the well-known white vinegar test, and while they did lighten subtly, so did any Fordyce spot that was nearby. Inconclusive at best. After several brief (10 minute) applications of apple cider vinegar, these bumps have dried up and flaked off, but again, they looked nothing like the previous growths and I'm even starting to think they may have only been responses to minor trimmer accidents. I do nick myself occasionally and it's not unlike my skin to respond with a slight overgrowth. I also find the placement unusual because my entire penis was exposed to 3 different partners over a span of many years, but the most sensitive areas, particularly the glans, are completely free of anything out of the ordinary. Not sure if this matters, but I still find it odd. And having unprotected sex for years brings up the possibility that I've had HPV for a long time and didn't even know.
(continued next post, forum won't let me finish)