Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Anonymous on September 29, 2011

I had sex for the first time...now I always feel like I have to pee and my penis sort of tingles. Is this an STD?

I had sex with a girl and later that day, I felt like I always had to pee...but very little urine came out, and my penis sort of tingles. Is this a symptom of an STD? If so, I thought that it took a while for symptoms to occur, not the same day. She’s my first sexual partner.

answered by Lisa Oldson, MD on September 29, 2011

Thank you for your question about STD symptoms. I’ll do my best to clear up the confusion you might feeling. 
 
You’re right: many STDs don’t cause symptoms right away. For example, genital herpes infection doesn’t always cause symptoms and as a result, some 90% of people with genital herpes don’t know they’re infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
Keep in mind that because STDs don’t always show symptoms, it’s important, now that you’re sexually active, to keep up with your STD screening ⎼ particularly if you ever have unprotected sex. You can talk to your doctor about this, or you can get tested through an online service. 
 
That said, it’s a lot more likely that your symptoms are caused by a less serious condition, like urethritis...which is not an STD. Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra often caused by a bacterial infection, and symptoms can appear at the time of infection. 
 
Although not all urethritis is caused by STDs, it can be caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea infections. And if you do have urethritis, you’re also at a greater risk for HIV. So I suggest that you see your doctor as soon as possible for a definite diagnosis and, if it turns out that you have urethritis, be sure to get tested for other STDs, too. 
 
The good news is that urethritis can be easily treated to resolve your urgency to pee and that “tingly” feeling.
 
There could be another explanation too...one’s first sexual experience can include overwhelming new sensations, and there’s chance that anxiety around this situation could be the root cause of your urinary symptoms. In fact, non-specific urethritis like this may not be caused by an infection at all. After a couple of days, this may just settle down on its own. 
 
It’s still important that you see your doctor...but, in the meantime, drink a lot of water, buy yourself some condoms and make a plan for how to have safer sex going forward, including STD testing for you and any new partner ⎼ prior to having sex.
 
For more details about STD risks, prevention, testing and treatment, you might want to check out our Expert Guide to STD Basics
 
Hopefully this information is useful to you in making smart, safe choices about your sexual health and well-being. 
 
Related Info:

Lisa Oldson, MD

Dr. Oldson is Medical Director of the Analyte Physicians Group. She is on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, as well as Clinical Instructor at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Her areas of expertise include STDs (with a particular clinical emphasis on herpes), women's health, preventive medicine, diabetes, obesity and weight management, and mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Oldson was educated at Rush Medical College and completed her residency at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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