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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
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Please answer ... I really need to know!
Dec 30, 2001

Hey Doc,

First off, let me say that you are by far the most enjoyable 'Expert' to read on the site! I've read through many of your responses and have enjoyed both the honesty and humor reflected in them ... very encouraging.

Now on to my question ... I know its probably out of place but I really need to ask (and get a respone) so please don't flame me. I'm a male and had a low risk exposure (I received oral sex from a guy who is in a high risk group with a condom on). Afterwards, I noticed that during the oral my penis had a fresh, small, paper cut like tear near the top of my penis ... but the condom seemed in tact though (so maybe it was cuz the sucking was hard???). Anyways, about 2-3 weeks later I started developing ARS symptoms: diarrhea (1x every morning only), fatigue, loss of apetitie, malaise, some achiness. Now I know I'm not supposed to try diagnosing myself ... and I know that it just might be anxiety causing much of these things ... but I gotta ask ya:

1. Do my symptoms seem in line with ARS? I didn't have a fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes (which I thought would be more typical).

2. In regards to diarrhea ... if it was ARS would it be more chronic and uncontrollable? I only had it 1x in the morning ... and thought maybe it was due to anxiety.

3. Does the tear on my penis mean the condom broke? Or could it be the result of hard sucking?

4. Its been 4 weeks from the incident, got a test today, feeling better although I'm still fatigued. Sound like ARS or just my mind?

Anyways, please answer ... I know its not the most appropriate question but I really need to hear a professionals response to my concerns.

Thanks bunch!

Response from Dr. Frascino


Thanks. You are right, your question should be posted at our Safe Sex Forum. I'll answer briefly in hopes of calming your fears. First, your risk is extremely low. You were practicing safe sex - insertive oral sex with a condom. It doesn't get much safer than that! Small paper cut tears on top of your penis are not a problem if the condom remained intact. Doubt this was caused by your partner unless you were having sex with an industrial-strength Hoover vacuum cleaner. So the answers to your questions are:

1. No, your symptoms are not indicative of ARS. 2. No, loose stool one time in the morning is not indicative of ARS. It could be anxiety, or perhaps your Starbucks double-espresso just kicked in? 3. Tears on the penis do not mean that the condom broke. A tear in the condom means that the condom broke! Could it be the result of hard sucking? Well, how lucky could a guy get? No, see comment above about Hoover. 4. No, doesn't sound like ARS. Your test results should be back soon. They will be negative and your fatigue will "magically" disappear. Trust me, I'm a doctor.

So, is it all in your mind? Yep, probably so. You're welcome "bunch" too! Happy Holidays,

Dr. Bob

anemia = depression??

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