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Am I right to feel really embarrassed and scared? advice needed

(40 Posts)
lou866 Mon 22-May-17 15:40:20

Hi everyone. I'm new - so if I do this wrong please let me know. I'm not a gran yet, but my young son is married so maybe not too far in the future. My daughter is still studying.

I got divorced last year and a few months ago I met my partner.

My problem is this, and I'm sorry if this is too much information, but I've just been to the doctors who told me I have an STI. I'm really embarrassed to say this, I don't know why I didn't think about it when I went there in the first place. It's not like I haven't talked about this stuff with both my children!!

I haven't said anything to my partner, I only just found out and I haven't seen him, I really need help how to talk to him about this, if I'm honest I feel scared. I know it is something easily fixed with my prescription but not only do I feel bad about myself I'm worried about the talks that will come from this i.e. where did it come from and what if I've had this for a while and not to mention talking about this with my ex husband who might need to get checked??

Any advice would be appreciated

thatbags Mon 22-May-17 15:55:33

Speak to you doctor about how long you may have had the infection. If they can tell it is very recent, then your ex-husband is eliminated as a possible source. If they think it is more long-standing (I've no idea of this is possible, just throwing out what comes into my mind as possibly helpful), then you need to speak to both your ex and your current partner. Be as up front and factual as you can, e.g: "I have been diagnosed as having an STI. It came from one of my two sexual partners. You need to know this. I am telling my ex/partner too."
Then they need to get checked and treated if necessary.

That's just the practical side. Someone else may come along with advice on the emotional side. Good luck.

Elegran Mon 22-May-17 15:58:00

Surely they gave you advice when this was diagnosed? Doctors diagnose people with embarrassing illnesses frequently so they will not be shocked. Or search online, where you will fund many sources of information and advice.

The first person to talk to is your current partner so that he can get checked. Also any other contacts you may have had recently.

whitewave Mon 22-May-17 15:59:15

Well it seems to me the only way is to confront it head on. For a start you need to tell your new partner as if he's been infected by you then he will need treatment. If he is the likely carrier than some talking needs to be done!!!

If it turns out to be your ex. then telling him or not is your decision

Good luck. All being well this time next year it will all be behind you.

TriciaF Mon 22-May-17 16:16:26

lou866 I sympathise with your feelings. When with my ex I had to go for a test, as he had problems. Never told me. It was one of the worst weeks of my life, but TG I was clear.
As for your infection, hopefully it's something that will respond to treatment.
As others have said, you'll have to be brave and tell your partner. A very difficult situation.

Welshwife Mon 22-May-17 16:29:56

Did you have a test to ascertain it was an STI? I ask this as DGD had an infection and the GP suggested it was an STI which annoyed DGD as she said she knew it was not - so we went to a walk in clinic for a check - the clinic dealt with all sorts of problems. She had a test and the results were very quick and as DGD had said it was a deep seated UTI which needed strong antibiotics.

vampirequeen Mon 22-May-17 20:51:33

I had a UTI which was misdiagnosed as an STI after my third child was born. My GP was a bit of a dick chauvinist. He was more concerned that I hadn't started to have sex with my husband again even though DD2 was three months old.

If it is an STI there is no reason to be embarrassed. You or your partner could have been infected before you and he met. He needs to get checked and if necessary treated because if he has it then he'll simply re-infect you.

grannypiper Tue 23-May-17 20:11:01

Lou, welcome. What an awful situation but if you are close enough to be having sex with this man then you should be brave enough to have this conversation with him. Bet you warned your teenagers about safe sex ! Get it sorted then have a great time with your new man grin

noteinastorm Wed 24-May-17 09:40:28

I hope that it is one of the treatable ones. If so , get it dealt with and move on - with sensible precautions in the future!!
If however it is herpes (I'm presuming from the tone of your message that it is not AIDS) then you are stuck with it and it is a completely different issue to deal with. Once infected with herpes you have it for life. You probably know that the cold sore virus is herpes, and most of us will have had one on rare occasions. The rest of the time it lies dormant and you would never know. There is lots of information on the topic. No good comes from sticking your head in the sand. Yes it feels more embarrassing when one is older but just deal with it and move on. Best of luck flowers

grannygranby Wed 24-May-17 09:44:44

From what you tell us it seems it must have come from your current sexual partner. As he could re-infect you you will have to mention it to him. No-one else needs to know. In fact it is nobody else's business. Good luck it happens to many of us. Easily treated.

rizlett Wed 24-May-17 10:41:44

Hi Lou - please come back and let us know how you get on. I admire your bravery in speaking about this in the first place and you won't be the only one.

I agree with welsh - maybe consider visiting a STI clinic - they will have much more knowledge than your gp.

Gardenman99 Wed 24-May-17 10:49:57

I would think it is a recent thing, if you have only just noticed the symptoms having said that women can carry STis and not know it. Your partner may have other women in his address book.

kooklafan Wed 24-May-17 11:11:10

I certainly wouldn't feel embarrassed about talking about it. If your ex or your new partner have passed it onto you, you have every right to know who is the culprit and act accordingly. Hope you feel better soon and if it transpires that your new guy is sleeping around, I'd kick him into touch, don't sell yourself short just to have a fella in your life, it's not worth it.

ethelwulf Wed 24-May-17 11:27:08

I find it rather strange that your Doctor would simply tell you that you have an STI then just give you a prescription, with no further advice or follow-up. Sounds to me you need to go back and ask all those questions to illicit the information which should have been offered to you as a matter of routine. i.e. What type of infection is it, was it definitely sexually transmitted, how long have you likely had it etc. If you have no confidence in your GP, go to an STI clinic where you will certainly be offered more information. Either way, at the very least your current partner needs to know, so he can be tested. If it turns out that you caught it from him that opens up a whole new can of worms, I'm afraid...

lou866 Wed 24-May-17 11:43:22

Thank you for the replies. To answer your questions, I had some tests done with a nurse before, the doctor appointment was separate. I don't know I'm a bit worried I didn't pay properly attention to what my GP said at the time. She did talk about a follow up appointment and it's booked but she didn't mention anything about how long I might have had it - I think. All sorts was going through my head at the time. I feel very stupid for not having asked at the time. Do they make notes about these things in your journal, maybe I can ask the next time.
We haven't talked about other partners, perhaps I'm being naïve but I just assumed it was just me and him. I haven't seen him since however sometimes we do spend a few days out of contact so apart from talking about recent events we haven't talked about this. Am I wrong to want to 'clear' this up before talking to him about it?

lou866 Wed 24-May-17 11:44:32

and also ethelwulf can you tell who caught it from who?

trisher Wed 24-May-17 11:56:06

Advice here
they will notify for you if you don't want to do it

TriciaF Wed 24-May-17 12:03:00

The first thing - find out exactly which STI it is.
As others have said, some are treatable, some aren't. I've come across various ones , from sexually transmittable 'fleas', to syphillis. I once had a job in a psychiatric hospital where one poor woman was in the last stages, now thankfully treatable.
Personally I would avoid all sexual contact until you have more information. But try not to feel so bad, many people have had to face this problem.

Mauriherb Wed 24-May-17 12:17:34

Hi Lou. I was in this situation a few years ago and totally understand why you failed to hear what the doctor said. I remember being asked if I knew the names of all the sexual partners I'd had within the previous week ! I was horrified, there had only been my (ex) husband. Apparently this is becoming increasingly common in post menopausal women as we are not worried about pregnancy. As other people have advised, please contact your GP for more details. Good luck x

icanhandthemback Wed 24-May-17 12:25:57

I was once nearly divorced because my GP told me I had an STI which had to have come from somewhere and if it wasn't because I'd had sex with anyone but my partner, it must have come from him. I was devastated as you can imagine. My DH was upset because he hadn't been with anyone else and couldn't understand how I could believe a GP over him. Eventually I rang the appropriate clinic and my treatment was transferred to them. Apparently, a long course of antibiotics followed by an anti-thrush treatment can cause the condition which you then can transmit to partners so it is called and STI.

icanhandthemback Wed 24-May-17 12:32:02

Sorry, posted too soon. What I was going to say was, unless you know what STI it is, you won't be able to give your partner or ex the information they need for treatment so first port of call is to ring the surgery and ask. Then you can research what it is you need to tell anybody. These things happen and if you can't speak to someone you are sexually active with, maybe you should be more comfortable with them before you do anything else with them. That sounds really judgemental but it isn't meant to be, I just think that communication between two people is paramount to make a relationship work.

lizzypopbottle Wed 24-May-17 13:33:29

lou866 Don't be embarrassed. The fastest growing group presenting at GUM clinics is middle aged people. This is partly because the stigma of marriage break up has gone and partly because this group no longer worries about pregnancy as a consequence of unprotected sex. They also look at the overall appearance of a potential partner and tell themselves the couldn't possibly have a STI. There's also a reluctance to talk about such things. Let's get this taboo subject out into the open. Use condoms. Don't be embarrassed to ask if he's got a condom at the ready. If he hasn't, produce your own and make sure it's used and used for the entire time! It's for his protection as well as yours.

BlueBelle Wed 24-May-17 13:44:54

First of all don't worry too much most sti s are treatable fairly easily nowadays but as others have said you need more info. I too find it very strange the doctor told you that you had an sti but offered you no advice or medication they don't disappear by themselves How did the doc decide you had an sti did you have to give samples or have an examination did you go with symptoms ? it all sounds very vague Make an appointment to find what you have ...the chances are its the new partner if you haven't been active with the ex ...some sti s can be inactive but most show symptoms fairly soon
Don't be too embarrassed it happens and many of us have been in your situation

ajanela Wed 24-May-17 14:00:35

Great you have raised this subject as from some of the replies I feel people are not aware of the risk of having unprotected sex after the menopause. The greatest increase in sexually transmitted disease is in the 50+. As the OP said she is talking to her children about the risk but didn't think it applied to her.

As others have said first check with your doctor what you have and who you need to inform. If you need to inform other sexual partners you will need to inform your new partner. If he is found to have it you could have given it to him so you have to inform other sexual partners. You may not want to tell your ex but not fair to let him pass it on being unaware. Your new partner if being responsible will also have to let past partners know.

Another post has said that TheSTI clinic will inform a patients sexual partners or give you cards you can give them.

But first clarify what you have and what you need to do. But no need to discuss who you are informing or discuss past partners with anyone or who tests positive or negative. Unfortunately this is something that happens and has been happening since sex began! Again well done for making us aware of the risk.

Teddy123 Wed 24-May-17 14:12:53

Don't be embarrassed; you're not the first and won't be the last and my understanding is that STIs are on the increase with the older generation.

I find it worrying that you feel uncomfortable about discussing this with your new partner. It may be him or may not but if you feel so awkward broaching the subject ..... then maybe (just maybe) he's not the man for you. Either way, I hope by now you've ring your Gp to find out which infection you have.

Take the antibiotics and I'm sure it will clear up very soon. Good luck!