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Solve the Medical Riddle: She Has Embarrassing Symptoms “Down There” After Making Love, Second Week

Editor’s note: Welcome to our ThirdAge feature that gives you a chance to play medical sleuth as we share the details of what happened when a patient presented with a problem that stumped the physician at first.

Last week, the patient reported her symptoms. The doctor proceeded with the examination using the components of the classic S-O-A-P notes, which are as follows:

S=Symptoms or Chief Complaint

O=Objective Findings

A=Assessment or Analysis

P=Treatment Plan or Recommendations

The doctor gave Sybil the good news that she did not have any STDs, but the doctor warned Sybil that she should always ask a new partner to use a condom. “A lot of post-menopausal women start romantic relationships without asking the partner to be tested for STDs and HIV,” the doctor said. “That’s risky business. True, knowing that you can no longer get pregnant is a great feeling. However, never assume that a man you recently met is free of disease. If he’s put off by your request that he be tested, then he’s not the man for you even if he doesn’t have STDs or HIV! He should be glad to give you full assurance that lovemaking won’t mean you’re in any kind of peril. Yet a recent study showed that only 6% of older women report that their new partners use condoms!”

Sybil’s complete blood count test showed that she is indeed generally healthy, but the vaginal smear gave the gynecologist clues as to what the diagnosis would be . . .

To be continued . . .

Come back to next Thursday to find out what some people have guessed the diagnosis might be.

Marie Savard, M.D., a former Medical Contributor for ABC News and a frequent keynote speaker around the world, is one of the most trusted voices on women’s health, wellness, and patient empowerment. She is the author of four books, including one that made the Wall Street Journal list of the best health books of 2009: “Ask Dr. Marie: What Women Need to Know about Hormones, Libido, and the Medical Problems No One Talks About.” Dr. Marie earned a B.S. in Nursing and an M.D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as Director of the Center for Women’s Health at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, technical advisor to the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, advisor to the American Board of Internal Medicine Subcommittee on Clinical Competency in Women’s Health, health columnist for Woman’s Day magazine, and senior medical consultant to Lifetime Television’s Strong Medicine. Please visit


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