Frequently Asked Questions About Gonorrhea
What is Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. It grows in warm, moist areas such as the urethra of both women and men, the female reproductive tract, the mouth, throat, anus, or even in the eyes.
How is it transmitted
The most prevalent mode of transmission is through vaginal sex, oral or anal sex or through sharing sex toys with infected persons. It can be transmitted through both heterosexual and homosexual contact.
What are the symptoms
While Gonorrhea is extremely common and easily curable, many times its asymptomatic, or does not have any symptoms at all.
However, for men, symptoms can include the following:
Painful or swollen testicles
Burning during urination
More frequent urination
White, green, or yellow discharge from the tip of the penis
In women, the symptoms are often very mild, and can be mistaken for a more benign bladder or vaginal infection. These symptoms can include:
Uncharacteristic vaginal discharge
Burning or pain during urination
Bleeding between periods
If left untreated though Gonorrhea can lead to serious health issues, and potentially infertility.
How is it treated
Gonorrhea can be treated with several types of antibiotics. You should speak to your healthcare provider for guidance on which antibiotics will work best for you, and whether or not you will require additional testing to detect other STDs. If you have a partner, your partner should also be tested and treated before you have sex again. If not, you can risk reinfection.
If you have been prescribed antibiotics for Gonorrhea, it is very important that you take the entire course of medication. Even if the symptoms go away, the bacterium may still be present inside of your body and will not go away until the course of medication is completed.
It is recommended that you be retested a few months down the road to make sure that the Gonorrhea infection is completely eliminated.
How can I prevent
Just like other infectious diseases, the only sure way to prevent Gonorrhea is by avoiding sexual contact with infected persons.
One can, however, reduce the risk of infection by:
Use of male or female condoms during any act of sexual encounter.
Avoiding sharing of sex toys.
Performing safe oral sex by use of a dental dam.
What to do if diagnosed
If you are in doubt with your sex partner, and you suspect you have Gonorrhea, it's important to visit a health clinic to have the test performed on you. The severity of the diseases is usually lower when the symptoms are treated at an early stage.