Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is very easily spread through sexual intercourse with an infected person and other types of unprotected sexual contact.
- Gonorrhea can infect a person’s penis, vagina, urethra, anus, cervix or throat, and the infection is often referred to as “the drip” or “the clap.”
- Gonorrhea can also pass from an infected pregnant woman to her baby during birth. Babies are often given eye special eye drops to prevent and treat the infection directly after birth however if they contract Gonorrhea, they can still suffer from blindness, joint infection or life threatening blood infection. Untreated Gonorrhea can also cause premature delivery and still birth.
Because sexually active teens and young adults are the most likely candidates for contracting Gonorrhea, it is important that education measures are used to explain the symptoms, risks and complications of Gonorrhea. In the majority of Gonorrhea cases, there are no outward visible signs or symptoms. Four out of five women infected with Gonorrhea do not exhibit any symptoms of the disease. One out of 10 men don’t show any symptoms while infected with Gonorrhea. Because symptoms often do now show, it is even more important to take necessary Gonorrhea prevention measures to ensure you don’t catch or spread the sexually transmitted infection.
Watch out for these Gonorrhea symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and throwing up or nausea
- Bleeding or spotting in between period cycles
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent and painful urination
- Swelling and tenderness of the vulva
- Yellow or greenish discharge
- Itching on or around the anus
- Sore throat
- Gonorrhea symptoms usually begin within the first 14 days of infection if they show at all.
What are the best ways to practice Gonorrhea prevention?
- Because the symptoms of Gonorrhea rarely show, but can still create internal damage like pelvic inflammatory infections, sterility and infertility, it is important to get tested routinely each year for STDs especially common infections like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. If you are a sexually active teen having sex with more than one partner or with someone new with an unknown sexual history and record of STD testing, it is a good idea to get checked.
- Abstinence from sexual intercourse and other types of sexual contact is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent catching or spreading Gonorrhea. Remember, ejaculation is not necessary to spread Gonorrhea.
- Consistently and correctly using latex condoms will also help cut down on the risk of transferring or catching the infection, although it is not 100 percent.
- Engaging in sexual activities with one, uninfected partner in a monogamous relationship is another effective way to make sure you stay free from sexually transmitted infections like Gonorrhea.
- However, if you do contract Gonorrhea, you can still prevent it spreading by making sure your sexual partner(s) are also treated before resuming any kind of sexual activity. Otherwise, you might get the infection again from them. Even if they were not infected in the first place, they probably contracted it from you.
Properly treating Gonorrhea is one of the best ways to prevent spreading the infection or contracting it again.
Gonorrhea Treatment options:
- Antibiotics are typically prescribed to easily treat Gonorrhea. However, drug-resistant strains of Gonorrhea are becoming more and more frequent and are more difficult to treat.
- Make sure and take the entire prescription of antibiotics correctly even if the symptoms improve or go away entirely. Taking antibiotics correctly will help ensure the infection does not return.
- Get STD testing again about three or four months after treatment to make sure the infection has gone away entirely.
Sources: cdc.gov, plannedparenthood.org