Gonorrhea Statistics

In recent years, the number of teens and young adults infected with Gonorrhea has increased making the sexually transmitted infection one of the most commonly transferred between sexual partners. These Gonorrhea statistics provide more information about the disease. Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is easily spread through sexual intercourse and other types of sexual contact.

What is Gonorrhea?

  • Gonorrhea can infect a person’s penis, vagina, cervix, urethra, anus or throat.
  • The infection is commonly referred to as “the drip” or “the clap.”
  • This kind of  sexually transmitted infection (STI) can also pass from an infected pregnant woman to her baby during the birthing process. Untreated Gonorrhea can also cause premature delivery and still birth. Babies who contract Gonorrhea can suffer from blindness, joint infection or life threatening blood infection.

Who is at risk for Gonorrhea?

  • Over 700,000 men and women contract Gonorrhea each year in the United States making this one of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections. However, only about half of these cases are reported to the Center for Disease Control.
  • In recent years, the number of infected persons with Gonorrhea has increased in spite of  a significant decline in the early 1990s.
  • Sexually active teens and young adults are the most at risk of contracting Gonorrhea
  • African Americans also report higher numbers of people infected with Gonorrhea compared to other races.

Gonorrhea Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain and throwing up or nausea
  • Bleeding or spotting in between period cycles
  • Fever
  • 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
  • Four out of five women infected with Gonorrhea do not exhibit any symptoms of the disease.
  • One out of 10 men do not show symptoms while infected with Gonorrhea.
  • Gonorrhea symptoms usually begin within the first 14 days of infection if they show at all.

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.
  • Often times, a person who has Gonorrhea also has contracted Chlamydia so they must be treated for both STDs.
  • If you test positive for Gonorrhea it is a good idea to get tested for Chlamydia and other STDs as well.
  • 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 tested again about three or four months after treatment to make sure the infection has gone away entirely.
  • Make sure each of your sexual partners are also treated before resuming any kind of sexual activity. Otherwise, you can contract the disease again from them even if they did not have it in the first place, they probably contracted it from you.

Prevent catching and spreading Gonorrhea

  • 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 STD testing frequently, especially common infections like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
  • Abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent catching or spreading 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.

Sources: cdc.gov, plannedparenthood.org