Everything you wanted to know about gonorrhea

Gonorrhea also known as drip or clap is a very common sexually transmitted disorder. It is almost always acquired by sexual contact with an infected individual. In rare cases, gonorrhea may be spread by body fluids, especially during childbirth. Gonorrhea affects both men and women equally, but the symptoms tend to be slightly more severe in the latter. Gonorrhea tends to be most common in people who tend to have multiple sexual partners or those who have a liberal sex lifestyle.
What causes Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria known as neisseria gonorrhea. This particular organism tends to grow fast in presence of body fluids and in moist areas like the genitals and anus. The bacteria is also known to thrive in the throat and mouth.
How common is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a very common infection worldwide. In the USA alone, there are at least 1 million new cases each year. The highest rates are in teenagers and adolescents. Many people initially do not know if they have gonorrhea as the symptoms often present 3-30 days after exposure.
Symptoms include:
  1. - Yellowish green discharge
  2. - Low abdominal or low back pain
  3. - Burning sensation while urinating
  4. - Red itchy eyes
  5. - Minor vaginal bleeding during periods and after sexual intercourse
  6. - Red and swollen vulva or testicles
  7. - Sore throat- due to oral sex
  8. - Swollen neck glands
In many people, the symptoms may be mild and confused with an upper respiratory tract infection.
How Is Gonorrhea diagnosed?
The diagnosis of gonorrhea is made by taking swabs from the genitals or the secretions. A simple lab test can quickly confirm the presence of gonorrhea. In most cases, doctors will also check for presence of chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections like HIV and syphilis.
Can Gonorrhea be cured?
Gonorrhea can be cured with an oral antibiotic. It is important that the partner also be treated to stop the cycle of transmission. It is important to avoid sexual activity until all the symptoms have subsided and a second test reveals no presence of the bacteria.
The best way to prevent gonorrhea is to abstain from sex but if that is not possible, use a condom. Secondly avoid multiple sex partners as this increases the risk of an STD.
Untreated gonorrhea can lead to many complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, septic arthritis and infertility. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy and may cause blindness or a severe blood infection if not treated.
A word of warning: in the last decade many people who have acquired gonorrhea have failed to inform their partner. In the USA, this can lead to litigation of the partner who may face monetary penalties as well as incarceration.

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