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Gonorrhea: Everything You Need To Know About This Common STD

Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. According to Medical News Today, globally, an estimate of 820,000 new gonorrhea infections are reported each year.

In the year 2016, rates of reported gonorrhea cases are the highest among adolescents and young adults.

Gonorrhea: Everything You Need To Know About This Common STD

What Is Gonorrhea ?

Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae and can infect both men and women mainly through sexual intercourse. One can get gonorrhea through any kind of sexual contact like vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral intercourse and it can even pass from mother to the baby through a vaginal delivery but not from a C-section delivery.

Although the bacteria can't live for more than a few seconds outside the body, you can get this STD by touching objects like clothes or toilet seats.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gonorrhea?

The symptoms of gonorrhea can appear anywhere from 1 to 14 days after exposure to the infection. Men and women have different signs of gonorrhea.

These are the symptoms of men:

  • Green, yellow or white urethral discharge
  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Anal discharge, bleeding, itching, pain when passing stool
  • Pain in the testicles or scrotum
  • Itching, and difficulty in swallowing
  • Red, swollen, warm and painful joints
  • Eye pain and eye discharge resembling pus

These are the symptoms of women:

  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Yellow or green vaginal discharge
  • Fever and vulvar swelling
  • Heavier periods
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Anal discharge, bleeding, itching, pain when passing stool 
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Painful and frequent urination
  • Sore throat, itchy and difficulty in swallowing
  • Eye pain and eye discharge resembling pus
  • Red, swollen, warm and painful joints

How To Prevent Gonorrhea?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only way of reducing the risk of gonorrhea is to avoid having vaginal, anal or oral sex.

If you are sexually active, then you should keep this in mind:

1. If you are in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with your partner, he or she should be tested and should have negative STD test results.

2. Using condoms the right way every time you have sex.

3. Get regular screenings if you are a man who has sex with men, a sexually active woman under the age of 25, and a woman who has multiple sexual partners.

What Are The Complications?

There are many serious complications which require a quick diagnosis and treatment. In women, gonorrhea could lead to chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and ectopic pregnancies. In men, the infection could lead to infertility, and epididymitis.

If the disease is left untreated, it could lead to arthritis, dermatitis and HIV.

What Is The Treatment For Gonorrhea?

The treatment starts by analysing a urine sample or a swab of an infected area. The swab samples are commonly taken from the penis, urethra, cervix, anus and throat. If your test result is positive, the individual and their partner have to undergo the following treatment.

1. Antibiotics like ceftriaxone and azithromycin are prescribed.

2. Until your treatment is complete, abstain from sexual intercourse as there is a risk of spreading infection.

3. The CDC recommends retesting the patients and a doctor will decide if it's necessary and it should be performed 7 days after the treatment.

Gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. And if you are pregnant talk with your doctor so that you can receive the correct testing, examination and treatment as soon as possible.

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Read more about: std disease
Story first published: Monday, August 20, 2018, 14:11 [IST]
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