Gonorrhea – Sexually transmitted diseases

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Anyone who has sex can get gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can cause very serious complications when left untreated, but it can be cured with the right medications.

What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections of the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially in young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

How is gonorrhea transmitted?
You can get gonorrhea by having anal, vaginal, and oral sex with a person who has gonorrhea.

A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can pass it to her baby during delivery.

How can I avoid getting gonorrhea?
You can avoid getting gonorrhea if you:

does not have sexual relations;
You are in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and found negative for STDs;
uses latex condoms and dental dams correctly every time you have sex.
Am I at risk of contracting gonorrhea?
Anyone who has sex can get gonorrhea through unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex.

If you are sexually active, talk honestly and openly with your health care provider and ask if you should be tested for gonorrhea or other STDs. If you are a sexually active woman under the age of 25, or an older woman with risk factors—such as having a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners, or a sexual partner with a sexually transmitted infection—you should be screened of gonorrhea every year. If you are a sexually active man, gay, bisexual, or have relations with men and are sexually active, you should be tested for gonorrhea annually.

I’m pregnant. How does gonorrhea affect my baby?
If you are pregnant and have gonorrhea, you can pass the infection to your baby during delivery. This can cause serious health problems for your baby. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to talk to your health care provider about getting the right physical exams and tests, and getting the right treatment, as needed. Treating gonorrhea as soon as possible will decrease the chances that your baby will have health complications.

How do I know if I have gonorrhea?
Some men with gonorrhea may not have any symptoms. However, men who have symptoms may have:

burning sensation when urinating;
white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis;
pain or swelling in the testicles (although this is less common).
Most women with gonorrhea do not have symptoms. Even when they do have symptoms, they are usually mild and can be mistaken for symptoms of a vaginal or bladder infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of serious complications from the infection, even if they do not have any symptoms.

Symptoms in women may be as follows:

pain or burning sensation when urinating;
increased vaginal discharge;
vaginal bleeding between periods
Infections of the rectum may not cause symptoms in both men and women, or they may cause the following:

anal itching;
pain when defecating
You should get checked out by a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD, such as unusual pain, smelly discharge, burning urination, or bleeding between periods.

How will my doctor know if I have gonorrhea?
In most cases, a urine sample can be used to test for gonorrhea. However, if you have had oral or anal sex, a swab can be used to collect samples from your throat or rectum. In some cases, samples must be taken from a man’s urethra (urinary canal) or a woman’s cervix (the opening of the womb) with a swab.

Can gonorrhea be cured?
Yes, gonorrhea can be cured with the correct treatment. It is important that you take all the medicines your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. Gonorrhea medicines should not be shared with anyone. While the drugs will stop the infection, they will not repair any permanent damage caused by the disease.

Some cases of gonorrhea are becoming more difficult to treat because drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing. If your symptoms continue for more than a few days after treatment, you should return to your healthcare provider for another checkup.

I received treatment for gonorrhea. When can I have sex again?
You must wait seven days after finishing all the medicines before having sexual intercourse. To avoid getting gonorrhea again or passing it on to your sexual partner(s), you should avoid having sex until each person has completed treatment. If you have had gonorrhea and have taken medicine in the past, you can still get infected again if you have unprotected sex with someone who has gonorrhea.

What happens if I don’t get treatment?
When gonorrhea is not treated, it can cause serious and permanent health problems in both men and women.

In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) .

Some of the complications of PID are as follows:

formation of scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes;
ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus);
infertility (inability to get pregnant);
chronic pelvic or abdominal pain.
In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes of the testicles. In very rare cases, this can cause a man to be infertile or unable to have children.

Untreated gonorrhea can also rarely spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be deadly.

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