Gonorrhea is an infectious disease caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacteria can survive and multiply easily in the mucus membrane of a human body such as the warm and moist area of cervix, fallopian tube, urethra, mouth, throat and anus. This bacteria can be transferred through direct contact with the affected area hence oral sex, anal sex and vaginal sex with someone infected with this bacteria can lead to infection. In the US, less than 350,000 people get diagnosed with Gonorrhea annually with majority of cases reported to be teenagers.
Common Symptoms of Gonorrhea
When infected with Gonorrhea, the symptoms often appear after 10 days of being exposed to the bacterium. Some symptoms often appear after 30 days of infection. Among the common symptoms are:
- Vaginal discharge of white or yellowish liquid
- Pain international he pelvic or lower abdomen
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Having red and itchy eyes or conjunctivitis
- Vaginal bleeding in-between periods
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Vulvitis or vulva swelling
- Painful or burning sensation in the throat
- Swollen throat glands
Diagnosing Gonorrhea can be done in different ways.
- Swabbing a sample fluid from urethra in men
- Swabbing a sample fluid from cervix in women
The common treatment for Gonorrhea is by taking antibiotic. It can be in the form of oral or injectable. If you have a partner, your partner needs to be screened as well to ensure that the bacteria will not spread. When taking antibiotic, take it accordingly. If you are advised to take it for seven days, do so even if you no longer feel any symptoms of Gonorrhea infection. Completely treating Gonorrhea is the only way to make sure that you will not spread the disease to your partner or future partners. While on treatment, avoid having sexual activity as well.
Preventing Gonorrhea Infection
Gonorrhea bacteria is being transmitted through direct contact with someone infected with it. This makes it easier to avoid it because if you know how to protect yourself, then you can stay away from Gonorrhea.
- Use condoms at all times especially if you engage in sex with multiple partners or different partners
- Limit sexual contact if you know that your partner is infected with Gonorrhea
- If you think you were exposed to someone with Gonorrhea infection, abstain from having sex and seek medical attention
- If you experience any unusual symptoms like vaginal discharge or having rashes, stop having sexual activities with your partner and be screened for Gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted disease.
It is easy to avoid Gonorrhea infection if we can practice being responsible when having sexual contact. If you are an adventurous soul, make sure to bring a condom with you all the time. Do not try oral sex with someone you just met. Better yet, ask the person if they are clean so you won’t have to worry yourself about any complications afterwards. If you think you are exposed, do not try getting pregnant because it will put your stillborn at risk.