Gonorrhea is a commonly occurring STD, which is generally referred to as ‘the clap.’ This sexually transmitted infection has been affecting hundreds and thousands of women and men annually in the United States.

Globally, there have been an estimated 78 million new cases of Gonorrhea that are being diagnosed on a yearly basis. In the U.S. alone, there have been an estimated 850,000 new STD cases each year. Nevertheless, not all of these cases are diagnosed and reported, merely 333,004 gonorrhea cases were reported in the United States back in the year 2013.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that is 100 percent curable but can cause serious and oftentimes permanent damage to the body. Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID) generally occurs in women, if gonorrhea is left untreated, greatly affecting the fallopian tubes or the uterus. Some of the severe complications associated with the pelvic inflammatory disease are infertility.

Some of the most commonly occurring complications in men suffering from gonorrhea infection include epididymitis – it is basically the inflammation of the tubes that carry the sperm and, in extreme cases, could lead to infertility.

Quick Facts On Gonorrhea You Must Know About

  • Gonorrhea is a commonly occurring sexual infection that is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium
  • The infection can be transmitted from an expectant mother to her child during birth
  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are the two most common STDs that can be experienced simultaneously
  • If not treated properly, gonorrhea can increase an individual’s risk of contracting HIV

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea symptoms perhaps not be visible despite the fact that the individual is suffering from an active gonorrheal infection. Gonorrhea symptoms can show up anywhere from 1 to 14 days’ time following exposure to the bacteria.

On the other hand, it is imperative to know that gonorrhea symptoms in men and gonorrhea symptoms in women can be slightly different; these can include:

Gonorrhea Symptoms In Men

  • White, yellowish, or greenish pus-like urethral discharge
  • Swelling or inflammation of the foreskin
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Pain in the scrotum or testicles
  • Anal pain, itching, bleeding, or discharge while passing stool
  • Difficulty swallowing, itching, or swollen neck lymph nodes
  • Light sensitivity, eye pain, or discharge from the eyes resembling pus
  • Painful, warm, swollen, red joints
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Gonorrhea Symptoms In Women

  • Fever
  • Painful sex
  • Yellow or greenish vaginal discharge
  • Heavy bleeding in-between periods
  • Vulvar swelling
  • Heavier periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Painful, warm, swollen, red joints
  • Light sensitivity, pain in the eyes, and even eye discharge that resembles pus
  • Difficulty swallowing, itching, or swollen neck lymph nodes
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Pelvic, abdominal pain
  • Vomiting

Anal Gonorrhea Signs mainly include:

  • Pain, itching, bleeding with passing bowel movements
  • Anal discharge
  • A burning sensation or itching in the eyes that perhaps be an indication of conjunctivitis
  • If the infected fluid or semen comes into contact with the eyes, an individual can develop conjunctivitis

Proper Treatment Of Gonorrhea Is Important!

When gonorrhea symptoms show up in any male or female, a physician may recommend them with a test for gonorrhea along with several other diseases. Testing for gonorrhea STI can be completed by obtaining a swab sample of the affected area or urine sample. Swab samples are generally taken from the throat, anus, urethra, cervix, and penis.

There are home-testing kits available for women which include vaginal swabs already. These kits are then sent to the labs and results are reported directly to the patient.

If an individual test positive for gonorrhea, the person along with their partner are required to undergo treatment. This generally includes:

  • Taking Antibiotics – Your physician will most likely administer both a shot, as well as, an oral medication. Ceftriaxone is prescribed for a short time, whereas azithromycin is the prescribed oral medication for treating Gonorrhea infection
  • Abstain from Sex - It is imperative for the partners to abstain from sexual activity until their treatment is complete. This is because both partners are still at high risk of complications and spread of infection.
  • Getting The Tests Repeated in Some Cases – It is not always imperative to be tested to ensure the treatment for the gonorrhea infection has actually worked. Nevertheless, the CDC recommends retesting for some patients out there, and their physician will decide if it is necessary for them or not. Retesting for Gonorrhea infection should be conducted 7 days after the treatment has been completed.
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If a woman gets pregnant and tests positive for gonorrheal infection, the child will be given an eye-ointment that will greatly help prevent the transmission of gonorrhea. On the other hand, antibiotics may also be needed if the eye infection develops any further.

Gonorrhea Causes – What Actually Leads To Gonorrhea Infection?

Each year, there are more than 820,000 new gonorrhea cases that appear in the United States.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that is mainly caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The infection not only affects the reproductive system, in both men and women, but also affects the mucous membranes of the rectum, eyes, throat, and mouth.

The infection is generally contracted via sexual contact with an infected individual involving the mouth, vagina, anus, or penis. Men do not really have to ejaculate to acquire or transmit the infection to their partner.

Gonorrhea can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her infant during childbirth.

The fact of the matter is that all sexually active men and women are at high risk for contracting gonorrhea, the highest rates of gonorrhea symptoms in teens, young adults, and even in the African-Americans.

Following Up With Gonorrhea

It is highly important for you to follow-up with gonorrhea infection after you have completed your treatment.

  • It is imperative for you to notify your sexual partner(s) to be tested for this infection. They should be tested or treated for the infection so that they do not end up passing it back and forth
  • Ensure to get yourself and your partner retested for the gonorrheal infection 72 hours after you have completed your course of antibiotics, or if you think you have been reinfected
  • Get yourself tested for several other STDs, particularly HIV and Chlamydia

Is It Possible To Prevent Gonorrhea?

Patients, generally, inquire if it is possible for them to prevent Gonorrhea infection from occurring in the first place? Of course! There are several different ways that help prevent passing or acquiring gonorrhea infection.

  • Abstain from having sex or any other sexual activity. This generally includes having oral sex
  • Use good-quality condoms for both anal and vaginal intercourse
  • Use dental dams or condoms for oral intercourse
  • Avoid having sex with high-risk STD partner(s)
  • Make sure to have a sexual activity with a mutually monogamous, unaffected partner
  • It is imperative to have your partner tested for gonorrhea infection before having sexual relations with them
  • Get your partner tested for other sexually transmitted diseases including Chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS
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It is imperative for people to consult their doctors if they or even their partner(s) have ever been exposed to the gonorrhea STI or if they have been experiencing any prominent symptoms related to this particular infection.

Different Complications You Should Be Aware of

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that poses several serious complications, which greatly highlight the need for a quick diagnosis and proper treatment if the symptoms occur.

Gonorrhea symptoms in women can lead to:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease – PID, a condition that leads to abscesses
  • Infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancies – Pregnancies where the embryo attaches itself outside of the uterus

Gonorrhea symptoms in Men can cause:

Both women and men are at high risk of contracting a life-threatening dispersed gonococcal infection if gonorrhea remains untreated. This type of sexually transmitted infections is normally characterized by:

  • Arthritis
  • Fever
  • Sterility from tubal adhesions – it causes the fallopian tubes to get blocked
  • tenosynovitis – swelling and inflammation around tendons
  • dermatitis
  • Meningitis – inflammation of the brain
  • Perihepatitis – infection of the liver capsule
  • Chlamydia – Another commonly occurring STD often accompanies gonorrhea

All those people who get infected with gonorrhea STD are also at risk of contracting HIV or, if they are already HIV positive, they may end up spreading the HIV infection to their partner(s) along with gonorrhea.

Some of the other complications related to gonorrheal infection may show up in expectant mothers during childbirth. It is highly possible for them to transmit this infection to their baby during delivery. Gonorrheal infection being passed on to a baby can lead to blindness, joint infection, or even a life-threatening blood infection.

Moreover, infected women are at high risk for premature labor and stillbirth if they have gonorrhea left untreated.