The Ugly Truth About Gonorrhea

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Anyone who is sexually active can get gonorrhea. This disease can cause very serious complications when not treated, but can be cured with the right medication.

Definition 

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium that can infect both males and females. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. In females, it can also infect the cervix. This disease is most commonly spread during sex, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.

How does it spread?

Gonorrhea may be spread by contact with infected bodily fluids, so that during childbirth, a mother could pass on the infection to her newborn. Participating in sexual intercourse (vagina, anal and oral sex) with someone who has gonorrhea.

What Causes Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The bacterium can grow and multiply easily in mucus membranes of the body, it can grow in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, are included the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes in women and in the urethra (the tube which carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) in women and men. It is often passed from one person to another through sexual contact, including oral, anal or vaginal intercourse.

Symptoms in women

  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Spotting after intercourse
  • Burning in the throat (due to oral sex)
  • Burning when urinating
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes)
  • Swelling of the vulva (vulvitis)
  • Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)
  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina

Symptoms in men

  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the penis
  • Burning in the throat (due to oral sex)
  • Burning when urinating
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)

In men, symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after infection.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of infection include:

  • Younger age
  • Previous diagnosis
  • A new sex partner
  • Having other sexually transmitted infections
  • A sex partner who has other partners
  • Various sex partners

Complications

Untreated gonorrhea can lead to significant complications, such as:

  • Infertility in men. Untreated gonorrhea in men can lead to epididymitis, inflammation of a small, coiled tube in the rear portion of the testicles where the sperm ducts are located (epididymis). Although epididymitis is treatable, lefting it untreated, it may lead to infertility.
  • Infertility in women. Untreated gonorrhea is able to spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may result in scarring of the tubes, greater risk of pregnancy complications and infertility. it is a serious infection that requires immediate treatment.
  • Complications in babies. Babies who contract gonorrhea from their mothers during birth is able to develop blindness, sores on the scalp and infections.
  • Increased risk of HIV/AIDS. Gonorrhea may make you more susceptible to infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that leads to AIDS. People that have both gonorrhea and HIV are able to pass both diseases more readily to their partners.

How Can Prevent the Infection?

  • Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
  •     Should limit the number of sex partners and shouldn’t go back and forth between partners.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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