One of the most common sexually transmitted diseases is gonorrhea. The CDC estimates that there are 700,000 new cases of Gonorrhea each year. This STD is also known by the nickname the “clap”. By definition, an STD is a sexually transmitted disease, also known as an STI or sexually transmitted infection. These diseases, of which gonorrhea is grouped into, are spread via sexual contact from one partner to the next. This sexual contact can occur in many ways such as orally, vaginally, anally, or from hand to genital interaction.
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that affects the cervix, male urethra, and throat. Gonorrhea can be contracted rather easily. The symptoms are usually mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract infection or vaginal infection. The most noticeable symptoms are those of burning urination, or yellowish discharge. Because of the non-specific symptoms, this is why gonorrhea can often be mistaken for some other type of urinary tract, or pelvic infection.
There are usually no early symptoms, but the most common initial symptoms of gonorrhea include burning during urination and discharge. Symptoms that appear later on may include skin rashes or the infection may spread to the joints and blood. Men may experience discharge from the penis and swollen testicles. Women may experience vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, and spotting. When the infection progresses further, it can cause skin rashes or sepsis. If left untreated, it can cause infertility in both men and women. With the help of antibiotics, the infection and STD can be treated and cured.
How do we prevent gonorrhea from spreading? Our first line of defense against these STDs is to practice safe sex, using abstinence, condoms, and getting checked regularly. Unfortunately this is not always enough, so recognizing the symptoms of the most common STDs can get you treatment fast and stop further spreading to others.
Gonorrhea quick facts:
· A burning sensation when urinating (male)
· A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis (male)
· Painful or swollen testicles (male)
· Painful or burning sensation when urinating (female)
· Increased vaginal discharge (female)
· Vaginal bleeding between periods (female)
· Anal itching
· Painful bowel movements
· Scar tissue formation
· Ectopic pregnancy
· Long-term pelvic/abdominal pain
People at highest risk:
· People who have had gonorrhea or other STIs in the past
· Anyone who has a new or multiple sexual partners
· Anyone who doesn't use a male condom correctly
· Sex workers
· Drug users
Tests for gonorrhea:
· Swab sample
· Urine test
· Gram Stain