Gonorrhea is one of the most common STD or sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and women. Infections can be caused in the throat, genitals, and rectum. Among people aged 15-24, gonorrhea can be a very common infection.
During childbirth, a mother can pass on the infection to her newborn. Gonorrhea can also be acquired through oral, vaginal or anal sex with an infected person.
Abstinence is the best prevention against all sexually transmitted diseases.
If this is not possible, the following things can be done to lower the risk of getting infected with gonorrhea:
- Use a latex condom for all sexual activities
- Have a monogamous relationship with a non-infected partner
Risk group for gonorrhea
Unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex will always put you at the highest risk for acquiring gonorrhea.
An open and honest talk with a medical practitioner to ask about preventive measures and STD tests is one of the ways to prevent acquiring the infection especially if you are sexually active. If you are a man and is bisexual, gay, or engage in sex with other men, you should undergo annual STD tests. If you are a sexually active older woman with multiple partners or a new partner or you are 25 years old or younger that engages in numerous sexual activities, STD tests should be done annually to prevent being infected with gonorrhea.
If you are pregnant and also happen to be infected with gonorrhea, your baby will become infected as well upon birth. This will create serious health complications to the baby. Treating gonorrhea before giving birth will lessen the health complications to the baby.
Signs and symptoms
Most men do not show symptoms, but should there be, it will have the following:
- Swollen or painful testicles
- A burning sensation during urination
- Green, white or yellow discharges from the penis
A lot of women do not display symptoms and if they do, it could often be mistaken for a vaginal or bladder infection. This poses a serious health threat which could possibly lead to widespread infection especially when a woman has multiple partners. The symptoms, if ever it occurs may include:
- Pain felt in bowel movements
- Vaginal discharges
- Itching in the anal area
A doctor needs to be consulted when you have these symptoms or if your partner is showing symptoms such as bleeding between menstrual periods, an odd sore, pain felt during urination and foul-smelling discharges.
Treatment and cure
The right treatment can cure gonorrhea. The key to eliminating the infection from your body is to strictly adhere to the prescribed medications which should never be shared with anybody. The medication will do away with the infection, but it will not be able to cure the permanent damage that has been done by the disease.
Some strains of gonorrhea are becoming harder to treat as they have developed resistance to antibiotics. Should your symptoms continue after a few days of treatment, you have to go back to your health care provider and submit to further tests and consultation.