Introduction of Gonorrhoea
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both men and women and is spread through sexual contact with an infected person. Gonorrhea is a serious health concern and should be treated promptly to avoid long-term complications. If you suspect you have been exposed to the infection, it is important to get an STD test as soon as possible.
How is Gonorrhea Spread?
Gonorrhea is spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex, with an infected person. The bacterium can infect the genitals, rectum, and throat and can also be spread from a pregnant woman to her baby during delivery. Certain factors can increase the risk of contracting gonorrhea, such as having multiple sexual partners, having unprotected sex, and engaging in sexual activity with a partner with a sexually transmitted infection.
How Do I Know If I Have Gonorrhea?
Many people with gonorrhea do not experience any symptoms, making it challenging to determine if you're infected. Additionally, these symptoms vary between men and women, and it may take several weeks s (up to 30 days) to appear. In men, typical symptoms include a burning sensation while urinating, discharge from the penis, and swelling of the testicles. Women may have painful urination, abnormal vaginal discharge, stomach pain, and irregular bleeding. Women, in particular, may experience mild symptoms that can be mistaken for bacterial vaginosis or yeast infections. This highlights the importance of getting tested if you suspect you have been exposed to gonorrhea, which can happen through unprotected sexual activity.
The most common symptoms for men:
- Painful urination
- Discharge from the penis
- Swollen testicles
The most common symptoms for women:
- Painful urination
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Bleeding between periods
DID YOU KNOW?
Each year, an estimated 78 million people are infected with Gonorrhea worldwide. Was your last partner one of them?
What is the test and treatment like?
Several testing methods are available, including urine, swab, and blood tests. Gonorrhea can be cured by taking antibiotics, which are highly effective in curing the infection. It's essential to finish the entire course of treatment as prescribed, and treating sexual partners is recommended to prevent the further spread of the infection. To prevent re-infection, it's advisable to abstain from sexual activity for a week after completing treatment.
What If Gonorrhea Is Left Untreated?
Gonorrhoea is a preventable and treatable sexually transmitted infection that can result in infertility, especially in women who often remain asymptomatic until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. Untreated gonorrhea can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which may lead to irreversible infertility and fatal ectopic pregnancy. Furthermore, Pregnant women infected with gonorrhea have an elevated risk of miscarriage, amniotic sac and fluid infections, and premature birth. Additionally, untreated mothers can transmit the bacteria to their unborn child during pregnancy or labor, leading to eye infections and potential blindness if left unaddressed.
In men, an untreated gonorrhea infection increases the risk of developing prostate cancer. Moreover, individuals with untreated gonorrhea are more likely to contract other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
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