Gonorrhea is a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) that affects both men and women. It is spread through vaginal, oral and anal sex with an infected person and is the second most common STI in the United States.
Street name: The Clap, the Drip, GC
How you get Gonorrhea?
In the United States, the highest reported rates of infection of Gonorrhea are among sexually active teenagers, young adults, and African Americans. 820,000 cases were reported by the CDC in 2013, and 70% of those infections were in young people ages 18 – 24. It is caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
If you have been exposed to gonorrhea, it takes from 2 to 10 days for possible symptoms to develop or for gonorrhea to show up on a STI test. Once a person has gonorrhea they can infect another person or spread the infection to another part of their own body.
Symptoms: Gonorrhea can affect multiple areas of your body, most commonly cervix, penis, anus, throat and eyes.
- CERVIX: pain or burning while urinating; creamy or green discharge; mushroom-like odor from the genital area; lower back pain or abdominal pain.
- ANUS: mucous discharge from the anus or itching in that area.
- THROAT: sore throat.
- PENIS: burning while urinating; clear, creamy, white, yellow or yellowish-green discharge from the penis. In addition, a male’s lymph nodes in the groin may be slightly swollen and tender.
Treatment/ Relief: Most strains of gonorrhea are curable and can be treated with a simple antibiotics regimen, usually, ofloxacin or centriazone.
SPECIAL NOTE: There is a strain of gonorrhea that is resistant to antibiotics. This is a serious epidemic within certain communities. If infected with this strand and no new treatments emerge, you will have to beat it the old fashion way – letting your body cure it. This method is painful, uncomfortable and can leave serious consequence to reproductive organs.
What should you know?
Being infected with Gonorrhea can increase chances of getting HIV. If left untreated, gonorrhea can develop into a more complicated infection called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Women can get gonorrhea through anal sex when secretions are carried from the anus to the vagina.
Women who use Birth Control Pills or use an IUD are more susceptible to contracting gonorrhea, unless they use a male or female condom.
PID is an infection of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and other reproductive organs. Symptoms of PID, include lower abdominal pain, pain with intercourse, pain during menstruation and irregular periods. The scarring of the tubes can possibly cause infertility and put a woman at higher risk for developing an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that implants outside of the uterus).
*** Using condoms and other barrier methods of birth control (diaphragm, cervical cap) are an excellent way to reduce the chance of getting gonorrhea.
How is pregnancy affected?
Gonorrhea can infect the infant during delivery. There are treatments available to protect the infant. If left untreated, a gonorrhea infection in an infant can lead to eye infections and blindness.