Gonorrhea infection is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The origins of this bacterium are not fully known, but it is believed to have evolved from a closely related bacterium that causes infections in cattle, sheep, and goats.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can be spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. It can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her newborn during delivery.
Gonorrhea is a highly contagious infection, and it can be transmitted even if an infected person does not have any symptoms. It is important to practice safe sex and get tested regularly for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections, especially if you are sexually active with multiple partners.
Gonorrhea can infect the urethra, cervix, rectum, and throat, and it can cause a variety of symptoms or no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, they typically appear within 1-14 days after infection.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in women may include:
- Painful urination
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Bleeding between periods
- Pain or discomfort during sex
- Abdominal pain or pelvic pain
- Symptoms of gonorrhea in men may include:
- Painful urination
- White, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
- Pain or swelling in the testicles
- Sore throat (if the infection has spread to the throat)
- Symptoms of gonorrhea in the rectum may include rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding.
Gonorrhea can also cause serious health complications if left untreated, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and an increased risk of HIV transmission.
It is important to seek medical treatment if you suspect you may have gonorrhea or have been in contact with someone who has the infection.
Preventing gonorrhea involves taking measures to reduce the risk of infection through sexual contact. Here are some ways to prevent gonorrhea:
The most effective way to prevent gonorrhea is to abstain from any sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
2. Use condoms
Using condoms correctly and consistently during sexual activity can significantly reduce the risk of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections.
3. Get tested regularly
Regular testing for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections is important, especially if you are sexually active or have had multiple partners.
4. Limit sexual partners
Having sex with multiple partners increases the risk of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections. Limiting sexual partners and being in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner can help reduce the risk of infection.
5. Practice good hygiene
Wash your genital area with soap and water before and after sexual activity to reduce the risk of gonorrhea and other infections.
It is important to note that gonorrhea can be transmitted through sexual contact even if an infected person does not have symptoms. Therefore, regular testing and practicing safe sex are important steps to prevent gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections.
Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for gonorrhea include ceftriaxone, cefixime, and azithromycin.
It is important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if your symptoms improve, to ensure that the infection is fully treated. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that your sexual partner(s) be treated to prevent reinfection.
If you are allergic to the recommended antibiotics, your healthcare provider may prescribe an alternative treatment.
After completing treatment, it is recommended to get retested for gonorrhea three months after treatment to confirm that the infection has been fully cleared.
It is important to seek medical treatment if you suspect you may have gonorrhea or have been in contact with someone who has the infection. If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious health complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and an increased risk of HIV transmission.