Men and Women who are sexually active should be screened for STDs once a year, or visit a physician any time they notice changes or feel something isn't right.
- What is it?
Gonorrhea is a common STD that can grow easily in the warm moist areas of the reproductive tracts of men and women. It can also grow in the anus, mouth, throat, and eyes.
- How is it transmitted?
Gonorrhea is passed by contact with the penis, vagina, mouth or anus. Ejaculation is not required for transmission to occur.
- What are the symptoms?
Most people with Gonorrhea have no symptoms.
Men who have symptoms may notice them from two days up to thirty after infection occurs. Symptoms include burning while urinating, discharge (white, yellow or green) from the penis, painful and/or swollen testicles.
Women usually don't have symptoms, but are usually mild in those who do. They can include burning while urinating, increased vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods.
- How is it diagnosed and treated?
Some tests can be done with urine; others require a sample from the vagina or penis. Most Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics; however there is a new drug resistant strain that has spread to the United States.
- Future implications
Undiagnosed Gonorrhea can cause serious health problems in men and women. In women it can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which can lead to damaged fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. In men it can cause epididymitis which can lead to infertility. For both it can spread to the blood or joints, creating a life threatening situation.
- How can it be prevented?
Abstinence is the best way to avoid transmission. Men using a new latex condom during intercourse or when receiving oral sex, can reduce the chances of transmission. Latex dental dams used correctly can aid in transmission reduction for oral sex on a women or oral to anal sex.
- You should know
Having Gonorrhea raises your chances of acquiring HIV if exposed.