Like many of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), gonorrhea often presents no symptoms, so many infected with it do not know, especially women. According to the Planned Parenthood website, roughly 600,000 women and men are infected with gonorrhea in the United States every year. Also, similar to other STDs, having gonorrhea puts you at a higher risk for contracting other STDs like Chlamydia and HIV.
Gonorrhea, sometimes called the clap or the drip, is a bacterial infection passed during sexual contact. It can infect the vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, and throat in women, and sometimes causes a yellow-green or puss-like discharge from the infected area. Other symptoms may include menstrual irregularities, fever, abdominal pain, the urge to urinate more than usual, vomiting, and painful intercourse or urination.
Questions to ask your doctor might include:
- How is gonorrhea tested? Your doctor or clinic can test you for gonorrhea and other STDs.
- I only have symptoms in the morning, then it seems to go away. Should I still be tested and treated? It is not uncommon for gonorrhea symptoms to be more present in the morning. This happens more regularly in men, however if your partner has any symptoms, you should be tested and treated.
- Do I need to tell my sexual partner(s)? It is important to contain the STD and treat it to avoid further complications, so you should tell partner(s) if you have it, and suggest he/she(they) get tested and treated.
- How can I prevent contracting gonorrhea or another STD? Always practice safe sex and decide to avoid sexual contact if you or your partner experiences any symptoms. It is possible to be re-infected, so even if your partner isn’t experiencing symptoms, they still should be tested and treated just like you.
- How is gonorrhea treated? According to the Mayo Clinic website, your doctor may prescribe a single dose antibiotic as an injection or pill form.
- I’m pregnant. Should I be concerned about passing gonorrhea to my child during birth? This is another reason to be aware of your condition by testing and treating an infection. Gonorrhea can be given to a baby during childbirth. Babies often are given a medication in their eyes to ward-off infection. If infected, they most likely could be treated with antibiotics.
- What could happen if I don’t get treated for my gonorrhea? Complications of untreated gonorrhea include infertility in women, an increased risk of HIV infection. The bacterium causing gonorrhea can spread through your blood to infect your joints, which could cause arthritis, fever, soreness, and rash.
www.plannedparenthood.org STDS, Gonorrhea
Check out EmpowHER’s page on Sexually Transmitted Diseases including Gonorrhea for more information.
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