Let’s be honest, every woman has a moment in their sexual history where she starts questioning every sensation or twinge in the pelvic area after a particular night of passion.
While some sexually transmitted infections come with itching, burning and discharge, gonorrhea may be completely asymptomatic in women.
The full name of the bacteria is Neisseria gonorrhoeae and can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and even oral sex.
If a woman is going to have symptoms, she will most likely experience vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and/or pain with intercourse that may lead her to think she has a bladder or vaginal infection.
If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause a severe infection known as pelvic inflammatory disease that may lead to fertility problems and even infertility itself.
Testing involves either a urine collection or culture swab to the cervix, anus or throat. A positive test requires treatment of both the woman and testing of any partners (oral, vaginal or anal) she has had in the last 60 days.
Treatment changes often as more and more gonorrhea is becoming antibiotic-resistant.
Currently, treatment with the medication azithromycin in a single dose or seven days of doxycycline is the method recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Repeat testing ensures that the treatment worked.
Prevention of gonorrhea (besides abstinence) includes proper protection against these bacteria.
Using birth control such as the pill, ring, IUD, and diaphragm will protect you from pregnancy but not gonorrhea which requires a barrier method such as a latex condom (for him) or female condom.
It is important to note that condoms do not guarantee 100 percent protection and that natural or lambskin condomes may not protect like a latex condom.
Do not hesitate to make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you are concerned about a recent exposure.
Most symptoms (if there are going to be any) show up within a few days to a week. Treatment is possible and will prevent further complications.
1) Gonorrhea – CDC Fact Sheet. Web. 13 August, 2012.