Colloquially know as “the Clap” or “the Drip,” Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that is currently giving disease control official around the world nightmares. It has a disturbing ability to develop resistance to antibiotics, and some very unpleasant long-term side effects. Epidemics of gonorrhea are expected to break out eventually, if new antibiotics can’t be developed to combat it. This makes stopping the spread of gonorrhea before infection very important.
Prevention: Condoms, as always. Other barrier methods such as cervical caps will not protect against gonorrhea. Otherwise, abstinence, or only have sexual contact with people who you know are not infected. Gonorrhea can be spread through contact with infected fluids, genitals, anus or mouth. In other words, any and all forms of sexual contact. It can also be spread from mother to child during labor and delivery.
Treatment: Antibiotics. Some strain may be resistant to first-line antibiotics, so it’s important to get retested after treatment to be sure the infection is gone. If it isn’t, you will be treated with second-line antibiotics. Second-line antibiotics will usually be more expensive, take longer to work, or have more severe side effects. But because they are used less often, infections rarely develop any resistance to them.
Symptoms: Symptoms in women are either mild (and often mistaken for something else) or totally absent until complications occur. Early symptoms can include pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, burning during urination and sore throat. Early symptoms in men include penile discharge, burning during urination and sore throat. If symptoms develop, they will appear 2-30 days after infection.
Diagnosis: Gonorrhea can be diagnoses in several way, including urine test, swab test and blood test. A blood test is only effective after the infection has reached the blood stream.
Complications: Complications from gonorrhea include damage to the genitals which can lead to infertility in both men and women, meningitis, and scarring to the infected tissue.
Gonorrhea is one of the STD/STIs that makes regular testing important. The serious complications, lack of symptoms and easy of infections make it vjust plain good sense to try and avoid sexual contact with anyone who is infected, and to get yourself in treatment as early as possible if you are infection.
Back to the Long List of STD/STIs.