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An infection caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium that infects both men and women is gonorrhea. The urethra, rectum, or throat are most commonly affected by it. During vaginal, oral or anal intercourse, gonorrhea is most commonly propagated and infected mothers' babies can be infected during childbirth. Gonorrhea affects the eyes most often in babies. The easiest ways to stop sexually transmitted diseases are to abstain from sex, to use a condom if you have sex and to be in a mutually monogamous relationship.

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea infection causes  symptoms that can affect several places in your body, but they occur mostly in the genital tract.

Gonorrhea affecting the genital tract

Signs of  infection with gonorrhea in males include:

  1. Painful urination
  2. Pus-like discharge from the penis tip
  3. Discomfort or swelling in testicles

Signs of women being infected with gonorrhea include:

  1. Increased discharge from the vagina
  2. Painful urination
  3. Vaginal leakage
  4. Pressure in the abdomen or pelvis

Gonorrhea at other sites in the body

These sections of the body may also be affected by gonorrhea:

  • Anus - Anal scratching, pus-like discharge from the rectum, streaks of bright red blood on toilet tissue and needing to struggle during bowel movements are signs and symptoms.
  • Eyes - Eye discomfort, light sensitivity, and pus-like discharge from one or both eyes can be caused by gonorrhea affecting the eyes.
  • Throat -  A sore throat and swollen lymph nodes in the neck may be signs and symptoms of a throat infection.
  • Joints - If one or more joints are infected with bacteria (septic arthritis), warm, red, swollen and extremely painful joints, particularly during movement, may be affected.

When to see a physician?

If you experience any disturbing signs or symptoms, such as a burning sensation when you urinate or a pus-like discharge from your penis, vagina or rectum, make an appointment with your doctor. If your partner has been diagnosed with gonorrhea, make an appointment with your doctor as well. You do not have symptoms or signs that cause you to seek medical treatment. But you can reinfect your partner without medication, even after he or she has been treated for gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea Causes

Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium. During sexual contact, including oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse, the gonorrhea bacteria are most commonly transferred from one person to another.

Risk Factors Of Gonorrhea

The risk of having gonorrhea is increased for sexually active women younger than 25 and men who have sex with other men.

Other variables that can raise the risk include:

  • Getting a new partner for sex
  • Getting a sex buddy who has other friends
  • Getting more than one partner for sex

Gonorrhea Complications

Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious complications, such as:

  • Infertility among women: Gonorrhea may spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, which can cause inflammatory pelvic disease (PID). PID can lead to tube scarring, a higher risk of complications in pregnancy, and infertility. PID needs care immediately.
  • Infertility among men: Gonorrhea can cause inflammation of a thin, coiled tube in the rear portion of the testicles where the sperm ducts are located (epididymis) (epididymitis). Untreated infertility can result from epididymitis.
  • An infection that spreads to the body's joints and other locations: The bacterium that causes gonorrhea will spread through the bloodstream and, like your joints, invade other parts of your body. Possible outcomes include fever, rash, skin sores, joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
  • Increased HIV/AIDS risk: Catching gonorrhea makes you more vulnerable to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, the virus that causes AIDS. People who have both gonorrhea and HIV are able to spread both diseases to their partners more easily.
  • Complications in babies: During birth, babies who contract gonorrhea from their mothers can develop blindness, scalp sores and infections.

Gonorrhea Treatment and Prevention

To decrease the chance of gonorrhea:

  • If you are having sex, use a condom. The surest way to avoid gonorrhea is to abstain from sex.
  • Limit your number of partners for sex. You will lower the risk by being in a monogamous relationship in which neither partner has sex with someone else.
  • Make sure to test yourself and your partner for sexually transmitted diseases. Get checked and share the findings with one another before you have sex.
  • Don't have sex with someone who seems to have an infection that is sexually transmitted. Do not have sex with that person if your partner has signs or symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, such as burning during urination or a genital rash or a sore.
  • Consider routine screening for gonorrhea. For sexually active women younger than 25 and for older women at elevated risk of infection, regular screening is recommended. This involves women with a new sexual partner, more than one sexual partner, a sexual partner with other partners, or a sexual partner with an infection that is sexually transmitted.

Is Gonorrhea Curable?

Treatment in Adults

Adults with gonorrhea are treated with antibiotics. Moreover, due to the emerging strains of drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, it is recommended that gonorrhea can be treated with the antibiotic ceftriaxone. This antibiotic is given to adults as an injection along with oral azithromycin (Zithromax).               

Treatment for Partners

Your partner must also get a medical test and treatment done for gonorrhea, irrespective of any signs or symptoms. Your partner may also receive the same treatment given to you.

Treatment for Babies

Mothers who had gonorrhea could transfer this health issue to their babies. These can also be treated with antibiotics.

Wrapping Up

Abstain from sex until after you and your sex partner have finished therapy and until signs have vanished to prevent having gonorrhea again. Moreover, it is important to keep an eye on the symptoms to avoid contracting the disease. This disease is a part of preventive health benefits provided with various health insurance plans.

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