What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease. It can be passed one person to the next through intercourse, oral sex and even anal sex. Women have a higher risk of infection when they engage in sexual acts with an infected partner. Men have a higher risk of transmitting the disease when engaging in sex with someone of the same sex. The disease is caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Symptoms are different in men and women. In men a burning sensation with urinating is a common symptom. There can also be a discharge of fluid from the penis. In women there may be no signs of a gonorrhea infection whatsoever. This can make detecting the infection difficult as about half of the time there are no indications of the infection. Women that have symptoms can have pain in the pelvis as well as fluid discharged from the vagina.

The number of people infected with gonorrhea has been decreasing and is not as common as it once was in the 1970’s when the disease was at an all-time high. However, this disease is still the second most sexually transmitted disease reported, even today. If left untreated the disease can cause other infections as the bacteria spreads throughout the body. In men the bacteria can affect the scrotum where it can become swollen, sore and painful to touch. Both men and women can have severe pain in the pelvis region and sore and painful joints. The bacteria can even advance to the heart muscle and cause problems with the heart.

Symptoms of gonorrhea normally show up in under a week from being infected. However, due to the incubation time and differences in immune system responses from different individuals that become infected, it may take up to thirty days before symptoms are noticed.

Women that are pregnant can pass gonorrhea onto their baby during normal childbirth. In infants that become infected the bacteria infects their eyes causing them to become swollen shut. If you are experiencing symptoms or are pregnant and have had multiple partners it is important to get tested for this disease.


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