The Symptoms and Treatment of Gonorrhea
The right gonorrhea treatment can only begin when it is detected. The only way to detect it is with an STD test.
WHAT IS GONORRHEA?
It is a bacterium that can live and thrive in any warm, moist part of the body where mucus is present. This includes male and female sex organs, reproductive organs, the anus, and the throat.
Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is passed to a sexual partner by an infected partner. Reports show that more than 700,000 people catch it each year. Common slang words for it are “the clap” or “the drip”. Anyone that is sexually active can be infected. Both males and females can catch it and spread it to one another. The highest rate of new cases each year is in high school and college age students (ages 15-24). There is only one way to avoid the risk of catching it and that is by not having sex or engaging in any kind of sexual activities in any way.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE IT?
Not all people with gonorrhea have symptoms. Most people start feeling funny within 2 weeks to a month. However, it is important to know that there are many people who have no symptoms at all. There are also some who may experience discomfort, but it is so slight that they do not think anything is wrong.
If symptoms of gonorrhea are present in the genitalia, men often experience a burning sensation when they are urinating, a white or yellow discharge, and/or pain in the testicle area. Women generally experience a burning sensation when they are urinating as well. Women may also have an increased vaginal discharge that could be mistaken for a yeast infection. Some women report unusual bleeding between periods or mistake their symptoms and think they have a bladder infection.
If either a man or woman has contracted the infection in the anus, they may experience discharge, irritation, tenderness, redness, itching, bleeding, or pain during bowl movements. If they have contracted it in the throat (during oral sex) they may have a sore throat, redness, and swollen throat glands.
WHAT IS THE TEST AND TREATMENT OF GONORRHEA?
Many people, especially women, misdiagnose what they are feeling and try to treat themselves with over the counter medications which will not work. However getting the right gonorrhea treatment is simple and yes, this infection can be cured. An STD test with a urine sample is all that is needed. A lab will test the sample and if it comes back positive, a doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. It is important to take all of it and do not share it with anyone else. It is also important for both partners to be treated or reinfection may quickly occur.
Most doctors recommend getting tested for chlamydia at the same time because many people who test positive for gonorrhea also test positive for chlamydia. It is also smart to get tested for syphilis and HIV as well because anyone who is sexually active is also at risk for these diseases.
No matter what, it is important to get treated as soon as possible. Pregnant women who are infected can spread it to their baby. Other serious complications like infertility can occur in both men and women if this disease is left untreated. Another rare, but serious complication is the spreading of the bacteria into the blood or the joints. That is why it is so important to get tested quickly.
HOW DO I AVOID THE RISK OF GETTING IT?
The use of latex condoms significantly decreases the risk. Staying in a relationship with a person that has tested negative also reduces the risk. However, the one and only way to completely avoid the risk if being exposed to this disease is by not having sex or engaging in any sexual relations at all.
Anyone who is sexually active should get an STD test whether symptoms are present or not. This way if the test comes back positive, the proper gonorrhea treatment can begin right away.