What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is an infection that is transmitted through close
physical contact during sexual intercourse. It can also be transmitted through
oral and anal sex as well as vaginal.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
A person who has been infected with gonorrhea will start seeing
symptoms within 2 to 21 days after being infected; however, most women and many
men report no symptoms at all.
- Burning/pain when urinating
- need to urinate more often
- thick yellow to white discharge from the penis
- Thick yellow to white discharge from the vagina
- Bleeding between periods or abnormal periods
- Burning/pain when urinating or have a bowel movement
- Lower abdominal cramping and/or lower back pain
How can you test for gonorrhea?
A doctor or nurse practitioner will take a sample of the
discharge from the mans urethra (urinary tract) or the womans
cervix (opening to the uterus) during an exam. The sample will be sent to a lab
and tested for the organism that causes gonorrhea.
Can gonorrhea be treated and cured?
Yes, a person can be treated for gonorrhea with antibiotics and
be completely cured of the infection. This persons partners must also be
treated to ensure that the infection wont be passed back and
What if gonorrhea is not treated?
If gonorrhea is not treated it can spread into the pelvic organs
and cavity causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID can cause scarring
and permanent damage to the pelvic organs. If PID goes untreated it can cause
infertility in men and women.
How can gonorrhea transmission be prevented?
No method is completely foolproof. People who have only one
sexual partner are the least likely to get gonorrhea. If you do have more than
one partner, or are unsure if your partner may have more than one partner, it
is very important to use condoms. It should be noted, however, that condoms
cannot protect areas they do not cover. For example: the groin area, the upper
thighs and the abdomen.