- What is it?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It affects the reproductive tract, and can also affect the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, eyes, and rectum. The infection is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person involving the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. It is a very common infection, especially among young people aged 15-24 years.
- How do you get Gonorrhea?
You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.
- How soon will symptoms appear?
The time from exposure to the bacteria until symptoms develop, is usually 2 to 5 days. On some occasions symptoms may not develop for up to 30 days.
- What are the symptoms?
Some men and women with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms in men can include: a burning sensation when urinating; a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis; painful or swollen testicles (although this is less common). Symptoms in women can include: a painful or burning sensation when urinating; increased vaginal discharge; vaginal bleeding between periods. Rectal infections may either cause no symptoms or cause symptoms in both men and women that may include: discharge; anal itching; soreness; bleeding; painful bowel movements.
- Testing and treatment.
Most of the time urine can be used to test for gonorrhea. However, if you have had oral and/or anal sex, swabs may be used to collect samples from your throat and/or rectum. In some cases a swab may be used to collect a sample from the urethra or cervix. Gonorrhea is usually treated using dual therapy which means 2 different antibiotics are administered.
- How can I reduce my risk of getting Gonorrhea?
If you are sexually active you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting gonorrhea: – By being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results. – By using latex condoms correctly every time you have sex.