Gonorrhea is a very infectious disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 78 million people are affected with Gonorrhea each year. CDC also revealed that, about 820,000 new gonococcal infections occur in the U.S. yearly
What is Gonorrhea? Gonorrhea is a well-known infection transmitted through sex, and most times occurs in people below 25 years of age. It is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This infection affects warm and moist areas of the body like the genitals (testicles, penis, or vagina), the throat, the eyes and the anus. This infection can be transmitted easily and can be easily treated as well.
Data got from 77 countries revealed that antibiotic resistance is making the Gonorrhea infection much harder, and in some cases, impossible to treat.
Dr Teodora Wi, the Medical Officer, Human Reproduction, at WHO said that: “The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them.”
Gonorrhea is easily contacted when you have unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person. This has to do with having contact with fluids come out of their genitals or through oral, anal or vaginal sex. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men
Men experience more symptoms compared to the women. These symptoms may include some or all of these:
- Excessive pain while peeing
- Penis giving an unusual discharge
- Testicles are swollen
- The anus bleeds or brings out some discharge.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Women
Women, most times do not experience any symptoms, however they can have some or all of these:
- Excessive pain while peeing
- Pain in the tummy
- The anus bleeds or brings out some discharge
- Vagina giving an unusual discharge (creamy, watery, or slightly green)
- Heavier periods
Women face a greater risk of future complications from untreated Gonorrhea. Untreated Gonorrhea in women may get to their reproductive tract and affect the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. This is referred to as PID – pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to chronic pain and damage of the female reproductive organs. Also the fallopian tubes can be blocked which could cause ectopic pregnancy or prevent future pregnancy.
For men, their urethra can be scarred. They may also experience pains in the inner part of their penis. This infection can lead to sterility or reduced fertility.
If this infection gets to the bloodstream, both women and men can experience heart valve damage and arthritis.
Gonorrhea can be treated easily. You will need to take an injection as well as some very effective tablets. If you have a serious infection, you will have to continue taking the tablets for about two weeks. Even if you feel fine, use all the tablets.
- Avoid having sexual intercourse if you or your partner(s) is infected.
- Avoid having multiple partners, stick to one that’s if you must have.
- Make use of a condom: Making use of condom frequently reduces your risk of getting infected with gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted infections. However, STIs can still be transmitted to areas not covered by a condom
- Have a sexual health check