Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can affect more than just the genitalia of men and women who contract the disease. Caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonnorrhoeae, this infection can affect the urinary tract and female reproductive organs, along with the anus, mouth, throat and eyes in some instances. Gonorrhea usually involves symptoms of discharge from the vagina or penis, burning in the urinary tract, swollen genitalia, and burning or swollen glands in the throat.
What is Gonorrhea?
One of the most curable and common STDs is Gonorrhea. A certain type of bacteria causes Gonorrhea. It can be passed to other people by sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal sex). There are approximately 700,000 new infections of Gonorrhea every year in the United States, estimates the CDC.
What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea can be a silent STD, meaning that you can have it and not even be aware. This is especially true in men, as well as most women. The symptoms of Gonorrhea in men will usually reveal themselves a few days after infection. They can be: odd discharge from the penis, pain during urination, and itching. In women, symptoms are often a bit more mild. Mostly, women who have Gonorrhea will not have symptoms, however, if they do show up, they would be: fever, pain during urination, unusual discharge from the vagina, vomiting, stomach pain and bleeding between periods.
How is Gonorrhea contracted?
You can get Gonorrhea from sex (oral, anal or vaginal). Even if the penis or tongue does not enter the anus or vagina completely, Gonorrhea can still be passed on to someone. You may wonder how it can be prevented. The truth is, not having sex is the only way to be completely safe from sexually transmitted diseases. If you do choose to have sex, you should be using a condom every time (for all vaginal, anal and oral sex). Using a condom is the best way you can stay healthy.
How do I go about getting tested for Gonorrhea?
A urine test called the NAA Test (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test) is highly recommended by the CDC, because it is so accurate. This test is offered in the Gonorrhea & Gonorrhea Panel as well as the eight Test Panel for Gonorrhea. There is no swabbing involved with this test, you simply have to pee inside of a cup.
What else do I need to know about the Gonorrhea test?
This test is the most accurate test for detecting the Gonorrhea bacteria. It is the current standard and the most widely used. It is very unlikely to have false-positive results with this test, because it is DNA-based and is extremely sensitive. At no extra cost, you will be put in touch with a physician on the phone after your results are ready. This physician can advise you on your next steps based based on your results. If necessary, he or she can advise you of a treatment as well.
Does Gonorrhea have a cure?
Yes, there is an easy treatment for Gonorrhea if you test positive. You will be prescribed antibiotics by your health care provider or (Rapid STD Testing), and these will kill the Gonorrhea bacteria. Remember that both your partner and you must be treated, and this must be done before you have sexual contact again. This is always the best way to avoid reinfection. As with everything health related, you must follow the instructions from your doctor very carefully.
What happens if I do not get treated for Gonorrhea?
If you go untreated for Gonorrhea, you are much more susceptible to getting some other STDs, including HIV, if you come into contact with them. For men, you could get a painful infection of the testicles if you leave Gonorrhea untreated. You could also get inflammation of the prostate, infertility or urethral scarring. For women, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) is also possible with Gonorrhea left untreated. Remember that untreated PID could lead to possibly dangerous cases of tubal pregnancy or even infertility.