Gonorrhea is a type of sexually transmitted disease or STD. Anyone who is sexually active and engages in vaginal and anal intercourse as well as oral sex with an infected person may have this condition which can affect the genitals, rectum and even the throat. It can cause some very serious complications if left untreated. Luckily, gonorrhea can be easily treated provided that the right medication is administered.
Signs and Symptoms
Not all men with gonorrhea may encounter some telltale signs and symptoms. In case there are signs and symptoms, the infected male may notice yellow, white or green discharge coming from the penis. He may also experience painful urination. In rare instances, the testicles of the infected male may be painful and swollen.
A lot of women with gonorrhea may also not have signs and symptoms. Those who encounter signs and symptoms, however, may easily mistake gonorrhea for another problem such as urinary tract infection or UTI. Some of the signs and symptoms experienced by women with gonorrhea include vaginal bleeding in between periods, painful urination and an increase in vaginal discharge.
As earlier mentioned, the rectum may also be infected. Some of the rectal signs and symptoms of gonorrhea are anal itching and soreness, discharge, bleeding and pain during bowel movement.
Anybody who partakes in unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral) is at risk of having gonorrhea. This is especially true if the act is performed with a person infected with it.
Medical experts say that sexually active women who are below 25 years old as well as older women who have sex with new or multiple partners should be tested for gonorrhea yearly. Sexually active men who are gay or bisexual should also be tested for gonorrhea on a yearly basis.
Men and women with gonorrhea may end up with serious complications and irreversible damage if the sexually transmitted disease is not properly treated. Fortunately, the right medication can help deal with the condition.
Women who fail to get prompt and proper gonorrhea treatment may end up with pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. There are many different problems that stem from PID. Some of them include chronic pain in the pelvic or abdominal region, blockage of the fallopian tube, pregnancy outside the womb (ectopic pregnancy) and infertility. The baby of a pregnant woman with gonorrhea may also get infected during delivery.
Men with gonorrhea who are not treated may end up with epididymitis, which is the inflammation of the coiled tubes attached to the testicles. This complication of gonorrhea may actually leave an infected male sterile.
In very rare instances, untreated gonorrhea may spread to the blood or joints, and this can put the infected person’s life at risk. Medical experts say that the risk of getting HIV is higher if gonorrhea is left untreated.
Since gonorrhea is a bacterial infection, someone with the sexually transmitted disease is given antibiotics. It is important for the person to take all of the antibiotics prescribed by a doctor to have the condition properly treated. While it’s true that antibiotics can get rid of gonorrhea, it is not capable of undoing the damage it may have done to the body.
These days, there are a few strains of gonorrhea that can be extra challenging to treat with antibiotics. That is why someone who is being treated should return to the doctor to be evaluated again if the signs and symptoms persist despite of taking antibiotics for several days already.
The only known way to prevent getting infected by gonorrhea is by not engaging in vaginal, anal and oral sex. Those who are sexually active may lower their chances of having the infection by being in a monogamous relationship with a partner who doesn’t have the STD, as well as using a condom during sexual intercourse.