What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually-transmitted infection caused by bacteria called
Neisseria gonorrhoeae . The bacteria, which likes warm, moist areas, typically develops in a man’s urethra or in a woman’s reproductive tract. In 2017, more than one-half million new cases of gonorrhea were reported to the CDC. This represents an increase of more than 75 percent since 2009. It is the second most commonly-reported STD (chlamydia is most common).
How Do You Get Gonorrhea?
You can get gonorrhea by having oral sex, vaginal sex or anal sex with someone who has the disease. Ejaculation is not required to transmit gonorrhea.
The gonorrhea bacteria often travels with the bacteria that causes chlamydia, and it’s common to be infected with both at the same time.
How Do You Know if You Have Gonorrhea?
Men commonly have symptoms from gonorrhea, but women typically do not. If a man has symptoms, they include painful or burning urination, smelly discharge from the penis and sometimes painful or swollen testicles. If a woman has symptoms, they include painful or burning urination and increased vaginal discharge.
Can You Treat or Cure Gonorrhea?
With the right treatment, gonorrhea can be cured. The CDC currently recommends that doctors prescribe two antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. However, medical professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about new strains of gonorrhea that are resistant to the antibiotics we use to cure gonorrhea, because we currently have no effective alternative treatments against the disease. It is extremely important that you take all the medication prescribed to you for gonorrhea, even when you start to feel better after a couple of days. If you don’t feel better after a couple of days, you should contact a health professional to get another checkup.
Once you’re cured of gonorrhea, you can get it again if you have sex with someone who has the disease.
Because it’s common to have gonorrhea without any symptoms, it’s important for all sexually-active adults to get tested regularly for STDs.
Is Gonorrhea Dangerous?
Gonorrhea can be dangerous if it’s not treated, but women are at risk more than men. Untreated gonorrhea can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system such as pelvic inflammatory disease. For men, untreated gonorrhea can cause epiditimitis and, in rare cases, sterility.
Researchers also believe that being infected with gonorrhea makes you more vulnerable to contracting the HIV virus.
Can You Prevent Gonorrhea?
The best way to prevent getting gonorrhea is to abstain from having sex, or to have sex in a mutually-monogamous relationship after having been tested for sexually-transmitted diseases. If neither of these options is practical for you, the next best protection is to use a condom during sex.
How Do You Test for Gonorrhea?
While a doctor or clinic might want to swab your genitals to test for gonorrhea, a simple blood test is just as effective. You should also have your blood tested for chlamydia because it’s common to be infected with both STDs.
Can I Get an Anonymous Gonorrhea Test?
If you test positive for gonorrhea, a medical professional is required to report your personal information to the state health department. The health department will contact you to ascertain who your sex partners are so it can notify them to get tested for gonorrhea. The only way to get an anonymous gonorrhea test and to get anonymous treatment for gonorrhea is to follow the steps exactly as we’ve outlined them in our Guide to Anonymous STD Testing.
How Can I Find Out More About Gonorrhea?
We have followed these steps ourselves to obtain an anonymous test and treatment. If there are any improvements or suggestions that will make the process easier or better, please let us know!