Gonorrhea, also known as the clap, is spread through oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex. Gonorrhea is spread “fluid to fluid” meaning an infected person’s secretions need to come in contact with the mucous membranes or blood stream of another; as such, you can contract Gonorrhea without penetration.
The bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease Gonorrhea grows in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes in women and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus. Treatment for Gonorrhea is done with an injection of prescription antibiotics and Obria will refer you to a low cost clinic for treatment.
If Gonorrhea is left untreated, the disease can spread into the uterus and fallopian tubes and cause damage to a woman’s sexual health by causing Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and chronic pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough to cause infertility in women. It also can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancies—a life-threatening condition where a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube. In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition called epididymitis and, in severe cases, can so negatively impact a man’s sexual health that it renders him sterile, thus preventing him from ever being able to father children.
Though many women do not exhibit any symptoms of Gonorrhea, some women experience:
- Yellowish or yellow-green vaginal discharge
- Bleeding between menstrual cycles
- Abdominal pain
- Painful intercourse
- Painful urination
- The urge to urinate more than usual
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men include:
- Burning when urinating
- Discharge from the penis
- Painful or swollen testicles
Testing for Gonorrhea at Obria is carried out via a urine test. If you suspect you have an infection of your mouth, throat, or anus, we can refer you to a low cost clinic. Pregnant women with Gonorrhea can pass the infection to their children during childbirth. This can cause blindness, joint infection or a life-threatening blood infection in the baby. Treatment for Gonorrhea as soon as it is detected in pregnant women will reduce the risk of these complications. An effective means to avoid contracting Gonorrhea is to exercise abstinence or to engage in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner that has tested negative for STDs. Transmission of Gonorrhea cannot be prevented by washing the skin of the genitals, urinating, and/or douching after sex. Any unusual discharge, sore, or rash on your skin, particularly in the groin area, should be a signal to stop all sexual activity and visit a doctor immediately.
Education about Gonorrhea and the symptoms of Gonorrhea can also be found at an Obria near you. The symptoms of Gonorrhea should never be taken lightly because of the effects it can have on your health. If you believe you are experiencing the early signs or symptoms of Gonorrhea, you should seek testing for sexually transmitted diseases at an Obria clinic. For further education about Gonorrhea or about treatment for Gonorrhea, please call or schedule an appointment with an Obria Medical Clinic.
CDC Gonorrhea Information: http://cdc.gov/std/Gonorrhea/STDFact-gonorrhea.htm