Gonorrhea is a fairly common sexually transmitted infection. In 2006, there were over 350,000 reported cases of Gonorrhea. Because not all infections are reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that there are in fact more like 700,000 new cases each year. Typically, Gonorrhea is spread through sexual contact - vaginal, anal and oral sex. Ejaculation does not have to occur for transmission to occur. It can also be spread from mother to baby during delivery.
Symptoms include: Men - may have no symptoms at all, or can have painful urination, yellow or green discharge with foul smell from the penis, sometimes swollen testicles; Women- typically have no symtoms and when they do, they may be mistaken for a urinary or bladder infection. Women can also have painful urination, foul smelling discharge and vaginal bleeding between periods.
Gonorrhea is curable through antibiotics. To get tested for Gonorrhea, a medical professional will swab the infected area and do lab tests on it to test for the infection. Men and woman can contract Gonorrhea internally, in the urethra for men and in the cervix for women. A urine test can determine infection in these areas. Even though you have been treated once, you can still be infected again if exposed again to the infection.
If not treated, Gonorrhea can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) in women and Epididymitis in men. PID can cause pelvic pain and discomfort, can damage the fallipian tubes and lead to possible infertility. Epididymitis is a painful condition in the ducts of the testicles which can also lead to infertility.
The best and most effective method of protection is to abstain from all sexually activity. If you choose to be sexually active, make sure you and your partner are tested and use latex condoms. Condoms only work when they are used correctly.
For more information on this STI and others, visit www.cdc.gov.