- Not as common as chlamydia, but still really common.
- Individuals aged 15-24 are infected with it more frequently than others.
- Women more frequently than men.
- It’s a bacterial infection so it can be treated and cured with antibiotics. However, a person can get this infection repeatedly. In fact, they often do.
- This bacterium really likes warm, moist environments like the urethra, throat, mouth, anus, and eyes in both males and females, and the reproductive tract of females.
- It’s not unusual to have chlamydia, too.
- Silent. In other words, people don’t know they have it because they don’t usually have symptoms.
But if there are symptoms, this is what happens:
- Gals: May feel pain when urinating and notice a discharge or bleeding from their vagina. Sometimes it is misdiagnosed as a bladder infection.
- Guys: Can have a discharge from their penis, pain when urinating, and/or scrotal pain up to two weeks after exposure.
But don’t count on having symptoms as an indicator that you need to see the doc – ’cause there probably won’t be any.
A person should get tested if:
- Their partner was recently diagnosed with it – or any other STI for that matter.
- They notice any unusual symptoms “down under” such as a discharge, discomfort, or rash.
- If pregnant, get tested (it can seriously effect the baby).
- In other words, get tested if for any reason at all you feel you might be at risk.
- Talk to the doc if you are sexually active. This includes oral, anal, or vaginal sex.
Long-term consequences of untreated gonorrhea include:
- In women: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This occurs when the bacteria attacks the female reproductive system. The end result can be infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Repeated gonorrhea infections can make permanent consequences more likely.
- In newborns: Blindness, infection.
- In guys: (very rare) Infection that could cause sterility.
Shoot! The test came back positive. Now what….?
How can one stop this from happening again?
- Well, abstain. That is the only guaranteed way a person will not become pregnant or get an STI.
- Test for STI’s before initiating sex with a new partner (any kind of sex – oral, anal, vaginal.)
- Use latex male condoms or female condoms – and use them correctly to be fully effective.
- Be monogamous – both partners!
Want more info? No problem. A person could write a book about each STI. But I don’t want to. So, instead click on the following links for more information.
Please remember – this information is NOT intended to be used to self-diagnose or replace any medical advice your healthcare provider will give you. It is only to inform and educate. Please see your healthcare provider if you have any questions, problems, symptoms, issues, and concerns regarding your sexual health. (See my ‘Disclaimers and Advice’ page.)
(The CDC was the primary source for this information, but I really like these other sites as well.)