STD Facts » Gonorrhea

Overview

What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD).  CDC estimates that more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. get new gonorrheal infections each year.  Gonorrhea is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, is an infection caused by a kind of bacteria caused during sexual contact.  The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. 

How common is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a very common infectious disease.  CDC estimates that more than 700,000 persons in the U.S. get new gonorrheal infections each year. Only about half of these infections are reported to CDC. After several years of stable gonorrhea rates, however, the national gonorrhea rate increased for the second consecutive year. In 2006, the rate of reported gonorrheal infections was 120.9 per 100,000 persons.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of Gonorrhea?
Most people are not aware that they are infected.  Often, Gonorrhea does not have any symptoms.

Some men have signs or symptoms that appear two to five days after infection; symptoms can take as long as 30 days to appear. Symptoms and signs include a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis. Sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles.
Most women who are infected have no symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they can be so non-specific as to be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. The initial symptoms and signs in women include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, regardless of the presence or severity of symptoms.

Risks & Complications

What happens if Gonorrhea is left untreated?
Untreated Gonorrhea in both males and females can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. 

In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The symptoms may be quite mild or can be very severe and can include abdominal pain and fever. PID can lead to pus-filled “pockets” that are hard to cure and long-lasting, chronic pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough to cause infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.

In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles that may lead to infertility if left untreated.

Gonorrhea can spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life threatening. In addition, people with gonorrhea can more easily contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV-infected people with gonorrhea can transmit HIV more easily to someone else than if they did not have gonorrhea.  Testing for Gonorrhea is the only way to significantly reduce the risk of these complications. Get Tested Now!

Testing

How do I know if I have Gonorrhea?
Stress Free STD testing tests for Gonorrhea, the Gonorrhea Nucleic Acid Amplification Test, which is the standard and widely utilized.  The test is offered in our Stress Free 8 Panel Test and Individually .  There is no swabbing; the patient needs to urinate in a cup.

Treatment

Is there treatment for Gonorrhea?
Yes, Gonorrhea is easily treated.  If tested positive, you will receive a phone call from one of Stress Free STD’s registered nurses who will consult you.  The disease can be treated within 7-10 days via an antibiotic.  If you are infected  your sex partner(s) should also be tested as well, and abstain from sexual intercourse until treatment is completed, this is the best way to avoid re-infection.

 

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