What is Gonorrhea?

June 10, 2019

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines Gonorrhea as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.

How is gonorrhea spread?

You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.

Am I at risk for gonorrhea?

Any sexually active person can get gonorrhea through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

I’m pregnant. How does gonorrhea affect my baby?

If you are pregnant and have gonorrhea, you can give the infection to your baby during delivery. This can cause serious health problems for your baby. If you are pregnant, it is important that you talk to your health care provider so that you get the correct examination, testing, and treatment, as necessary. Treating gonorrhea as soon as possible will make health complications for your baby less likely.

How do I know if I have gonorrhea?

Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

Symptoms in women can include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Rectal infections that may or may not have symptoms of discharge, itching, soreness, bleeding and pain

Some men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. However, men who do have symptoms, may have:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
  • Painful or swollen testicles (although this is less common)
  • Rectal infections that may or may not have symptoms of discharge, itching, soreness, bleeding and pain

You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD.

How do I get tested for gonorrhea?

At Prestonwood Pregnancy we offer free and confidential testing at our Richardson location.

Can gonorrhea be cured?

Yes, gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication prescribed to cure your infection. Medication for gonorrhea should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not undo any permanent damage caused by the disease.

What happens if I don’t get treated?

Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men.
In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of the complications of PID are:

  • Formation of scar tissue that blocks fallopian tubes
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb)
  • Infertility (inability to get pregnant)
  • Long-term pelvic/abdominal pain

In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may cause a man to be sterile, or prevent him from being able to father a child.

Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can also spread to your blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening.

Untreated gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving HIV – the virus that causes AIDS.

Where can I get more information?

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/gonorrhea

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm


Prestonwood Pregnancy Center offers free and confidential STD testing for Gonorrhea. To make an appointment, click here.



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