Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that often can be transmitted at the same time as Chlamydia. It is spread through vaginal, anal and/or oral sex without a condom or oral dam. If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), chronic pain and infertility. Infants born to mothers infected with gonorrhea can have serious complications, including blindness.
Cause: A bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea
Symptoms: Women may have no signs or symptoms. There may be a new or different vaginal discharge, pain with urination, and/or deep abdominal pain during sex.
Men may also experience no signs or symptoms. There can be pus like discharge from the penis and/or a burning sensation with urination.
Testing for gonorrhea is painless and is done through a simple urine test or by swabbing the infected area with a cotton swab.
Treatment: If detected early, gonorrhea can be treated and cured with antibiotics.
Prevention: To reduce your risk of getting STIs, including HIV, follow these practices:
- Use a condom and/or oral dam properly and consistently each time you are sexually active.
- See your healthcare provider or go to a sexual health clinic to be tested for STIs if you are sexually active or starting a sexual relationship with a new partner.
- You and your partner should be tested for STIs before becoming sexually active and then again in three to six months.
You can’t tell if someone has an STI by looking at them; the only way to know is to be tested.