What Is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that commonly infects both women and men in the United States. Gonorrhea can lead to complex and long-term health problems if left untreated.
Any sexually active individual can contract gonorrhea, but the risk increases significantly for those between the ages 15-24.
Gonorrhea spreads easily by sexual contact between individuals and is typically spread to the genitals, throat and rectum. A woman giving birth may also pass gonorrhea to her fetus during labor.
Today, gonorrhea is curable with prescription medication, allowing you to return to your normal lifestyle, as well as maintain a healthy sex life.
1.14 million new infections of gonorrhea occur in the United States each year, and as many as half occur among young people aged 15-24 — CDC.GOV
How do I get rid of Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea must be treated with prescription antibiotics. To ensure the infection is safely cleared from your system and avoid recurrence, always take the full course of antibiotics.
Gonorrhea may be treated with doctor-prescribed and FDA-approved antibiotic, Cefixime.
How do I know if I have Gonorrhea?
The only way to verify you have gonorrhea is through regular STD screening. Many men who have contracted gonorrhea do not experience symptoms and pass the virus through unprotected sexual contact.
Similarly, it is common among women with gonorrhea to exhibit little or no symptoms. When mild symptoms do occur, they can be mistaken for a UTI or a similar vaginal infection. If left untreated in women, gonorrhea greatly increases the risk of infertility.
If gonorrhea is not cleared from the body, health complications arise as the infection can spread to the heart, skin and joints.
What happens if Gonorrhea is not treated?
Leaving gonorrhea untreated poses major health risks for men and women. It is essential to seek treatment for active infections and to screen yourself STIs and STDs every few months if sexually active.
Of the most extensive damage gonorrhea can have, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is perhaps the most significant. Once the infection spreads to the uterus or fallopian tubes, a woman’s ability to reproduce can be greatly affected. This is true for individuals who show symptoms and for those who do not—routine lab screening is the most effective way to screen for lingering signs of infection (even if medication is taken).
Pelvic pain is a sign that abscesses may have developed internally—if you are experiencing abdominal pain, PID is likely and may continue to spread to the fallopian tubes increasing the risk of infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
There is less risk of infertility in men, though in certain untreated cases, it may be brought on by epididymitis.
Gonorrhea, like any infection, can spread to other parts of the body. When it gets into the blood, it can lead to disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). Signs of DGI include tenosynovitis, dermatitis and arthritis. Once progressed, DGI can be life threatening.