Gonorrhea Information - Gonorrhea Testing
Also called the "clap" or "drip," gonorrhea is a contagious disease transmitted most often through sexual contact with an infected person. Gonorrhea may also be spread by contact with infected bodily fluids.
What causes Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in mucus membranes of the body. Gonorrhea bacteria can grow in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes in women, and in the urethra in women and men. The bacteria can also grow in the mouth, throat, and anus.
How common are Gonorrhea Infections?
Gonorrhea is a very common infectious disease. In the U.S. each year, about 700,000 people are infected with gonorrhea.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea - Signs of Gonorrhea
Not all people infected with gonorrhea have symptoms, so knowing when to seek treatment can be tricky.
When symptoms do occur, they are often within 2-10 days after exposure, but can take up to 30 days and include the following:
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Women: Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina, Lower abdominal or pelvic pain, Burning when urinating, Bleeding between periods, Spotting after intercourse, Swollen glands. In some women symptoms are so mild that they escape unnoticed. Many women with gonorrhea discharge think they have a yeast infection and self-treat with yeast infection medications purchased over-the-counter.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men: Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the penis, Burning when urinating, Painful or swollen testicles, In men symptoms usually appear two to fourteen days after infection. In some men symptoms are so mild that they escape unnoticed.
What happens if I don't get tested for Gonorrhea?
Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent problems in both women and men.
Gonorrhea infection in Women: gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which may damage the fallopian tubes and can even lead to infertility, and untreated gonorrhea infection could increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous condition for both the mother and baby.
Gonorrhea infection in Men: gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that can sometimes lead to infertility if left untreated. Without prompt treatment, gonorrhea can also affect the prostate and can lead to scarring inside the urethra, making urination difficult.
Gonorrhea can spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening. Also, people with gonorrhea can more easily contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. People with HIV infections and gonorrhea are more likely than people with HIV infection alone to transmit HIV to someone else.