WHAT IS GONORRHEA?
What do you know about gonorrhea? Although it is a common sexually transmitted disease, you might still have questions. How can how you can get infected? How do you spread it? What are the common symptoms?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that you can get infected with through vaginal, oral, or anal sex if your sexual partner carries it. This is also how you can spread the bacteria to others if you do not know that you carry it. The best ways to protect yourself against gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections include abstaining from sex, proper condom use, and/or staying with one monogamous sexual partner.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
But what if you think you might have gonorrhea? The good news is that it is treatable. It’s important to get tested if you have any symptoms after potential exposure through sexual activity.
So what are the symptoms? For women, symptoms of gonorrhea are like those that occur with bladder infections, so you might not think anything of it at first. According to the CDC, the majority of women do not have any symptoms.
- Painful or burning sensation during urination
- Increase in vaginal discharge
- Anal itching, soreness, bleeding or painful bowel movements
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T GET TREATED?
Like chlamydia, a gonorrheal infection can cause complications specifically for your reproductive organs if left untreated. Gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which in turn can cause infertility and chronic pelvic and abdominal pain. PID can also increase your risk of developing an ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancies occur when a fertilized egg attaches to a location outside of the uterus, most often the fallopian tubes.
During pregnancy, if left untreated, you can pass the infection on during delivery as the baby passes through the birth canal. Some possible outcomes include blindness or even life-threatening infection for the newborn.
HOW CAN I GET TREATED?
The good news is that gonorrhea is treatable, most often through a course of antibiotics. To maximize the effectiveness of the antibiotics course, be sure to complete the medication. Urine or swab samples diagnose gonorrhea and a blood test is not required. If you suspect that you might have gonorrhea, early treatment can prevent complications from the infection.
WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?
If you think you may have gonorrhea, get tested as soon as you can. This is especially important if you are pregnant. Gonorrhea is a very common STD. If you take the proper steps to diagnose and treat it as early as possible, you lower the risk of developing complications from the infection.
Contact us to schedule your STD test today.
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