Gonorrhea, also known as “The Clap”, is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be passed via oral, anal, and virginal sex, as well as from a pregnant mother onto her newborn. The disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae and an infection with this bacteria can causes a number of symptoms. Men usually experience a burning sensation while urinating and have discharge from the penis. Only half of women infected have symptoms and these include discharge from the vagina and pain in the pelvic area. If the bacteria is spread via oral sex the bacteria may infect the throat. This doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, but some people report a sore throat. Complications of untreated gonorrhea are rare but can be more serious, especially for newborn babies. Let’s find out how this disease can be prevented and how it is treated.
Like many STD’s the risk of acquiring gonorrhea can be significantly reduced with the use of a condom. In an effort to reduce the cases of the disease medical professionals also advise those infected to abstain from sex for the duration of their treatment. Any recent sexual partners should also be informed so they can be tested and treated if necessary.
How is gonorrhea treated?
Since gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria the treatment consists of antibiotics. Traditionally, a number of antibiotics have been used to treat the condition including penicillin. However, certain strains of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria are now showing signs of antibiotic resistance. If the infection does not respond to the initial treatment further testing will be conducted to determine antibiotic resistance. In these cases gonorrhea is usually treated with an injection of the antibiotic ceftriaxone, although there is some evidence to suggest that this is also becoming less effective against the disease.
Did you know?
Complications of untreated gonorrhea can include pelvic inflammatory disease in women. This can lead to infertility, which is also a factor for men suffering with the untreated disease. The bacteria can also spread to other parts of the body including the joints, heart, blood and skin.
It is estimated that there are about 62 million new cases of gonorrhea each year. In the United States it is the second most common STD after chlamydia and each year about 800,000 cases occur.