Click on the links below to learn detailed facts about gonorrhea and how to keep yourself healthy.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by germs called bacteria. If you have gonorrhea, you may not even know it. That’s why it is so important to get tested. If you test positive for gonorrhea, it can be cured with the right antibiotics. It is important to remember that you can get gonorrhea more than one time. That’s why it’s important to use condoms and talk to your partner(s) about STD testing.
Gonorrhea is spread during vaginal, anal or oral sex without a condom. In other words, through regular sex, butt sex or blow jobs/eating out. Even if the penis doesn’t go completely into the vagina, butthole or mouth, it can be passed from one person to another.It can also be passed from a mother to a newborn baby during childbirth. That means it is very important to use a condom during any type of sex from the very beginning and that if you are pregnant, you are going to your doctor regularly.
If you have gonorrhea, you may not know it. Symptoms can sometimes go away on their own without treatment and most people never have symptoms at all! Symptoms of gonorrhea may be different for the girls and guys. Girls may have discharge from the vagina; pain in the lower belly, especially during or after sex; unusual bleeding with cramping; pain or burning with peeing. Guys who are infected with gonorrhea may develop symptoms within two to five days of having sex with someone who has an infection. Symptoms in males include discharge (mucous or liquid) from the urethra (pee hole), pain or itching of the head of the penis, swelling of the penis or testicles (balls), pain and/or burning when peeing, frequent peeing, anal or rectal itching.
Gonorrhea tests can be done a couple of different ways. Some of you may have been tested for gonorrhea (or chlamydia) at your high school by the Health Department. This kind of test needs a pee sample. Health Centers 1 and 5 use this test. A doctor’s office might use the pee test too. Sometimes doctors will swab the inside of the penis or vagina to test for gonorrhea. Both tests give accurate results. If you have given or received oral or anal sex, you should also test your throat and butthole for gonorrhea. This is done by a simple, painless swab in your throat and butthole.
If your test comes back positive, gonorrhea can be treated and cured with the right antibiotics. It is very important to get both the shot and the pills the doctor gives you, even if you feel better and do not have any symptoms. Taking both medications is important because gonorrhea is a very smart bacteria. Some treatments aren’t working as well as they used to to treat gonorrhea. Once you get the medication, you should not have any sex for 10 days. If you don’t wait, you can still infect other people. You should also tell your sex partner(s) so they can be tested and treated too. Otherwise they might give the infection back to you and/or infect others.
Not having sex is the only way to be sure you will not get infected with gonorrhea. If you are having sex, use condoms correctly every time to make sure you stay STD free. Just remember, the more sex partners you have, the greater the chance you will get gonorrhea! Get STD check-ups every three to six months (that means at least twice a year, up to four times a year). This makes sure infections like gonorrhea are caught early and treated fast.
If gonorrhea is not treated, very serious health problems can happen. Girls can develop Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a common result of gonorrhea that does not get treated. In PID, the infection spreads throughout the reproductive organs and creates scar tissue. This makes it difficult or impossible to get pregnant. If a woman does get pregnant and has an untreated gonorrhea infection, the baby might attach to the fallopian tube instead of the uterus, where it’s supposed to be. These pregnancies are very dangerous. They can cause death for the baby or the mom and require immediate medical treatment. Not receiving treatment for gonorrhea can also cause problems with your period, urinary tract infections, miscarriage and discharge from the cervix. These are all very uncomfortable. It’s better to get treated so you do not have to deal with them. For guys, untreated gonorrhea can develop into epididymitis. This is a PAINFUL infection of the testicles (balls), as where they swell with pus and blood. Guys cannot get rid of this unless they go to the hospital to get it treated. It can also damage him so he can’t have kids.