Gonorrhea, nicknamed ‘clap’ or 'drip', is a common sexually transmitted infection and is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium. It is spread through vaginal, oral, and anal sex. The bacteria grows in warm and moist areas of the body, including the urethra in men, and the reproductive tract in women, even the human eye can become a host.
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk to infect. An alarming 65% increase of Gonorrhea infections have been reported in Australia in recent years, most likely caused by resistance to antibiotic medications, and by a general complacency to sexual health risks. Affirmotive Sex Addiction Australia ASAA recommends safe sex practise and the use of condoms in order to reduce risk of new infections.
Women experience a 60%-80% risk of infection from a single act of vaginal sex with an infected man. Men have a 20% risk of infection from a single act of vaginal intercourse, while the risk of men having sex with men is higher. A mother may transmit the infection during childbirth, causing Ophthalmia neonatorum infection to the infant’s eyes.
SYMPTOMS IN MEN
Most infected men exhibit symptoms after 3-5 days after exposure. In some cases symptoms delay 1 month, and some men may stay asymptomatic altogether and do not know they are infected.
SYMPTOMS IN WOMEN
Women are often asymptomatic. Some women may develop milder symptoms that can easily be mistaken or dismissed.
Complications of untreated gonorrhoea include systemic dissemination causing septic arthritis, meningitis, endocarditis, or skin conditions such as pustules. In men, untreated gonorrhoea can lead to prostatitis, epididymitis, and urethritis. Women might develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), septic arthritis in wrists, toes, and ankles, and chorioamnionitis during pregnancy, and infertility.
The World Health Organisation estimates 62 million of new infections every year worldwide. In the US, gonorrhoea is the second most common sexually transmitted infection, after Chlamydia.
The best prevention is using a condom every time you have casual sex, or when engaging in sex with a new partner. Regular sexual health checkups are strongly recommended to prevent spreading of the disease.
Gonorrhoea can be treated. Your doctor has several possibilities to correctly diagnose the infection and suggest specific antibiotics or penicillin. All sexual partners should be tested and treated.
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