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Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria which is transmitted either by having unsafe vaginal, anal or oral sex. Initially, this infection doesn t show any symptom so it is difficult to know if you have contracted it after having unprotected intercourse. Using a condom can prevent the transmission to a great extent. The symptoms of the infection come to light at least 15 days or one month after acquiring the same. The symptoms range from experiencing a burning sensation during urination, pain during sex, white discharge from the vagina, penis or the anus, etc. If left untreated it could turn to be fatal.
Here are some facts about gonorrhoea that you need to know.
1. It affects both men and women
Yes, STDs know no biases and they affect both men and women with equal potency. One can get a gonorrhoea infection while having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person. The common sites of the infection are the genitals, rectum or the throat. It is also noticed that this STD is quite common in young people. Here are few symptoms that could indicate you have contracted an STD.
2. It only spreads while having unprotected sex
This infection cannot be spread by normal physical contact, nor can it be picked up from toilet seats, sharing eating utensils or swimming pools because the bacteria cannot survive outside the body for very long.
3. The bacteria grow in the reproductive tract and the throat
Gonorrhoea bacteria grow in the reproductive tract, especially in the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes in women, and in the urethra, mouth, throat and anus in both men and women.
4. It is preventable
Like most other STDs even gonorrhoea is preventable. Using latex condoms is one way of preventing the infection. For people who are allergic to latex condoms even, water-based ones can provide protection. Once you are sexually active make sure you use a condom every time you have sex, even while having oral sex. Apart from this, being in a monogamous relationship also minimises the risk of getting the infection. Make sure to use a condom even while having sex during pregnancy. Read to know if a pregnant woman can suffer from STDs?
5. The symptoms are not seen right after acquiring the infection
The symptoms of gonorrhoea are very vague and can be mistaken for UTI. The symptoms are pain during urination or intercourse, discharge from the vagina, anus or penis. Usually, these symptoms are seen in a person at least 15 to 20 days after acquiring the infection. So, if you experience any of these symptoms visit a doctor or a healthcare expert immediately. Here are few common signs of UTIs.
Your doctor might have to take swabs from your genitals or the throat to check for the infection.
6. The infection is usually treated with antibiotics
If a gonorrhoea infection is diagnosed it can be treated with antibiotics. One needs to be committed towards the treatment as with antibiotics it is necessary to finish the course to ensure that the infection is eradicated completely. Follow-ups are necessary to know if the infection is completely gone. However, if there is any damage done due to the infection it cannot be reversed with medication.
It is necessary to stick to the doses and prescribed antibiotics as a drug-resistant gonorrhoea is at the moment emerging as a global concern. If your symptoms fail to go away despite medication go back to your doctor and get checked if it is drug-resistant gonorrhoea. Read opinion: What will happen if gonorrhoea becomes resistant to antibiotics?
7. If left untreated it can lead to infertility
It is important to get treated for the infection at the earliest. If left untreated it can do serious damage to both men and women. In women, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory diseases the complications of which could be blocked fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancy or infertility. In men too, if the bacteria are able to reach the tubes attached to the testicles it can lead to infertility, though it is rare. Rarely, untreated gonorrhoea can also spread to your blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening; however, there is no documented data to show the extent of damage that this bacterial infection can do.
8. The infection can be cured
One doesn t need to just sit and suffer after getting the infection. Right treatment and diagnosis can help to cure the infection in time. However, it is necessary to finish all the medications prescribed to curb the infection.
9. You need to go slow with your sexual activities after the treatment
It is obvious that you should refrain from having sex while on medication. Once your medication is over practice abstain from having sex for at least a week after completion of the treatment. To avoid getting infected with gonorrhoea again practice safe sex.
10. Pregnant women should be cautious about this infection
If a woman is pregnant and she gets gonorrhoea, she can transmit the infection to the baby during a vaginal birth. So care should be taken to avoid getting infected during pregnancy. Even during pregnancy, it is advisable to use condoms while having sex.
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