Gonorrhea

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by jstarner
Last updated 8 years ago

Discipline:
Health & Fitness
Subject:
Health
Grade:
11

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Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea

Methods of TransmissionPeople get gonorrhea by having sex with someone who has the disease. “Having sex” means anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Gonorrhea can still be transmitted via fluids even if a man does not ejaculate. Gonorrhea can also be spread from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth.

How common is Gonorrhea?Gonorrhea is a very common infectious disease. CDC estimates that, annually, 820,000 people in the United States get new gonorrhea infections and less than half of these infections are detected and reported to CDC. CDC estimates that 570,000 of them were among young people 15-24 years of age. In 2011, 321,849 cases of gonorrhea were reported to CDC.

What Is Gonorrhea?Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a bacterium. Gonorrhea can grow easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (urine canal) in women and men. The bacterium can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.

ComplicationsIn women, gonorrhea can spread into the uterus (womb) or fallopian tubes (egg canals) and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The symptoms may be mild or can be very severe and can include abdominal pain and fever. PID can lead to internal abscesses (pus-filled pockets that are hard to cure) and chronic (long-lasting) pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough that a woman will be unable to have children. It also can increase her risk of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition called epididymitis in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may prevent a man from being able to father children.If not treated, gonorrhea can also spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening.

PreventionLatex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of getting or giving gonorrhea. The most certain way to avoid gonorrhea is to not have sex or to be in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Diagnosis and TreatmentMost of the time, a urine test can be used to test for gonorrhea. However, if a person has had oral and/or anal sex, swabs may be used to collect samples from the throat and/or rectum. In some cases, a swab may be used to collect a sample from a man’s urethra (urine canal) or a woman’s cervix (opening to the womb).Gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. It is important to take all of the medication prescribed to cure gonorrhea. Medication for gonorrhea should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease.

SymptomsSome men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. However, common symptoms in men include a burning sensation when urinating, or a white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis that usually appears 1 to 14 days after infection. Sometimes men with gonorrhea get painful or swollen testicles.Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. The initial symptoms in women can include a painful or burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if symptoms are not present or are mild.Symptoms of rectal infection in both men and women may include discharge, anal itching, soreness, bleeding, or painful bowel movements. Rectal infections may also cause no symptoms. Infections in the throat may cause a sore throat, but usually cause no symptoms.

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