What Are the Basics of Gonorrhea?

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by sexually transmitted bacterium. You may get it from having sex with someone who is infected with it.

Gonorrhea often causes problems in urethra, genital tract, rectum, throat, eyes, joints and so on.

Both men and women can be affected by gonorrhea, but men get it more often than women. Babies can also be infected during childbirth, and the symptoms are often presented on their eyes.


What causes gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is triggered by the sexually transmitted bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, so it is most commonly spread during sex. The followings are the risk factors summarized for you to pay more attention:

  • A sex partner who has concurrent partners
  • Multiple sex partners
  • New sex partner
  • Younger age
  • Previous gonorrhea diagnosis
  • Other sexually transmitted infections

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea often causes no symptoms, but when symptoms do exist, it may affect multiple areas of the body, like genital tract, rectum, eyes, throat, joints and so on.

When affecting genital tract, symptoms include:

  • Painful urination
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Pain or swelling in one testicle
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods or after intercourse

When affecting other parts of the body, symptoms include:

  • Spots of bright red blood on toilet tissue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye pain
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Red, swollen and extremely painful joints

If you have the symptoms listed above, please check with doctors as soon as possible.

How to test gonorrhea?

Sample cells are usually collected to test whether the gonorrhea bacterium exists in your body or not. In order to collect the sample cells, tests need to be done:

  • Urine test: It identifys bacteria in your urethra.
  • Swab of affected area: Sample cells can be collected through swabing from throat, vagina or rectum and then can be identified in labs.


How to treat gonorrhea?

Antibiotics are often used to treat gonorrhea, two kinds of treatments are as follow:

  • Ceftriaxone (given as injection) combines with either azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) or doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others) (which should be taken orally).

For people who are allergic to cephalosporin antibiotics, it is advisable for them to take:

  • Oral gemifloxacin (Factive) or injectable gentamicin, combined with oral azithromycin.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.