aka: The Clap

WHAT IS IT?
Gonorrhea is a bacterial STD sometimes called “the clap”. Gonorrhea can infect the urinary tract, the vagina, the butt, or the throat.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms of gonorrhea infections usually develop within 2 to 10 days after exposure. About 5-10% of  men with urethral gonorrhea will not have any symptoms and the majority of anal and oral gonorrhea infections will show no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they can include:

  • Vaginal Gonorrhea
    Pain or burning sensation when urinating; increased vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding between periods.
  • Urethral Gonorrhea
    Discharge from the penis, usually yellowish; pain or burning sensation when urinating
  • Anal Gonorrhea
    Anal itching and/or painful bowel movements;  blood or mucus in the feces
  • Oral Gonorrhea
    Sore throat

WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Untreated gonorrhea of the penis can lead to pain and swelling in the testicles, a condition known as Epididymitis which can lead to infertility.  In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).  Often, by the time symptoms present, they can be very severe and can include abdominal pain and fever.  PID can damage the fallopian tubes enough to cause infertility or increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition in which a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube.  Gonorrhea makes it easier to become infected with HIV and also makes someone who is infected with HIV more infectious to others.

HOW DO YOU GET IT?
Gonorrhea is transmitted through unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex and rimming.  The best way to protect against it is to use condoms for insertive sex.  Avoid oral sex if your sex partner’s precum is yellowish and cloudy.

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
A doctor or nurse will take samples for testing from potentially infected areas.  Antibiotics can usually successfully cure gonorrhea, however, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are becoming more common.