Gonorrhea is one of the most common forms of sexually transmitted infections (STi’s). These infections are contracted during all forms of intimate sexual activity. The most common way of contracting this infection is through vaginal sexual intercourse, but oral and anal sex can also be ways for infection to be transmitted. Instances of Gonorrhea are increasing along with all other forms of (STi’s). There was a 3% increase between 2004-2005 and the worrying trend is that the biggest increase in all (STi’s) is in the 16-24yr age group.
The symptoms of Gonorrhea generally begin to show about a week after infection. Roughly 50% of women and 90% of men experience symptoms. In men the signs will be a burning sensation on urination and a discharge of a yellowy secretion from the penis. If women do show symptoms they will appear a week or so later and these women will not be aware that they are infected till then. The symptoms in women are a burning sensation on urination and sometimes a pain in the lower abdomen. A watery discharge will also be apparent. If contracted from oral sex a painful throat may be experienced with difficulty in swallowing. Anal sex may cause discomfort and irritation and unusual discharge.
Treatment for Gonorrhea is with antibiotics. It is important to have an accurate diagnosis and not to self medicate or neglect the symptoms if they are mild or go away after a while. If this infection is not arrested it can spread deep into the urinary and reproductive systems damaging the fallopian tubes or causing kidney problems. The infection can even make its way to the heart and damage the heart valve. Women who give birth while infected may harm the baby, The infant can have eye problems or blood disorders.
Condoms are the most reliable and effective method of protection against Gonorrhea and other (STi’s). Safe sex should be practised for the protection of both parties. The danger of not using a Condoms is most evident in casual sexual encounters where one or both of the participants may be unaware of having been infected.