We hear a lot about healthy lifestyles. The only person who can help you make good choices about your sexual health is YOU!
If you are sexually active, you have to know the risks… and one of the risks is getting an STI (sexually transmitted infection). There are multiple varieties of STIs and some are much more serious than others.
Today, let’s talk about one of the most common ones. The GOOD NEWS is that Gonorrhea is easily detected by a urine test and can be easily treated with antibiotics. The key is getting tested so you can get the treatment you need.
Are You At-Risk For Getting Gonorrhea?
This common Sexually Transmitted Infection is caused by a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract in both women and men. It is estimated that about 700,000 people in the United States are infected with Gonorrhea each year, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control.
How Do You Get It?
You get Gonorrhea by having sexual contact with someone who has Gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is spread through contact between the penis, vagina, mouth and anus; it can also be passed from a mother to her baby during birth. The Gonorrhea bacterium can also grow in other parts of the body, including the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.
If you are pregnant and considering abortion, you need to be tested for Gonorrhea, because this infection may spread during an invasive surgical procedure. For this reason, Hope Women’s Centers offers free testing to our pregnant patients*, so they can receive treatment to clear up the infection right away.
Who Is At-Risk?
Everyone who is sexually active is at risk. The more sexual partners, the greater the risk for infection. You can’t tell if someone has an STI simply by looking at them. A simple urine test can detect Gonorrhea, so be smart and get tested! In the united States, the highest reported rate of infection is among sexually active teenagers, young adults and African Americans, according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control.
What Are the Symptoms?
Men usually have symptoms that appear two to five days after infection, but may take as long as 30 days to appear. Common symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, or a discharge from the penis.
In women, the symptoms are often mild and some women have no symptoms at all. Symptoms in women can often be mistaken for bladder or vaginal infections, such as a burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge, or bleeding between periods.
What Are the Risks?
Untreated, Gonorrhea can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, (PID). PID symptoms can be severe and can include infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and increased chances of ectopic pregnancies. People with Gonorrhea have an increased chance of contracting and spreading HIV if exposed, and the Gonorrhea bacterium can also spread to the blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening if it is undetected and untreated.
Nobody wants to think they will be the one to get a sexually transmitted infection, but it happens. Be smart and get tested. If you are not pregnant, there are still options for free STI Testing in Broward County. Call Broward Wellness Center at 954-STD-TEST.
What Is the Treatment?
Several antibiotics are used for the treatment of Gonorrhea. The key to avoiding this sexually transmitted infections are to get TESTED and get TREATED.