Gonorrhea Infection

What is gonorrhea infection?

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This condition is sometimes called 'the clap'. It is a common condition. Gonorrhea tends to infect the urethra (the tube between the bladder and the skin) as well as the cervix in women. Typical symptoms are pain when urinating and discharge from the urethra. Many people with gonorrhea have no symptoms, and are diagnosed by screening tests (testing people who have no symptoms). Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. Sexual partners must also be treated. If treated at an early stage, most people recover well and have no ongoing problems. Untreated infections can cause complications, including infertility.

Risks

Transmission of gonorrhea occurs most often during unprotected sex with an infected partner. Also, it is possible for a newborn to get this condition from their mother during birth. People between 15 and 35 are most likely to get gonorrhea. People who have sex without using condoms increase their risk of getting gonorrhea.

Symptoms

Gonorrhea often does not cause any symptoms. Both men and women can have burning pain while urinating. Men may have a clear or yellow discharge from the penis, pain with ejaculating or a swollen testicle. Women may have clear or yellow vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding after sex or between periods and pain in the lower part of the belly. If there is an gonorrhea infection in other parts of the body, symptoms might include a sore throat, painful bowel movements or a discharge from the anus. If a newborn gets the infection from its mother during birth, they might have conjunctivitis (an eye infection) or a throat infection.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on a swab of the genitals (the penis or cervix) or other infected body parts where the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria are found. Signs of gonorrhea may also be discovered during a gynecological exam.

Treatment

Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. It is important to tell sexual partners about the diagnosis, so that they can also be treated too.

Prevention

Using condoms during sexual intercourse prevents the infectious spread of gonorrhea. The sexual partners of the infected person must also be treated to prevent reinfection.