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Gonorrhea


What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The infection can be spread by contact with the mouth, vagina, penis, or anus.

The bacteria grow in warm, moist areas of the body, including the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra). In women, the bacteria may be found in the reproductive tract (which includes the fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix). The bacteria can even grow in the eyes.

Your teen is more likely to develop this infection if he or she:
• Has multiple sexual partners
• Has a partner with a past history of any sexually transmitted infection
• Does not use a condom during sex
• Abuses alcohol or illegal substances

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
Symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear two to five days after infection, however, in men, symptoms may take up to a month to appear. Some people do not have symptoms. They may be completely unaware that they have the infection, and therefore do not seek treatment, which increases the risk of complications and the chances of passing the infection on to another person.

Symptoms in men include:
• Burning and pain while urinating
• Increased urinary frequency or urgency
• Discharge from the penis (white, yellow, or green in color)
• Red or swollen opening of penis (urethra)
• Tender or swollen testicles
• Sore throat (gonococcal pharyngitis)

Symptoms in women can be very mild or nonspecific, and may be mistaken for another type of infection. They include:
• Vaginal discharge
• Burning and pain while urinating
• Increased urination
• Sore throat
• Painful sexual intercourse
• Severe pain in lower abdomen (if the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes and stomach area)
• Fever (if the infection spreads to the fallopian tubes and stomach area)

If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, fever, rash, and arthritis-like symptoms may occur.

How is gonorrhea treated?
There are two goals in treating a sexually transmitted disease, especially one as easily spread as gonorrhea. The first is to cure the infection in the patient. The second is to locate and test all of the other people the person had sexual contact with and treat them to prevent further spread of the disease.

Never treat yourself without being seen by your doctor first. Your health care provider will determine the best and most up-to-date treatment.

A follow-up visit seven days after treatment is important if joint pain, skin rash, or more severe pelvic or belly pain is present. Tests will be done to make sure the infection is gone.

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007267.htm


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