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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This bacteria thrives in warm, moist areas of the body, such as:
Gonorrhea is transmitted through unprotected sex, either oral, anal or vaginal. Those who have multiple sexual partners and not using condoms are therefore at greatest risk of infection. The best way to protect against gonorrhea is abstinence, monogamy (having only one sexual partner) or to always use a condom. Behaviors that increase the likelihood that someone has unprotected sex also increases the risk of infection. This includes, for example, abuse of alcohol or drugs.
The symptoms of gonorrhea can occur within two to five days after infection. In men, it can take several weeks before symptoms appear, and some never get any symptoms.
Symptoms in women are often mild and are similar to symptoms of other infections. If you have been infected with gonorrhea but have no symptoms can still infect others. The risk of the infection spreading to other partners is of course greater if the infected have no symptoms.
In men, the first noticeable symptom is often pain or a burning sensation when he urinates. Here are some other symptoms in men:
In women, symptoms may be harder to discern. A gonorrhea infection is often confused with the more common slidinfektioner as fungal or bacterial infection. Symptoms include:
If a gonorrhea infection is not treated, the infection can spread to the bloodstream. It can eventually cause symptoms such as rash, fever and joint pains.
Women are generally more likely to suffer long-term complications of untreated gonorrhea. Scar tissue can form in the fallopian tubes, which can make it harder to get pregnant.
The infection can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can cause long-term pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy (in which the fetus grows outside the uterus) or infertility. If a pregnant woman has gonorrhea baby can become infected during delivery.
In men, the scar tissue formed in the urethra and painful abscesses can form inside the penis. If a gonorrhea infection spreads to the bloodstream, both men and women suffer from arthritis, damage to the heart valves or inflammation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord. This is a rare but serious complications.
In most cases, a gonorrhea infection is cured using antibiotics. However, there is now drug-resistant variants of Gonorrhea, which is a growing problem. After receiving the diagnosis, treatment starts usually with a high dose antibiotics. Some follow-up checks may also be needed.
Gonorrhea covered by the Communicable Diseases Act, which means you have to test yourself if you suspect you have been infected by gonorrhea, and you need help with contact tracing, to prevent the disease from spreading further. The sexual partners who may have been exposed to infection when notified of this.
Today there are a number of types of gonorrhea bacteria which have developed resistance to commonly used antibiotics. In these cases, more extensive use of different types of antibiotics, individually or in combination. Researchers are working today to develop a vaccine against gonorrhea.