Gonorrhea (better known as "the clap") is the inflammation of the glands caused by the bacteria Neisseria Gonorrhea. The bacteria primarily affect the urethra in men and the cervix in women. Gonorrhea is both treatable and preventable.
Symptoms vary depending on what part of the genital area is infected and sometimes there are no symptoms at all.
Infection of the Urethra (Men & Women):
If the gonorrhea has infected the urethra, a man or woman may experience a burning sensation while urinating. The burning can be mildly or extremely painful, and is complicated by the fact the person may feel the need to urinate more often. As well as painful urination, a discharge from the urethra may be experienced. The discharge is typically clear or milky and range in color from white to yellow-green. In some cases the groin will feel swollen and tender.
Infection of the Cervix (Women):
Gonorrhea can also infect the cervix and in most cases there will be no symptoms. Consequently, many women experience complications related to the infection before being aware of the actual infection. Those who do experience symptoms notice an increased vaginal discharge and some irritation of the vulva.
Infection of the Mouth and Anus (Men & Women):
Both oral and anal infections of gonorrhea normally produce no observable symptoms. In some cases of oral infection however, the individual will experience a sore throat; some anal infections may cause discomfort or itching as well as a discharge of pus or blood from the anus.
Untreated Gonorrhea (Men):
In men the bacteria can spread up the urethra. This causes adverse effects to the prostate, seminal vesicles, Cowper's glands and the epididymis. Typically, an abscess will form that causes pain, fever and chills. This abscess will eventually drain and release pus into the urethra or anus. If the epididymis is scarred by the infection, men may suffer from infertility.
Untreated Gonorrhea (Women):
Women may develop problems because of infected Bartholin's glands. If swelling blocks the vaginal duct, a sore will form and the lower part of the vulva will become red on the infected side. If this infection spreads from the Bartholin's glands to the uterus, it is probable that the woman will contract pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Gonorrhea is an easily contractible disease. Any form of sexual penetration (oral, anal or vaginal) can transmit gonorrhea. Other means of catching the disease exist but are not as common. A person with gonorrhea can infect another area of their body by touching the infected area and transferring the excretions. Gonorrhea may also spread in clothing or wash cloths. If a washcloth is used on an infected area and then soon after used by another, infection may occur.
Anal infection can occur in women not only from anal intercourse but also from vaginal intercourse. Sometimes, infected secretions from the vagina drip down around the anus, causing infection. The use of latex condoms and dental dams can help prevent the transmission of this disease. Treatment - common prescription anti-biotics are effective against gonorrhea; penicillin and tetracycline are the most commonly used. Unfortunately, some strains of gonorrhea have developed resistance to these drugs and other anti-biotics such as Cefixime and Ciprofloxacin will have to be used. Always consult your doctor about the treatment that is best for you.