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Practice Safe Sex for Minimizing the Risk of Gonorrhea

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Gonorrhea is considered as one of the most common diseases that transmit from one person to another during undertaking sexual activities. The disease can be suffered by both males and females and apart from vaginal intercourse; it can also be transmitted via oral or anal sex. Although, genital area is affected the most by the disease, area like mouth, throat, etc are equally at risk. Let’s throw some light on the vital facts related to disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Every year app. new 700, 000 cases of Gonorrheal infections occur in the United States and out of which only half are reported to the CDC”. Let’s find out the main causes, treatments, etc of the disease.

Causes of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is basically caused due to proliferation and growth of the bacteria, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. The bacteria are mainly transmitted due to any sexual activity as the bacteria cannot survive outside human tissues. Thus, any male or female having unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex with infected person is at greater risk of suffering from the disease.

In men, symptoms of Gonorrhea usually appear in between 2-10 days after exposure; and in women, symptoms may take as long as 30 days to appear. Women and men may experience yellow or green vaginal discharge or from penis respectively with pain or burning during urination.

Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

It is advised to seek guidance of health professionals if you suspect of being suffering with Gonorrhea. It can be diagnosed successfully after collecting samples of urethra (from men) or cervix (from women) for conducting laboratory tests. Sometimes, urine test is also conducted by health professionals for checking presence of the bacteria. Depending upon the tests’ results, professionals recommend the treatments for Gonorrhea.

Treatment for Gonorrhea

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Gonorrhea can lead to serious complications if it is not treated timely. As it is a bacterial infection, therefore antibiotics are used by professionals to treat the disease. Antibiotics can be taken via injections or orally, depending upon the health professionals’ recommendations. Health professionals usually prescribe either single-dose of injection like Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) or single-dose of Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) pill. However, if the infected person is younger than 18 or pregnant, then instead of a pill, shot is recommended by professionals. It is noteworthy to disclose that patient is not allowed to indulge in sexual interactions until the treatment gets completed.

Important guidelines- Must to follow

Follow-up actions are mandatory to follow in order to cure disease successfully. For instance, careful hygiene is required to follow for avoiding contagion. Finishing the entire antibiotics’ course is important even if patient starts feeling well and symptoms go away. Moreover, after few days, say 5 or 10, a follow-up test may be conducted to confirm whether Gonorrhea has been cured successfully or not.

Although, the antibiotics prescribed for treating the disease has very high success rate, it is advised to follow the principle of “Prevention is better than cure”. Using condoms while having sex, avoiding sexual contact with high-risk partners, etc is considered as few solutions that can reduce the chance of transmitting or causing Gonorrhea significantly. Needless to say, if the disease left untreated, it may result in causing life-threatening problems like pelvic inflammatory in females and epididymitis in males. Although rare, infections in heart valves, brain or joints are categorized under some other gonorrhea’s complications.

Summary- Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused, in males and females both, due to growth of bacteria, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. The disease can be diagnosed and treated by undertaking various tests and taking antibiotics. If disease is not treated effectively and timely, then serious complications may happen.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 12, 2015