What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD). More than 700,000 people in the United States get new gonorrheal infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Source: CDC).

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Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterial infection of the cervix in women or the urethra in men by the gonococcal bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The anus, throat and eyes can also be infected by gonorrhea. Gonorrhea is diagnosed by testing a small sample of cells or discharge taken from a woman’s cervix or a man’s urethra.

Gonorrhea is preventable and treatable. Any person who engages in sexual activity can contract and pass on a gonorrhea infection. This includes heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women. The more sexual partners a person has, the greater the risk of catching a gonorrhea infection. Gonorrhea can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal delivery.

Untreated gonorrhea infection can lead to serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Using safer sex practices, seeking regular medical care, and seeking early, regular prenatal care can help reduce the risk of serious complications of gonorrhea.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?

Symptoms of gonorrhea infection vary among individuals. It is not unusual for both men and women with gonorrhea to have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all in the early stage of the disease. However, serious permanent damage to the reproductive tissues, infertility, and other complications can occur even in the absence of symptoms.... Read more about gonorrheasymptoms

CAUSES

What causes gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterial infection of the cervix in women or the urethra in men by the gonococcal bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The anus, throat and eyes can also be infected by gonorrhea.... Read more about gonorrheacauses

TREATMENTS

How is gonorrhea treated?

Gonorrhea is treatable, and prompt diagnosis and treatment can help to reduce the risk of developing serious complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility, and minimize the spread of the disease to others. You can treat gonorrhea by consistently following your treatment plan. Treatment plans generally include antibiotic medications and other treatments.... Read more about gonorrheatreatments

Medical Reviewer: McDonough, Brian MD Last Annual Review Date: Jan 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

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