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Gonorrhea is a type of infection that spreads by way of a sexually transmitted bacterium (Neisseria gonorhhoeae) and occurs in both men and women. Gonorrhea typically affects the rectum, the throat or the urethra, though in women it is also capable of affecting the cervix. This infection is spread most easily through sex, though it can also affect babies during childbirth when the mother has it. In babies, however, gonorrhea affects the eyes mostly. This is a common sexually transmitted infection that does not usually show symptoms, and many people who have it do not even realize that they have the infection.

Causes, Risk Factors and Complications of Gonorrhea

The bacterium known as Neisseria gonorhhoeae is most commonly passed from one individual to another during sexual contact. All forms of sexual contact are capable of transmitting this disease including oral sex, anal sex and vaginal intercourse. There are some factors that may increase the risk of contracting a gonorrhea infection including being a younger age, engaging in sex with multiple partners, new sex partners and having been diagnosed with gonorrhea in the past.

When gonorrhea is left untreated, there are a number of complications that can occur. These complications can be significant, which is why it is essential to work with a medical professional when you suspect that you may have it. Gonorrhea is a treatable sexually transmitted infection, so there is no reason not to seek professional medical help. The most common complications that gonorrhea causes when left untreated include: complications in babies and during childbirth, an increased risk of developing HIV or AIDS, infections that spread into the joints or other areas of the body and infertility in both men and women.

Signs, Symptoms and Testsof Gonorrhea

The infection caused by gonorrhea is capable of affecting several different areas throughout the body, though it does typically occur along the genital tract. When gonorrhea affects the genital tract, symptoms include painful urination, increased vaginal discharge, pain or swelling in the testicles, discharge from the penis, abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding between menstrual cycles and pelvic pain. Gonorrhea affecting other sites on the body may include: anal itching, rectal discharge, eye pain, sensitivity to light, discharge from the eyes, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and warm, red or swollen joints.

The best way for a physician to diagnose gonorrhea is with a cell sample. They can collect them through a urine test and analysis and a swab of the area affected by the infection. The physician will also want to test for other sexually transmitted infections as many are co-occurring infections.

Treatment, Drugs and Preventionof Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea treatment separates into three sections: adult treatments, partner treatments and treatment for babies with gonorrhea. Adults who have gonorrhea best benefit from antibiotics. For serious infections or drug-resistant strains, the best treatment is an antibiotic known as Ceftriaxone, which is given in an injectable form along with Doxycycline or Azithromycin. Partners are best treated using whatever treatment the affected partner is being treated with. Babies are best treated using low dosages of antibiotics, though the best way to treat them is to treat the mother for her infection before the baby is born