Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium that can infect both males and females. Gonorrhea most often affects the urethra, rectum or throat. In females, gonorrhea can also infect the cervix. Gonorrhea is most commonly spread during sex. But babies can be infected during childbirth if their mothers are infected. In babies, gonorrhea most commonly affects the eyes. The trick is that you may not even know that you're infected. Abstaining from sex, using a condom if you do have sex and being in a mutually monogamous relationship are the best ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
How is it diagnosed?
The gonorrhea test for women consists of a swab test, whereas the test for men involves a urine sample. You can order a gonorrhea home test kit online or you can get oral and anal swab test kits as well.
Modern antibiotics can cure most gonorrhea infections. Most states provide free diagnosis and treatment at health clinics.
At home and over-the-counter remedies
There are no at-home remedies or over-the-counter medications that will treat an infection with gonorrhea. If you suspect that you have gonorrhea, you should seek care from a healthcare professional.
Gonorrhea is usually treated with an antibiotic injection of Ceftriaxone one time to the buttocks or a single dose of Azithromycin by mouth. Once on antibiotics, you should feel relief within days. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea is a growing challenge. These cases may require more extensive treatment, with a seven-day course of an oral antibiotic or dual therapy with two different antibiotics, usually for a total of seven days of therapy. The antibiotics used for extended therapy are usually given once or twice a day. Some common antibiotics used include azithromycin and doxycycline. Scientists are working to develop vaccines to prevent gonorrhea infection.
After gonorrhea treatment, what should I expect?
After treatment you should see your symptoms slowly start to improve, if you experienced any. Symptoms normally disappear within a week of treatment, if you are still experiencing symptoms than you should consult the clinic where you received treatment for further advice. It is also good to follow up treatment with a ‘test of cure’ to check that you are now clear of any STIs, this can be organised through our website or via the clinic where you obtained treatment. This follow up test is normally done 2-4 weeks after the treatment.
When to see your doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any troubling signs or symptoms, such as a burning sensation when you urinate or a plus-like discharge from your penis, vagina or rectum. Also make an appointment with your doctor if your partner has been diagnosed with gonorrhea. You may not experience signs or symptoms that prompt you to seek medical attention. But without treatment, you can infect your partner even after he or she has been treated for gonorrhea.
The safest way to prevent gonorrhea or other STDs is through abstinence. If you do engage in sex, always use a condom. It’s important to be open with your sexual partners, get regular STD testing, and find out if they’ve been tested. If your partner is showing signs of a possible infection, avoid any sexual contact with them. Ask them to seek medical attention to rule out any possible infection that can be passed on.