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Gonorrhea: What is it? What are the symptoms?

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection. Symptoms appear within 2 – 21 days of having unprotected sex. Often there are no symptoms in either guys or girls.

Symptoms in women: include a thick white or yellowish vaginal discharge, burning with urination (burning when you pee) or have a bowel movement (burning when you poop), pain in the lower abdomen, or bleeding between periods.

Symptoms in men: a thick white or yellowish discharge or drip from the tip of the penis, burning with urination (burning when you pee) or with a bowel movement (burning when you poop), or frequent urination.


How do you get gonorrhea?

By having unprotected vaginal, anal (butt hole) or oral sex with someone who is infected with gonorrhea.


What if I don't get treated for gonorrhea?

If untreated, it can cause a more serious infection that damages the reproductive organs. Guys won’t be able to make babies and girls won’t be able to have babies. Also, if a girl doesn’t get treated, it can cause PID, pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to death. If a female has gonorrhea when she is pregnant and doesn’t get treated, it can be transmitted to the baby and cause the baby to be blind.


Prevention (how to NOT get it!)

The best prevention against gonorrhea for people who are sexually active is to use latex or polyurethane condoms.

You cannot get gonorrhea from kissing, holding hands, sharing forks, spoons or knives, sharing water bottles, soda cans or glasses, sneezing or casual touching.

Of course the only 100% way to protect against getting gonorrhea, or any other STD, is abstinence which means having no sex at all.


Treatment (how to make it go away or make it better)

Good news! Gonorrhea is 100% curable!. Once someone is diagnosed with gonorrhea they need to see a medical professional who will prescribe one of several medications available that will make the gonorrhea go away. It is important to take ALL the medication, don't stop taking the medicine just because the symptoms are gone. If you stop taking the medicine before it is all gone the gonorrhea will come right back!

It is very important to try and notify any sex partners who may have been exposed to gonorrhea so they can be treated. It is very important to not have unprotected sex while being treated for gonorrhea because you can just keep passing it back and forth to your partner.

If you must have vaginal, oral or anal sex while you are being treated for gonorrhea it is very important to use latex or polyurethane condoms to help prevent transmitting it to the other person.