Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It primarily affects the genital tract, but can also infect the rectum, throat, and eyes.
Gonorrhea is transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It can be passed from an infected person to their sexual partner(s) even if there are no visible symptoms.
Symptoms of gonorrhea may include a burning sensation during urination, increased vaginal discharge in women, and discharge from the penis in men. However, many infected individuals may not experience any symptoms, making it important to get tested regularly if sexually active.
If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, which can cause infertility and chronic pelvic pain. In men, it can cause epididymitis, a painful condition affecting the testicles. Additionally, gonorrhea can increase the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV.
Gonorrhea can be diagnosed through laboratory tests that detect the presence of the bacteria in urine, swab samples, or blood samples. It is usually treated with antibiotics, but the emergence of drug-resistant strains has become a concern.
Prevention of gonorrhea involves practicing safe sex, including the use of condoms, getting tested regularly, and informing sexual partners if diagnosed with the infection.