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How do you get gonorrhea? Gonorrhea is an infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea. It causes urethral inflammation and painful urination among men, and increased vaginal discharges and pelvic pain among women. You can get gonorrhea primarily through unsafe sexual contact. This mode of transmission is true for adults; newborns can also get gonorrhea especially if they are born through a vaginal birth.




• Unprotected Sexual Contact

Primarily, gonorrhea is transmitted via unprotected or unsafe sexual contact. It can be transmitted via the oral, anal or vaginal route. Unprotected sex puts men at a 20% risk of acquiring the infection, and this risk becomes higher if the contact is between men to men.
Women on the other hand have 60-80% risk of acquiring the infection by having sexual contact with an infected man; this risk also increases if there are multiple sexual partners.

• Vaginal Delivery From an Infected Mother

In neonates, gonorrhea is acquired when the infected mother gives birth through a vaginal delivery. In infants the gonorrhea infection affects the eyes; this condition is called opthalmia neonatorum.




Gonorrhea is primarily transmitted via sexual contact or by a vaginal delivery; one does not acquire the disease through toilets and bathrooms. The infectious agent (N. gonorrhoeae) thrives more inside the body, once it is outside it becomes more susceptible to environmental factors.




Once the symptoms of gonorrhea are seen, the affected individual must immediately seek treatment. This is to prevent complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Since this is a bacterial infection, it is treated with antibiotics. The Center for Communicable Diseases recommends treatment with ceftriaxone (Rocephin) or cefixime (Suprax), ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or ofloxacin (Floxin) together with Doxycycline.

Doxycycline is included in the roster of antibiotics for gonorrhea because it is the first line of drug used for presumptive Chlamydia infection. Chlamydia infection usually goes with gonococcal infections and so this antibiotic is prescribed to successfully eradicate it.

Patients who do not have complications are often treated with the CDC recommended therapy and are seldom required to return for follow-up. There are cases where symptoms once again emerge and a gonococcal infection is once again confirmed; most of the time these are re-infections and less likely to be caused by medication failure.

Other blood tests for sexually transmitted infections are also offered to patients with gonorrhea; this is to screen for the presence of other sexually transmitted infections because there is an increased risk that people with gonococcal infections would be acquiring other sexually transmitted infections as well.

Gonococcal infections are also reported to a local public health department. This is because gonorrhea is a communicable disease and the local health department must employ necessary measures in order to contain this infection. These measures include ensuring the affected individual attends follow up checkups to ensure treatment and that the sexual contacts are identified so they too can be diagnosed and treated properly. All of the involved individuals are also educated on how you can get gonorrhea and how to avoid and prevent it.


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