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Gonorrhea is considered as one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases or STD in the world. Information about this disease is readily available. This type of STD is caused by bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhea, a Gram negative bacterium.

The bacterium usually infects the columnar epithelium first. Columnar epithelium is located in the urethra and endocervix. Gonorrhea doesn’t stop there, the bacteria also infects non genital areas such as the rectum, the conjunctiva of the eyes and the oropharynx. The first target of the bacteria in women is usually the cervix – the vagina and vulva are mostly spared from the STD.

During ancient times, a lot of wrong information and misconceptions were associated with gonorrhea. One of which is that pus from the infected area contained semen. Information such as this was misleading but thankfully is now corrected and the misconceptions erased.

Sexual intercourse is the main medium of gonorrhea. Most infections occur during copulation, although women can also pass this disease to their babies during delivery. This form of transmission may cause blindness if left untreated since the babies can suffer from eye infections – conjunctivitis. Application of small amounts of silver nitrate to the infant’s eyes is a common and effective way of treating the infection.

Another way of transmitting gonorrhea is through surface contact, although this is far less common compared to other mediums. 20

The incubation period from this type of STD usually occurs from 2-14 days. Symptoms of the disease can manifest themselves from as early as two days from the day of infection to as long as five days. Some individuals may not notice the symptoms of the disease for up to a year. Women are more likely to be asymptomatic than men. 30-60% of women may have sub-clinical disease or are asymptomatic to the disease.

Symptoms of the disease may include the following; vaginal discharge, bleeding after sexual intercourse, dysuria or difficulty in urinating and inflammation of the cervix with pus discharges. A common way of diagnosing this form of STD is by identifying the symptoms. Cervicitis and urethritis when combined is commonly associated with the disease as infection in both is common to gonorrhea patients.

Unfortunately, more advanced symptoms may take place. Cramps, vomiting and fever as well as bleeding between menstrual periods are further indications and symptoms of gonorrhea.

Men are considered less prone to symptoms of this STD. Information released by the Center for Disease Control states that many men may not experience any symptoms at all. This of course does not mean men are invulnerable to the effects of gonorrhea. Some suffer from painful and swollen testicles while others may feel a burning sensation when urinating, or a combination of both.

Information as regards to the symptoms and treatment of gonorrhea are numerous. The Internet, countless books and articles, support groups and health centers offer a wide range of information to the public. There is help available; although the best help of all is cited in the common maxim “An ounce of prevention is better than a bucket load of cure.”


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