Gonorrhea is a bacterium that can cause sterility, arthritis, and heart problems. In women, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can result in ectopic pregnancy or sterility. During pregnancy, gonorrhea infections can cause premature labor and stillbirth. To prevent serious eye infections that can be caused by gonorrhea, drops of antibiotics are routinely put into the eyes of newborn babies immediately after delivery. More than 600,000 new cases of gonorrhea are reported every year in the U.S.
For women: frequent, often burning urination; menstrual irregularities, pelvic or lower abdominal pain; pain during sex or pelvic examination; a yellowish or yellow-green discharge from the vagina; swelling or tenderness of the vulva; and even arthritic pain.
For men: a pus-like discharge from the urethra or pain during urination. Eighty percent of the women and 10 percent of the men with gonorrhea show no symptoms. If they appear, they appear in women within 10 days. It takes from 1-14 days for symptoms to appear in men.
Vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse.
Microscopic examination of urethral or vaginal discharges.
Cultures taken from the cervix, throat, urethra, or rectum.
Both partners can be successfully treated with oral antibiotics. Often people with gonorrhea also have chlamydia. They must be treated for both infections at the same time.
Condoms offer very good protection against gonorrhea.