Gonorrhea - what is it?

July 28, 2023

Gonorrhea - what is it?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can affect both men and women, but symptoms are often more severe in women.

Gonorrhea is spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected person. It can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth.

The symptoms of gonorrhea can vary but may include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating
  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Pain or tenderness in the testicles
  • Sore throat (if the infection is in the throat)
  • Anal itching, discharge, or bleeding (if the infection is in the anus)

However, some people with gonorrhea may not have any symptoms at all, which can make it difficult to detect and treat.

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious health problems, including infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and an increased risk of HIV transmission.

How to treat Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics. However, there is growing concern about antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria, which makes it important to follow the recommended treatment and to practice safe sex to prevent reinfection. The treatment for gonorrhea usually involves a single dose of antibiotics, but the specific medication and dosage will depend on the severity of the infection and the individual's medical history.

Common antibiotics can be used to treat gonorrhea include Suprax (400mg) tablets and Azithromycin tablets.

It's important to complete the full course of antibiotics as directed, even if symptoms improve before the medication is finished.

In addition to antibiotic treatment, it's important to inform recent sexual partners so they can get tested and treated as well. It's also important to refrain from sexual activity until treatment is completed and follow-up testing confirms that the infection has been successfully treated.

If complications arise, such as pelvic inflammatory disease or other infections, additional treatment may be required. It's important to follow up with a healthcare provider to monitor for any complications and ensure that the infection has been fully treated.

Further information about Gonorrhea you can also visit the NHS site.