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Gonorrhea is a STI (sexually transmitted infection) caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium which develops itself in warm, mucous areas of the body; therefore, it is usually found in the reproductive tract, but it can also grow in places like the anus, mouth, throat or even in the eyes.

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Who is more likely to get it?

GonorrheaGonorrhea is quite frequent in the US, as in 2010, about 700, 000 people got infected with the bacteria, but only half of them reported it to the CDC. The most likely to get infected with the bacteria are teenagers, adults up to 40 years and African Americans, as reported to CDC. The reason the infection is so widespread is because is facilely transmitted through all kinds of sex (vaginal, anal and oral). Moreover, the infection can be passed through fluids even if the male does not ejaculate. To boot, the infection can be transmitted from the mother to her child at birth. The chances of getting the bacteria increase if you have many sexual partners, if you have unprotected sex and if you overuse alcohol and drugs.

Manifestation in men and women

Usually, men and women do not show any symptoms when they get infected with gonorrhea. Nevertheless, there are cases when manifestations are present. At men, these include a painful feeling when urinating or green, yellow or white emission of fluids from the penis. Also, in some cases men may have swollen testicles. Generally, these symptoms appear after an interval between 1 to 14 days. When discussing symptoms at women, it is even harder to detect them and even if they are present, they are mistaken for vaginal infection or bladder. Furthermore, other manifestations are abnormal vaginal discharge and bleeding between menstruations.

Gonorrhea provokes chronic issues if not treated in time. Women can develop PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) by the dispersion of the bacteria in the womb or in the egg canals (fallopian tubes). PID is quite grave as it causes abscesses and permanent pelvic pain. Ectopic pregnancy is also highly likely to happen in the case of gonorrhea complications. Men infected with the bacteria can develop epididimytis, which is pretty painful or worse, they can become infertile.

STD testing

Happily, there are many STD testing clinics and STD testing centers which offer a variety of methods to find out whether you have this STD or not. However, if you do have it, you might need to get tested for other STDs as well, as the risk of getting them is increased. Therefore, the best choice would be a complex panel of STD testing, but there also assays for this particular infection, which are cheaper.

Whatever option you choose, be sure to get an STD test. It is more important than you think to get a test for a disease like gonorrhea, which untreated, is a threat to your health, to your life and also to the life of your sexual partner/s.