Gonorrhea: Symptoms & Treatment Options
Symptoms: Most people dont have any symptoms when they have gonorrhea. However, those who do have reported the following issues: burning sensation when peeing a white, yellow, or green discharge when peeing or spotting between periods.
If you had anal sex, you might get anal itching or painful bowel movements.
Treatment: The really great news is that gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics. Its crucial to take every single prescribed dose. Otherwise, youll continue having the infection.
Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
- What is a sexually transmitted infection ?
A sexually transmitted infection is an infection spread by sexual contact. There are many STIs. This FAQ focuses on chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. These STIs can cause long-term health problems and problems during pregnancy. Having an STI also increases the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus if you are exposed to it.
- What is chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STI in the United States. Chlamydia is caused by a type of bacteria, which can be passed from person to person during vaginal sex, oral sex, or anal sex. Infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and rectum. In women, the most common place for infection is the cervix .
- What are the risk factors for chlamydia?
The following factors increase the risk of getting chlamydia:
Having a new sex partner
Having more than one sex partner
Having a sex partner who has more than one sex partner
Having sex with someone who has an STI
Having an STI now or in the past
Not using condoms consistently when not in a mutually monogamous relationship
Exchanging sex for money or drugs
Chlamydia usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may show up between a few days and several weeks after infection. They may be very mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. The most common symptoms in women include
yellow discharge from the vagina or urethra
yellow vaginal discharge
How Do I Test For Chlamydia
You can get tested for chlamydia even if you dont have any symptoms.
Getting tested for chlamydia is easy and doesnt hurt. A healthcare professional will ask for a urine sample and/or take a swab from the area that might be infected. This is usually the lower part of the womb or the vagina for women, and the tip of the penis for men. If youve had anal or oral sex, you may have a swab taken from your anus or throat.
In some countries you can get a self-testing kit to do at home.
If you test positive for chlamydia, its important to tell any recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested, and treated if necessary. If you need advice about how to do this, speak to your healthcare professional. You should also test for other STIs.
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Each Year There Are Approximately 15 Million Cases Of Chlamydia And 350000 Cases Of Gonorrhea Reported To The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
However this may not accurately reflect the total number of infected individuals, as most people with these infections have no symptoms and go untested. These bacterial infections are spread through sexual intercourse . This test will not be able to tell you the specific site of the infection, but will detect the infection if present.
Pregnant women with an active gonorrhea or chlamydia infection at the time of vaginal delivery can spread the infection directly to their children during birth. All sexually active women under age 25 and women over age 25 with risk factors for contracting chlamydia or gonorrhea should get tested every year: risk factors include unprotected sex, new sexual partners, or multiple sexual partners. Men at risk for chlamydia or gonorrhea should get tested each year, and more often as needed: risk factors include having sex with a partner who has chlamydia or gonorrhea, men who have sex with men, unprotected sexual intercourse, and multiple sex partners.
Gonorrhea Chlamydia And Syphilis: Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options
When it comes to freaking out worthy events, being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease comes pretty close to the top.
What will happen to your nether regions ? Do they have a cure? How are you going to share this information with future sex partners? Youve got questions, weve got answers.
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Syphilis: Symptoms & Treatment Options
Symptoms: The symptoms of syphilis will vary depending on the stage the disease is in: Primary, secondary, latent, or tertiary.
During its primary stage, you may get painless sores in the affected area: genitals, anus, or mouth. They usually will go away within a couple of weeks. However, the person will still be infected with the virus unless they receive treatment.
During the secondary stage, you may get flu-like symptoms, such as a sore throat, fever, headaches, and being tired all the time.
During the latent stage, the person wont have any symptoms. If left untreated, the illness will reach its tertiary stage.
During the tertiary stage, the disease will start to affect internal organs, including your central nervous system and your brain.
Treatment: Syphilis can be treated with Penicillin. The dosage and length of treatment will depend on the stage of the disease. You should also follow up within 6 to 12 months after treatment has ended to make sure youre cured.
How Common Are These Stds In General How Common Are The Antibiotic
The CDC estimates there are 820,000 cases of gonorrhea in the United States each year. Klausner says that less than 1% fail to respond to the currently recommended treatment. However, he says, resistance to older, less expensive antibiotics is much higher.
Chlamydia is the most common STD in the United States, with nearly 3 million cases occurring annually. So far, no treatment-resistant cases have been reported.
In 2019, nearly 130,000 cases of syphilis were reported in the U.S., with the most infectious types increasing 11% from 2018 to 2019, according to CDC statistics.
The numbers for these three STDs, which are the most common, are at a record high, according to the CDC.
âWeâre absolutely seeing an increase in overall rates of STDs, particularly in younger patients,â says Englund. âHalf of cases are diagnosed in patients aged 15 to 24.â
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Chlamydia Vs Gonorrhea: Knowing The Difference
Here in the 21st century the need to practice safe sex is more important than ever, and especially when youre choosing to have intimacy with a person who you dont know very well. Casual sex has been going on for as long as humans have been existence, but these days the risk of being exposed to STDs sexually transmitting diseases is far too high, and really quite scary.
With those warnings out of the way and a quick mention of the advisability of using a condom if you want to prevent transmission of STDs well now switch to discussing the 2 most common STDs that are contracted by people in America and how the symptoms of each can be used to identify one or the other. Do keep in mind that you should not skip a physicians consultation in favour of self-diagnosis if you feel you have contracted an STD, you must see a physician as soon as possible.
Can Saliva Contain Stds
Although kissing is considered to be low-risk when compared to intercourse and oral sex, its possible for kissing to transmit CMV, herpes, and syphilis. CMV can be present in saliva, and herpes and syphilis can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, particularly at times when sores are present.
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What Measures Can I Take To Prevent These Conditions
The only way that you can completely prevent yourself from catching chlamydia, gonorrhea, or another STI is by abstaining from sexual activity.
But there are also plenty of ways you can reduce your risk of contracting or transmitting these infections:
When To Contact A Doctor
If you have any of the symptoms described, you should go see a doctor. In general, if you are sexually active and have any usual discharge, burning sensations, or pain while having sex you may have an STD and should get tested.
Additionally, if you are a woman, you should contact a doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms as they can be a sign of a serious complication of chlamydia called pelvic inflammatory disease:
- Fainting or signs of shock
- Serious lower abdominal pain
- Temperature that is higher than 101 F
Should any of these symptoms arise or if you suspect you may have an STD, it is very important to get tested.
Even if you have no symptoms as do the vast majority of those with chlamydia but are sexually active, you should be getting tested regularly, so you do not unknowingly spread the disease.
You can make an appointment with your primary care physician or order STD testing online here.
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Getting Treated For Chlamydia And Often Gonorrhea
If you have your own doctor, he will prescribe the antibiotics you need to treat chlamydia. If you dont have your own doctor, you can often find free or low-cost care at either a Planned Parenthood site or a community health clinic.
Listen carefully to the instructions for taking the medicine that you are given by the doctor or other healthcare provider, and follow them closely.
Ask questions if you dont understand something. Also, if you have other questions as you take your medicine, you can always call the pharmacist for help. They are often easier to reach than the doctor.
If you test positive for chlamydia, your healthcare provider is likely to also recommend that you be treated for gonorrhea. This is because the cost of treating gonorrhea is less than the cost of testing for the infection.
How We Chose The Best At
To narrow down at-home gonorrhea tests for this list, we dove into patient feedback, cost, result accuracy, result timeline, and ease of use.
Next, we broke them down into the categories like best on a budget and most comprehensive so that you can find the best at-home gonorrhea test for you.
As you scroll down, youll notice that each of the four at-home gonorrhea tests below also test for chlamydia. Thats because both bacterial infections are often asymptomatic, but present with similar symptoms, when symptoms are present.
Can You Treat Or Cure Gonorrhea
With the right treatment, gonorrhea can be cured. The CDC currently recommends that doctors prescribe two antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. However, medical professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about new strains of gonorrhea that are resistant to the antibiotics we use to cure gonorrhea, because we currently have no effective alternative treatments against the disease. It is extremely important that you take all the medication prescribed to you for gonorrhea, even when you start to feel better after a couple of days. If you dont feel better after a couple of days, you should contact a health professional to get another checkup.
Once youre cured of gonorrhea, you can get it again if you have sex with someone who has the disease.
Because its common to have gonorrhea without any symptoms, its important for all sexually-active adults to get tested regularly for STDs.
For Gonorrhea Use One Of The Following
- CO-TRIMOXAZOLE : This can be used to treat gonorrhea, using tablets with 400 mg sulfamethoxazole and 80 mg trimethoprim : Give 5 tablets twice a day for 2 or 3 days.
- One injection of 2 grams of kanamycin.
- TETRACYCLINE OR ERYTHROMYCIN : The tablets can be used to treat both gonorrhea and chlamydia at the same time but sometimes, gonorrhea is resistant to tetracycline. Give 500 mg 4 times a day for 7 to 10 days.
- Give one injection of 2 grams of streptomycin. But only use streptomycin for gonorrhea that is resistant to penicillin when no other medicines are available. Too much use of streptomycin for diseases other than tuberculosis reduces its usefulness for that illness.
- If gonorrhea in your area is not resistant to penicillin, inject 4.8 million units of procaine penicillin or 5 million units of crystalline penicillin, all at once. Put half the dose in each buttock, and give 1 gram of probenecid by mouth at the same time. Or give by mouth 3500 mg ampicillin and 1 gram probenecid at one time.
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Treatment For Gonorrhea Is Quick And Easy Too
Treatment recommendations for gonorrhea have changed over the years as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has become resistant to a growing number of antibiotics.
Chlamydia: Symptoms & Treatment Options
This is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Although its curable, people who are infected with it become more likely to contract HIV.
Symptoms: Most people who have chlamydia arent aware of it, because it rarely has any symptoms. However, the people who have reported symptoms have complained about painful sexual intercourse, unusual discharge from their genitals, and burning while urinating
Treatment: Chlamydia can also be cured with antibiotics.
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Testing And Treating Sexual Partners
If you test positive for chlamydia, it’s important that your current sexual partner and any other recent sexual partners you’ve had are also tested and treated.
A specialist sexual health adviser can help you contact your recent sexual partners, or the clinic can contact them for you if you prefer.
Either you or someone from the clinic can speak to them, or the clinic can send them a note to let them know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection .
The note will suggest that they go for a check-up. It will not have your name on it, so your confidentiality will be protected.
Page last reviewed: 01 September 2021 Next review due: 01 September 2024
How To Prevent Gonorrhea
Unfortunately, there are no drugs or vaccines that prevent gonorrhea. The best way to avoid gonorrhea is by employing safe sex practices, including the use of condoms. Getting a gonorrhea Infection does not protect you against future infections.
Gonorrhea is a common STI that is treatable. However, if you wait too long to get treatment, you run the risk of having serious complications, like scarring, PID, and possible future fertility issues. Know your STI status and encourage your sexual partner to do the same. Practicing safe sexual practices is the only way to prevent the transmission of gonorrhea.
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What Can Be Done To Address The Problem
Klausner says a three-way approach is needed:
- Control the spread of new infections through prevention, screening, and treatment. However, there is much less funding for such efforts. The CDC says that more than half of state and local STD programs have seen budget cuts in years. âThe money taken out of budgets absolutely correlates with the increases in cases of STDs that weâre seeing,â Englund says.
- Develop new antibiotics. Thereâs good news here: A new antibiotic now being tested has shown promising results in recent trials. When and if it will be effective and enter the market is unknown.
- Develop tests to identify the best treatments. Klausnerâs lab has developed a test, now in use at UCLA Health System, that can tell physicians which antibiotic a particular case of gonorrhea will respond to. This has allowed them to successfully treat many cases of gonorrhea with older, less expensive antibiotics.
Jeffrey Klausner, MD, professor of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Kristin Englund, MD, Cleveland Clinic.
World Health Organization: âGrowing antibiotic resistance forces updates to recommended treatment for sexually transmitted infections.â
How Does A Chlamydia And Gonorrhea Test Work
Screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea can be done at home or at a clinic. A sample of urine is typically sent to a laboratory, which checks the urine for chlamydia and gonorrhea DNA. If you are using the Everlywell at-home test, youâll receive secure, online results just a few days after the lab receives your sample.
Learn more:How to test for gonorrhea
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Is Gonorrhea Dangerous
Gonorrhea can be dangerous if its not treated, but women are at risk more than men. Untreated gonorrhea can cause permanent damage to a womans reproductive system such as pelvic inflammatory disease. For men, untreated gonorrhea can cause epiditimitis and, in rare cases, sterility.
Researchers also believe that being infected with gonorrhea makes you more vulnerable to contracting the HIV virus.