Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection that can affect both men and women, especially between the ages of 15 to 29 years old. This bacteria can be spread through unprotected sexual intercourse, as well as childbirth from mother to child.
Infection can be asymptomatic in men and women. Men infected with gonorrhea experience burning with urination and yellow, creamy urethral discharge. The infection typically begins at the urethra and can progress up the urinary tract to infect the prostate, epididymis, and periurethral glands if left untreated.
Women infected with gonorrhea may experience painful urination, increased frequency of urination, and a purulent urethral discharge. The infection can progress to the cervix, vagina, uterus, and uterine tubes. Chronic infection of the uterine tubes can cause scarring and possible sterility. Other sites of infection include the rectum and throat.
Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by a clean catch urine sample or a sample of urethral, vaginal, or cervical discharge. For patients that are experiencing a throat or rectal infection, swabs of the affected area are used. Infected patients and their partners should be treated with antibiotics, specifically Ceftriaxone, to prevent chronic or widespread infection. Patients should abstain from sexual intercourse until treatment is completed. Correct use of condoms can prevent the risk of infection.