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STIs Explained: Gonorrhea

Warm weather has arrived and since Spring Fever is in the air, I thought I'd take the time to talk about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Fun stuff, I know.

STI stands for "sexually transmitted infection." The reason this term is used instead of STDs (sexually transmitted disease) is because the word "infection" is more accurate since many of these are actually curable (except for Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, and HIV). Also, the word "infection" carries less of a negative social stigma than the word "disease."

STIs like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are 100% avoidable. Abstaining from sex altogether is the surest way to keep yourself STI-free, but since that's not realistic, definitely have you and your partner get tested before you have sex.

Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus, so being in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone you know is uninfected is also a great way to keep yourself safe. When latex or polyurethane condoms are used consistently and correctly, that can also reduce the risk of transmitting gonorrhea.

Make sure to see your gynecologist annually to get tested, because if left untreated, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or arthritis.

Want to know about Gonorrhea? Then

STI Symptoms How do you test for it? Treatment
Gonorrhea (The #2 STI in the U.S.)
  • Frequently asymptomatic (no symptoms)
  • Discharge from vagina, penis, or rectum
  • Burning or itching during urination
  • Sore throat
Samples of the infected fluid or urine must be taken Since gonorrhea is a bacterial infection, several antibiotics can successfully cure it. However, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea are increasing in many areas of the world, including the United States.


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