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Gonorrhea

(Gone-OR-ee-ah)

Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) is a bacterial sexually transmitted disease. It is transmitted through vaginal, anal and oral sex with someone who is infected with the bacteria. Gonorrhea can grow and multiply in women in their cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and the urethra in both men and women. Gonorrhea can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes and anus. Most infected individuals are asymptomatic.

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National

Idaho

District 4

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If you would like to get more information on testing, click here.

If you would like more information on Gonorrhea, click here.

How Will I Know If I Have Gonorrhea?

Most people who are infected with Gonorrhea will carry the bacteria and show no symptoms. Because Gonorrhea is typically asymptomatic and people don't know they have it, it often goes untreated. This can cause other problems and conditions that are more serious and sometimes irreversible. If left untreated Gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and ectopic pregnancy in women. It can cause epididymitis in men. It can have lasting effects on fertility if left untreated in both men and women. Pregnant women can transmit this bacterium to their newborn during childbirth.

When infected individuals do have symptoms they may include burning feeling when urinating, green discharge, swollen painful testicles in men , vaginal bleeding between periods in women pelvic pain or pain with intercourse in women. Because Gonorrhea is often asymptomatic the only way to know for sure if you have it is to get tested.

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How Do I Get Tested?

If you would like to get tested for Gonorrhea you can make an appointment at our clinic. (Click here for contact information and clinic schedule).

Testing at our clinic is easy and affordable. Female screening can be done through a urine sample or cervical swab. Male screening is done with a urine sample. Samples can be taken from the throat or anus using a cotton swab if infection is suspected. Follow up testing in three months is important to ensure the infection has cleared. Testing fees are based on a sliding fee schedule which means that you pay based on your ability to pay. No one will be turned away due to an inability to pay. We want everyone to be able to get the services they need regardless of their income.

Call to make an appointment, or if you are a teen, you can come to our Thursday walk-in clinic without an appointment.

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Can Gonorrhea Be Treated?

Fortunately, Gonorrhea is a bacteria that can be easily treated and cured with one dose of antibiotics that will be given to you at our clinic, however; there are drug resistant strains of this bacterium and most infected individuals must be monitored during treatment. Be sure that your partners are also tested and treated because if they are not you can be reinfected. Gonorrhea is easy to treat but since it is often asymptomatic, people may not know they have it and may not get the treatment they need. Gonorrhea can cause irreversible damage to the reproductive system if left untreated so be sure to get tested.

Gonorrhea is a bacteria that can also spread to your blood and joints and can be life threatening. If you have been exposed to Gonorrhea or you think you may have been exposed, if you exhibit any of the symptoms or if you have had a new sexual partner since you have last been tested, get tested for gonorrhea and get the treatment necessary.

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How Is Gonorrhea Transmitted?

Gonorrhea is transmitted through sexual contact by the exchange of bodily fluids. Gonorrhea can infect the urethra, anus, eyes and throat of both men and women, and the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes of women. If the bacteria comes in contact with a mucus membrane of another individual the disease can be spread.

Pregnant women can also pass Gonorrhea to their babies during childbirth which can cause conjunctivitis in the eyes which may result in blindness.

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How Can I Protect Myself From Gonorrhea?

The best way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual intercourse, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected. Gonorrhea can also be avoided by limiting your number of partners (the fewer people you have sex with the fewer opportunities you have to be exposed to the bacteria), and by using condoms.

Condoms prevent the transmission of bodily fluids buy creating a physical barrier between two people. When used correctly and consistently, condoms greatly reduce the chances of transmitting a STD.

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Click Here to see an image of Gonorrhea. Warning: graphic image!
Cervix: opening to the uterus. Also called the neck of the uterus and can be felt in the vagina
Uterus: a pear shaped organ in the lower abdomen of females. It is where babies develop before birth also called a womb
Fallopian Tubes: the small tubes through which an egg will travel from the ovaries to the uterus
Urethra: the tube that drains the bladder and carries urine out of the body in females and males
Asymptomatic: no symptoms of a disease or illness
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: is a generic term for infection of the female uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries as it progresses to scarring of those body parts. The scarring can make getting pregnant harder. Symptoms include fever, smelly discharge, abnormal bleeding, pain or tenderness in the lower abdomen
Ectopic Pregnancy: Also called a tubal pregnancy, this is a pregnancy that is not in the uterus; usually in the fallopian tubes. A life-threatening condition for both mother and baby. Click Here to see an image of Ectopic Pregnancy.
Epididymitis: infection of the epididymis. Symptoms include fever, chills, pain and swelling of the testicles. Occasionally, scarring can occur which could make a man sterile. Click Here to see an image of Epididymitis.
Body Fluids: naturally-occurring substances that lubricate or are discharged from the body. The fluids typically associated with STD transmission include semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and breast milk.
Abstain: to not engage in a particular behavior. To not have any kind of sex
Mutually Monogamous: two people who are in an exclusive relationship with each other. Neither one of them has sexual contact with another person outside of their relationship.