What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can be transmitted through oral, vaginal or anal sex. It infects the mucous membranes of the reproductive system and at the site of contact. The cervix, Fallopian tubes, uterus, and urethra are all affected, well as the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus. As one of the more common STDS, there are approximately 820,000 U.S. cases of gonorrhea annually.
Gonorrhea is a easily curable bacterial STD, but if left untreated, can cause devastating long-term health effects.
Effects of Untreated Gonorrhea
If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause permanent and severe health problems in both men and women. At best, it can leave you with severe health risks that leave you with chronic pain and the inability to have children. At worst, it can kill you.
In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause:
- Ectopic (tubal) pregnancies, in where a fetus grows outside of the uterus. The fetus usually grows within a fallopian tube, and without immediate medical action, can result in life-threatening blood loss and even death
- Scarring that blocks the fallopian tubes
- Infertility, which is the inability to conceive
- Chronic abdominal pain
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which includes all of the above amongst other complications
In men, untreated gonorrhea can cause:
- Chronic testicular pain
- Sterility, which can prevent fathering a child
Untreated gonorrhea can also spread to your blood, skin, heart, and joints in what is known as Disseminated Gonococcal Infection (DGI). It can cause joint pain and skin lesions.
How Do I Know if I Have Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea symptoms usually appear two to seven days after infection but it can take as long as 30 days for symptoms to appear. Like with many STDs, there may be initially no symptoms for people infected with gonorrhea. 10% to 15% of men and about 80 percent of women may have no symptoms when infected. More often than not, this can lead to not getting treatment until it is too late.
Gonorrhea symptoms in men include:
- greater frequency or urgency of urination
- a pus-like discharge (or drip) from the penis (white, yellow, beige, or greenish)
- swelling or redness at the opening of the penis
- swelling or pain in the testicles
- a persistent sore throat
Gonorrhea symptoms in women include:
- discharge from the vagina (watery, creamy, or slightly green)
- pain or burning sensation while urinating
- the need to urinate more frequently
- heavier periods or spotting
- sore throat
- pain upon engaging in sexual intercourse
- sharp pain in the lower abdomen
For more information on STD symptoms, please see our Symptoms page. You should not wait for the symptoms of gonorrhea to appear in order to get tested ; it is always better to catch and treat it early than to wait until it is too late.
Don’t Wait for Symptoms – Get Tested Now
You should get an STD test even if you are not showing any symptoms. Many avoid getting tested because they are not exhibiting any symptoms or because their symptom overlap with/are mistaken for other existing illnesses. This can lead to spreading the STD, and if left untreated, can result in severe health risks or even death. A untreated STD can never just go away on their own – only with proper treatment. If you are unsure as to whether your symptoms are the result of an STD, please visit Symptoms for more information.
Why You Should Get Tested
Sexually transmitted diseases are one of the most overwhelming yet under-recognized health problems in the United States. Even though it is recommended to get tested every three months when you’re sexually active, the stigma surrounding STD testing makes it a sensitive subject instead of a common check-up.
Per the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year and approximately 25% of Americans have some form of an incurable STD. To make matters worse, most STDs won’t display symptoms at first or will even display symptoms that can be mistaken for another illness, such as a yeast infection or the flu. Instead, those that are infected will remain completely unaware of their status, leading to them spreading the infection to others and not getting treatment until it is too late.
It’s no wonder that for Herpes alone, 85% of people who are infected don’t even know they have it. Chlamydia, one of the most common and curable STDs, will often not display symptoms until it is too late. As a result, 1 in 5 infected women will develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), resulting in reproductive issues and even infertility. Despite being the deadliest STD of all, 1 in 7 people who are infected with HIV do not realize that they are infected – their initial symptoms are usually shrugged off as the flu. Only until it is too late, when HIV turns into AIDS, do they realize that they are infected.
Long story short, not getting tested for STDs can be extremely dangerous as some STDs can have some life-threatening symptoms if they go untreated. STDs are usually stereotyped as a big joke – a mere annoyance, like an itch or burning sensation that just won’t go away. The truth is that untreated STDs can ruin more than just your physical health – it can ruin all of your life’s plans. Everything in your life can become tainted by an STD – having children, your relationships, even your life expectancy. The best cure is prevention, and the best way to prevent STDs is to get regularly checked.
At Private STD Screen, we believe in making STD testing readily accessible, striving for the utmost discretion, and delivering quick results. Our convenient checkout process makes buying a test a breeze. Just buy your test, go to a testing location near you, give your sample, and receive your results within a few days through our secure portal. No confusing paperwork, no long waits, and very discreet. Know your status today!