What is gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and is commonly known as ‘the clap’. It’s caused by bacteria that can infect your urethra, vagina or anus. You can catch gonorrhea from vaginal, oral and anal sexual contact. Gonorrhea can be treated effectively with antibiotics.
What ar symptoms of gonorrhea?
- Often there aren’t any symptoms
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Unpleasant smelling discharge
- Green-yellow colored discharge
- Vaginal blood loss between menstruation periods
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- Often there are symptoms with men
- Green-yellow colored discharge from the penis
- Burning sensation when you urinate
- With an infection of the anus:
- Slimy clear of green-yellowish discharge
- Itching of the anus
- With an infection of the throat:
- Laryngitis with enlarged lymph nodes in the neck
Is gonorrhea serious and should I see a doctor?
Gonnorea is very treatable with antibiotics. It is important to get treated early on, because in a later stage the gonorrhea can cause decreased fertility or even infertility.
Contact your doctor:
- When you have symptoms
- When you’ve been alerted by a (former) bedpartner
- When you’ve had unprotected sex
What can I do about gonorrhea myself?
- With vaginal, oral (with the mouth) and anal (with the anus) sexual contact you can catch an STD!
- Condoms are the only protection against STDs
- Contraceptives (the pill, IUDs, etc.) don’t protect against STDs
- When you’re in a relationship and want to start having unprotected sex, always either discuss this with your doctor or get tested for STDs
- When you’ve had unprotected sexual contact either discuss this with your doctor or get tested for STDs
- Safe sex has nothing to do with trust, don’t let yourself get pressured into unsafe sex
How does gonorrhea affect my body?
When you’re infected with gonorrhea it first infects the urethra, vagina or anus. This can cause symptoms like pain or a burning sensation when urinating, increased discharge, itching etc. When left untreated by antibiotics, gonorrhea can spread:
- With men:
- to the scrotum, where it causes swelling, inflammation and pain
- to the prostate, where it can cause difficulty urinating, pain when urinating and fever
- With women: to the uterus, ovaries and eventually the abdomen, where it causes pain and inflammation
The inflammation can cause damage and adhesions, causing poor passage for semen and ovarian cells, which can lead to decreased fertility or even infertility.