How Can You Get Gonorrhea?


Quick Answer

The Centers for Disease Control states that gonorrhea is contracted through vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea may also pass the disease to her child during childbirth. According to WebMD, gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a bacterium that thrives in warm, moist mucus membranes, such as the cervix, uterus, mouth, throat and anus.

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Full Answer

According to Planned Parenthood, many people, especially women, are unaware they have gonorrhea, as the disease often poses no symptoms. In fact, four out of five women with gonorrhea have no symptoms, while one out of 10 men has no symptoms. For those that do experience symptoms, they can range from mild to severe and include abdominal pain, painful or more frequent urination, fever, nausea, menstrual irregularities and discharge from the vagina or penis. These symptoms may begin as early as one to 14 days after the infection is contracted.

The National Library of Medicine states that there are a number of different antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea. Antibiotics may be administered as one large dose or several smaller ones over the course of seven days, and may come with an initial shot or injection. In severe cases, a hospital stay and intravenous antibiotics may be required.

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