The bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhea, states Healthline. This bacterium tends to infect moist and warm parts of the body, such as the vagina, anus, eyes and female reproductive tract. This infection spreads from person to person through unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex and commonly affects people who do not use a condom during sexual intercourse or people with many sexual partners.
Gonorrhea can cause severe complications, such as epididymitis and infertility in men and pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which is a condition that affects the fallopian tubes and uterus. Men do not need to ejaculate to acquire or transmit gonorrhea, and this infection can also pass from an infected woman to the baby during delivery, explains Medical News Today. Risk factors include younger age, previous gonorrhea diagnosis and having other sexually transmitted diseases, reports Mayo Clinic.
Some people with gonorrhea do not develop noticeable symptoms, but these people are still contagious, details Healthline. Symptoms in men include a burning sensation during urination, increased urgency of urination, a persistent sore throat, swelling or pain in the testicles and a pus-like discharge. Symptoms in women include sharp pain in the lower abdomen, discharge from the vagina, fever and pain during sexual intercourse. Proper condom use, having sex only with one partner and abstinence are ways of protection against gonorrhea infection.