Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that many generations have known about, but is still as dangerous today as it has been throughout history. In slang terms, Gonorrhea is known as “the clap.” When this STD is left untreated, it can cause infertility and even create abnormal pregnancies. What makes it so problematic is that people can have this disease and not experience any symptoms from it. Here are some other interesting facts about the world’s second most common STD.
1. It Tends To Affect The Young More Than The Old.
This is likely because younger people are more likely to be sexually active with multiple partners in a shorter amount of time than those in the older age demographics. Most of the cases of gonorrhea that are diagnosed every year happen to people between the ages of 15-29. It infects about 700,000 people every year.
2. Infected Body Fluids Through Direct Contact Will Spread the Disease.
Gonorrhea is not something that can be caught by sitting on a public toilet seat. You can’t get it if you share a hot tub with someone who has an active infection. You won’t even get it if you share a towel with someone. The only way to catch gonorrhea is for a person’s mucus membranes to come into contact with infected body fluids. Any sexual intercourse type can create these conditions.
3. Men Are More Likely to Experience Symptoms Than Women.
It takes anywhere between 2 to 5 days for symptoms of gonorrhea to show up. Men are more likely to experience symptoms and when they do, they’ll typically see a discharge that is yellow or green and have pain while urinating. They may also experience pain in the testicles. It may take up to 10 days for women to see symptoms and they will see the same symptoms that men have.
4. Condoms Don’t Always Stop the Spread of Gonorrhea.
It does not take an ejaculation by a man for gonorrhea to spread. Only contact with an infected area of the body is necessary during sexual intercourse for the STD to transfer. Even when condoms are used, it is possible for gonorrhea to spread. This is because a condom does not necessarily cover a sore or an infected area completely and this exposure is enough to transfer the disease.
5. Up to 73% of Young People Who Have Gonorrhea Will Get Another STD in 12 Months or Less.
Although the data is inconclusive, those who receive an active gonorrhea infection seem to be more susceptible to future infections, even after the initial gonorrhea infection has been cured. The only way to limit STD contact effectively is to abstain from having sex with people who have an active infection themselves.
If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause scarring within the reproductive tract and even spread to other parts of the body. If you are sexually active with multiple partners in the past year, then having an annual exam by a family doctor is important. Because gonorrhea symptoms are not always present, tests from a doctor are the only way sometimes to confirm the presence of the disease.