What is Gonorrhea

Posted by allan moris | Posted in | Posted on 8:17 PM

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When looking at what is gonorrhea we first need to talk about what causes it. The cause of gonorrhea is the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which grows and multiplies in moist, warm areas of the body, including the reproductive tract, oral cavity, and rectum. Sexual intercourse—vaginal, anal, oral—is the means of spread of this disease. Those who indulge in anal intercourse can have gonorrhea of the rectum, and it also occurs there in women when the infection has spread from the vaginal area.


Gonorrhea is sometimes passed from an infected woman to her newborn during delivery, producing eye infection. When a doctor sees gonorrhea infection in a child’s genital tract, mouth, or rectum, this is usually a reflection of sexual abuse. It is important to note that gonorrhea infection can spread to other parts of the body; an instance of this would be an eye infection that results from touching infected genitals and then the eyes. Also, those who have had gonorrhea and been treated are still subject to reinfection at another time if they have sexual contact with someone who has gonorrhea.

Although the cervix is usually the site of infection, the disease can spread and infect the uterus (womb) and fallopian tubes. Women suffer the most serious complications; these can include ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and pelvic inflammatory disease. The latter—a serious infection of the female reproductive organs that affects about 1 million American women every year—is the most serious consequence. Gonococcal pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) usually appears immediately after the menstrual period, and symptoms of PID can be very severe, including abdominal pain and fever. PID can lead to internal abscesses and long-lasting pelvic pain, and it can scar or damage cells lining the fallopian tubes, resulting in infertility in about 10 percent of women affected.

A woman who has gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during its passage through the birth canal at the time of delivery. This can result in joint infection, blindness, or a serious blood infection in the infant. It is thus extremely important for a woman who is pregnant and has gonorrhea to be treated as soon as possible to stave off these complications. Immediately after a baby is born to a mother who has gonorrhea, the doctor can prevent eye infection (ophthalmia neonatorum) by putting silver nitrate or another medication into the baby’s eyes.

In men, a complication of gonorrhea is the painful condition of the testicles called epididymitis. Untreated, this can lead to infertility. Gonorrhea can also affect the prostate and cause urethral scarring that makes urination difficult. In rare cases, gonorrhea spreads to the blood or the joints. One alarming fact is that having gonorrhea gives an individual a heightened risk—as much as two to five times—of contracting HIV.

Furthermore, an individual who has HIV and gonorrhea is more likely to transmit HIV to another person than is an individual who has only HIV.

Here is a video explaining what gonorrhea is and what to start preparing for.