Gonorrhea Symptoms And Testing

Gonorrhea, also known as “the clap,” is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. It’s a completely treatable disease, but fast treatment is necessary to avoid potentially long term damage to the reproductive system. When a patient doesn’t take medicine for a gonorrhea infection, the results can be:

  • Sterilization
  • Septic arthritis
  • Skin pustules
  • Blindness
  • Dangerous birth complications or septic abortion resulting in the death of a fetus

If you believe that you have gonorrhea, you should be tested for the disease right away. However, many people with gonorrhea are unaware of the symptoms of the disease or confuse it with other sexually transmitted illnesses. Here’s a look at gonorrhea symptoms and testing to help you understand the nature of the illness and what you will need to do if you test positive for gonorrhea.

Symptoms Of Gonorrhea: What To Look For

One of the characteristic symptoms of gonorrhea is a discharge of a white, green, or yellow color and intense burning during urination. Men may feel pain in the testicles due to epididymitis, which gonorrhea causes. Women who are infected with gonorrhea will often experience vaginal bleeding between their periods.

Many patients with gonorrhea don’t actually experience symptoms, or don’t notice symptoms as they progress. There can also be confusion between gonorrhea and other medical issues like urinary tract infection (which also causes burning during urination). Gonorrhea symptoms may appear any time from a few days to a month after sexual contact with an infected person.

While gonorrhea’s symptoms usually appear on the genitals, anal sex can lead to rectal gonorrhea and oral sex can lead to gonorrhea of the throat, which present with bleeding, itching, and discharge. Gonorrhea in the rectum or the throat can be just as serious as genital gonorrhea and should also be treated immediately by a doctor.

How Doctors Test For STDs Like The Clap

Doctors will test for gonorrhea before administering treatment, and in the process, they’ll often test you for other sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and HIV. This is because a person with one STD has a statistically significant chance of having other STDs.

There are several ways that a doctor might check for gonorrhea. A growing number of clinics can take a swab from the infected area and study it under a microscope to look for gonorrhea bacteria. This is sometimes offered at sexual health clinics. However, this particular test isn’t offered at all clinics, so you’ll have to check with your doctor.

A more common test is to take a swab or urine sample to send for analysis, as this can definitively show whether or not a patient has a case of gonorrhea. Again, it’s important to check for other STDs, so in addition to a urine sample, your doctor may take a swab of the infected area and a blood sample to look for other illnesses that might need treatment.

Treatment For The Clap

Treating a case of gonorrhea may be difficult depending on the strain. Patients are treated with antibiotics, but many patients don’t take the full set of antibiotics as symptoms disappear. It is extremely important to take a full round of antibiotics that are prescribed for any sexually transmitted disease, especially the clap.

Another growing problem in gonorrhea treatment is resistance, as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea is sometimes unable to be treated with conventional antibiotics. For this reason, it’s important to see your doctor if any gonorrhea symptoms are still present after antibiotic treatment.


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