WHAT IS GONORRHOEA? | Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver

Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In 2020 alone, 84.2 million people were newly infected worldwide and it is the second, most common STI known to medical science. Gonorrhoea can infect both men and women and is spread through vaginal, oral, or anal sex, as well as through sharing sex toys that have not been properly cleaned. 

The disease can affect various parts of the body, including the genitals, rectum, and throat. Due to differences in the structure of the sexual organs, the symptoms may differ between men and women. In men, symptoms may include a burning sensation while urinating, discharge of white, yellow, or green pus from the penis, and swollen testicles. Women may experience painful urination, increased vaginal discharge, and vaginal bleeding between periods.

It is important to note that some people infected with gonorrhea may not experience any symptoms at all. This is concerning as it can lead to undiagnosed and untreated infection, leading to potential complications such as infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and an increased risk of contracting HIV or other STIs.

In cases of suspected gonorrhea, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Gonorrhea is curable and is usually treated with antibiotics, but it's crucial to complete the full course of medication prescribed by a healthcare professional. To prevent further spread of the infection, it is also important to inform sexual partners so they can get tested and receive treatment if necessary.

To protect ourselves from gonorrhea and other STIs, practicing safe sex is key. This includes using condoms correctly and consistently during sexual activity, getting regular STI screenings, discussing sexual health with partners, and avoiding sharing sex toys unless they are properly cleaned.

Remember, if there are any concerns or questions about gonorrhea or sexual health, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional.

Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver,
Senior Registrar, 
Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.

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