Immediately after receiving a gonorrhea diagnosis, you should take time to learn more about the infectious disease. Knowing the causes of a gonorrhea infection and side effects that can be experienced can help you get the correct treatment options for your particular case. It is also vital that you take the time to inform recent sexual partners and learn prevention strategies that will help you avoid contracting gonorrhea again.
The first step to take after receiving a gonorrhea diagnosis is to get the facts. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium and often simply referred to as “the clap.” The disease spreads from one partner to another during oral, anal or vaginal sex when contact is made with infected body fluids, such as semen, or infected mucous membranes, such as sores in the mouth. Infections can occur in men or women and can happen in heterosexual or homosexual intimate encounters.
For women, gonorrhea is often asymptomatic, meaning no symptoms occur; although symptoms are more likely to appear in male gonorrhea, a large number of infected males will not display any symptoms either. Common signs of gonorrhea occurring in both sexes include a burning sensation when urinating and a discharge from the genitals. The disease can also affect other areas of the body, including the throat and eyelids. Untreated gonorrhea can become a chronic infection, causing infertility in women, sterility in men and passing from mother to child during birth. Because many individuals with gonorrhea also have chlamydia, another STD, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat both conditions as a precaution.
Physicians will typically treat a gonorrhea diagnosis with antibiotics. Although symptoms may begin to clear up quickly after taking medications, it is important to complete the entire prescription to ensure the infection is gone. Your doctor is also likely to suggest that you refrain from having sex until you have completed taking all medications and a retest confirms that you are cured. To avoid reinfection, you may also need to abstain from sex until your current intimate partner has also received an okay from their doctor.
Once a gonorrhea diagnosis has been made, you need to be honest and communicate this information to any recent sexual partners. To avoid a scene, you might want to break this news gently in private; if there is a concern that your past partners may not handle this news well, other methods of communication such as phone or email can also be considered. Regardless of how you break the news, however, your partner may still be angry or hurt. To diffuse the tension and provide your sexual partner with more information, you can provide educational pamphlets discussing chlamydia and gonorrhea. You can also reassure any sexual partners that the condition is treatable and encourage them to get tested as soon as possible.
Although receiving a gonorrhea diagnosis can be embarrassing or terrifying for some, the infectious disease is curable in many cases, especially when early diagnosis and treatment is implemented. To avoid spreading the disease or contracting it again, practice safe sex by using latex or polyurethane condoms and take care to apply these items correctly. Proactive prevention methods such as routine STD screenings, abstaining from sex and remaining in a monogamous sexual relationship can also help reduce the chances of contracting gonorrhea again. Remembering to take your diagnosis seriously and following your doctors advice will also help you recover from a gonorrhea diagnosis.