Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It can infect both men and women and is most commonly spread during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth.

Symptoms of gonorrhea can vary but commonly include:

  1. Painful urination
  2. Discharge from the penis or vagina
  3. Pain or swelling in the testicles
  4. Rectal discomfort, discharge, or bleeding (if contracted through anal sex)
  5. Sore throat (if contracted through oral sex)

It’s important to note that many people with gonorrhea do not experience any symptoms, particularly women. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infertility, and an increased risk of contracting or spreading other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Gonorrhea is diagnosed through testing of a urine sample, swabbing the infected area, or a blood test. Treatment typically involves antibiotics, though due to the rise of antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea, treatment options may vary.

Prevention is crucial and includes practicing safe sex by using condoms consistently and correctly, limiting sexual partners, and getting tested regularly, especially if you are sexually active. If you suspect you have been exposed to gonorrhea or are experiencing symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for testing and treatment.

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