Beyond the Basics: How to yourself from Gonorrhea

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a common STI that is curable and is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae which can infect the genitals, anus/rectum, and throat. For those who have anal sex, rimming, the mucous membranes in the mouth/throat and anus are the most common site of infection. It is more common among the younger age groups like 15-24 yrs.


How do I know?

Frequently, a gonorrhea infection doesn’t show any symptoms at all – especially if it’s located in the throat or rectum. Symptoms include: burning or itching sensation while peeing, discharge from vagina, vaginal bleeding between periods, pus-filled discharge from penis or anus, painful or swollen testicles. Other possible symptoms include redness and swelling at the end of the urethra, itching in anal region, bleeding from anus, pain while passing stools, sore throat or redness of the throat lining if it’s oropharyngeal gonorrhea. 

If left untreated, the infection can spread further into the prostate and to the epididymis in men and the symptoms are dull pain between the scrotum and the anal region or painful swelling of the scrotum. Gonorrhea can be detected by taking samples from the throat, genitals or anus and or by means of a urine sample. 


How do we get infected? And how do I protect myself?

It can be transmitted during any sexual practice. Infection requires contact of mucous membranes (in the urethra, rectum, throat or eyes) with contagious secretions. Hence using condoms can be effective to a certain extent, but regular check up, testing, and early detection of the infection between you and your partner(s) will also be needed to be safe from this infection.


How is it treated? 

Gonorrhea is treated and curable with a course of antibiotics (given either as a single dose injection or a week long oral medications). And one is asked to refrain from sex until 7 days after completing the treatment and the symptoms are resolved. 


Check out more content on STIs like Syphilis, Chlamydia, Hepatitis A/B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, HPV, Genital Warts, Crabs, Scabies, Fungi.

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About the Author: Raju Behara (she/they), a trans-disabled Peer Support Provider with a decade of healthcare experience, holds a Masters in Pharmacology and a PG Diploma in Health Economics, Health Policy at the Indian Institute of Public Health. Aligned with the Safe Access Community Wellbeing Project, Raju has contributed to LGBTQIA+ safety in Indian workplaces, drafting gender-neutral dress codes and working on sensitization. A published author and poet in various anthologies, Raju, through EQUAL fellowship, chronicled social histories of housing, healthcare and workplace discrimination for queer-trans individuals in India. They initiated ‘Queer & Quarantine’, a crisis intervention program for trans folks facing housing challenges.

Article Vetted by: Dr. Swathi SB


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