1. Knock Out the Infection with Antibiotics
Both men and women can contract gonorrhea through bodily fluids, and it can be passed onto a newborns at birth if the mother is infected with this sexually transmitted disease (STD). Besides the sexual organs, this infection can appear in the throat (from oral sex) and the eyes (in newborns). Antibiotics are universally used to treat the infection, but some strains have become resistant to certain antibiotics. Finishing the entire course of antibiotics is crucial to completely knocking out the infection. Additionally, follow-up visits and tests may be needed to verify that the antibiotic was successful. If you continue to exhibit symptoms or your tests indicate the infection is alive, you may have to take a different antibiotic. If oral antibiotics are not sufficient, the antibiotics may be delivered via intramuscular injection.
2. Alert Your Sexual Partners
Symptoms of gonorrhea often present within the first 2 weeks of infection and can include painful urination, abnormal vaginal or penile discharge and irregular bleeding in women. Some people, however, exhibit no symptoms. Alert your past and current sexual partners of your gonorrhea diagnosis so that they can be tested and treated. Left untreated, this STD can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, ectopic pregnancy, infertility issues and increased risk of contracting HIV after exposure. Gonorrhea also may spread to the bloodstream and have serious effects on a variety of bodily systems. It’s also important to alert sexual partners to prevent the spread of this highly contagious sexually transmitted disease to others or back to you. Even if you have been treated for gonorrhea, you can still be reinfected if you have sex with someone who is infected.
3. Practice Safe Sex to Avoid Reinfection
If you are in a long-term, monogamous relationship and are not practicing safe sex, both you and your partner should be screened for gonorrhea and other STDs. Otherwise, consistently using a condom during vaginal and anal sex and a condom or dental dam during oral sex is recommended to prevent reinfection with gonorrhea. Because gonorrhea is often asymptomatic, your partner may not be aware of the infection. As it is becoming increasingly more difficult to treat gonorrhea with antibiotics, protecting yourself from infection is more important than ever.
About this Author
Christa Gatewood studied psychology and communications at Northwestern University, sparking a life-long fascination with mental health, personal relationships and family dynamics. Well-versed in conventional and alternative approaches to reproductive health and pediatric medicine, Gatewood has covered health topics for ^eHow.com^.