Have you ever heard someone talking about “the clap?” If so, they were probably talking about gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. In some cases, gonorrhea may not cause any noticeable symptoms, making it easy to unintentionally spread. For this reason, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that sexually active individuals get tested for gonorrhea at least once a year, especially if they are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Those at a higher risk may include people who have multiple partners, new partners, or a partner who has (or has had, and hasn’t been tested) multiple partners.
Some people experience a range of irritating symptoms because of gonorrhea. Promptly schedule an appointment with a doctor if you or your partner is experiencing:
- Painful urination
- Painful intercourse
- Abnormal discharge
- Abnormal bleeding in women
- Pain/swelling in one testicle in men
- Anal itching or discharge
- A sore throat or swollen lymph nodes
- Eye pain or sensitivity to light
- Swollen, painful joints
Thankfully, gonorrhea is curable with the right treatment, which usually includes an injection of antibiotics and/or an oral antibiotic. Those who have been diagnosed with gonorrhea should also be sure to tell their recent partners so that they can be tested and treated as well.