Sexually Transmitted Diseases are highly contagious infections that are also known as Venereal Diseases or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there were more than 80 million new gonorrhea cases in the year 2020. Gonorrhea is one of the STDs that take a major toll on the United States.
What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is caused by a bacteria called “Neisseria gonorrhea”. Like all the other STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea is transmitted from one person to another via semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids during sexual intercourse. There were more than 600,000 cases of gonorrhea in the US reported during the year 2019. If you are sexually active, it is highly recommended to get tested for gonorrhea and avoid having sex with strangers as you may not know who has an STD.
However, oral gonorrhea is way less common than normal genital gonorrhea.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea
Signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea may not show up as quickly as any other disease like allergy or flu – where once you get in contact with the allergen or foreign pathogen, your body can react immediately causing signs indicating something wrong. However, in the case of STDs like Gonorrhea, the signs can take anywhere between several days to even weeks for the initial signs to show up. This is one of the reasons for the widespread STDs among young adults who do not take many precautions or knowledge about STDs. Even if your partner doesn’t know they have STDs, they are still acting as a carrier for spreading the Gonorrhea infection.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in men and women include:
Gonorrhea symptoms in women
- Unusual vaginal discharge (dark green or yellow color)
- Severe abdominal and back pain
- Bleeding during sexual intercourse
- Heavy periods
- Vulvar (outer part of the vagina) swelling
Gonorrhea symptoms in men
- Unusual penile discharge
- Swollen testicles
- Inflammation around the penis
- Pain while urinating
- Swelling in the neck lymph nodes
- Anal discharge
- Sore throat
- Pain in the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Painful joints
- Bleeding or pain with passing bowel movements
Oral gonorrhea is caused by the same bacteria as the genital bacteria, however, if the symptoms occur around the oral cavity then it is termed oral gonorrhea. People who have oral sex have a higher chance of contracting gonorrhea orally – as the bacteria enter via the oral cavity, they cause symptoms around the mouth and inside the throat.
Sometimes, people also experience oral gonorrhea if they had unprotected sex with an infected person and touch their mouth or eyes without washing their hands, thus spreading the bacteria to other areas like the mouth, throat, and eyes.
Symptoms of Oral Gonorrhea
Symptoms of oral gonorrhea include an itchy or sore throat that doesn’t go away. These symptoms may also notice that you to have trouble swallowing. Other signs of oral gonorrhea can include, redness in the throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Can Oral Gonorrhea be Cured?
Gonorrhea and oral gonorrhea are caused by the same bacteria except for the differences in the location of the symptoms. Oral gonorrhea can be cured if you get tested and treated for gonorrhea at the right time and as early as possible. If you are tested positive for gonorrhea, then your physician may prescribe your antibiotics that help reduce the symptoms and kill the bacteria. It is important to continue medications to the full course and not to stop in between as your symptoms are off. Remember that even though the symptoms may go, you need to complete the medications fully in order to kill the bacteria completely, or else the oral symptoms may recur.
Thus, when you suspect of having oral gonorrhea, and if you have been sexually active in the past then get tested for gonorrhea as quickly as possible and treated accordingly. When it comes to STDs, the sooner you get diagnosed the easier the recovery will be.
What Happens if Oral Gonorrhea is Left Untreated?
When a disease is left untreated, it typically goes away on its own without any prescribed treatments. However, that’s not the case for all diseases, especially gonorrhea. Oral gonorrhea signs tend to appear late in the first place, already causing damages to your anatomy silently. If STDs like gonorrhea are left untreated and undiagnosed they can lead to severe health complications such as PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) in women, a condition where the reproductive system is distorted, and infections like epididymitis in men, and inflammation in the tube present at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm.
Therefore, they can cause a severe issue on your reproductive health and can sometimes lead to infertility in both men and women. Untreated oral gonorrhea can also cause urinary tract infections, chlamydia, and HIV/AIDS.
How to Prevent Oral Gonorrhea?
Oral gonorrhea is a type of STD, which means the primary mode of acquiring is sexual contact. The only effective way to not get infected with oral gonorrhea is not to have sex and to practice sex only with your married partners whom you trust with. It is also important to open up freely about STDs and other diseases that can potentially be a helpful resource for your partner to get to know about such diseases beforehand and prevent deadly diseases.
We highly recommended getting screened for STDs beforehand if you are planning for a baby. If the mother is infected with an STD and gets pregnant, there are serious consequences for not only the mother but also the fetus.
As it is always said, prevention is better than cure, that is 100% in the cases of sexually transmitted diseases.