What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. It can be passed on during sexual intercourse, including oral and anal sex, and is often asymptomatic.
To test for gonorrhea, a doctor or lab technician will collect a swab, blood test or urine sample from the mouth, genitals or both. The samples will be sent away to a lab, where they will be examined by technicians. Depending on how busy they are, the results can take days or weeks to arrive. Gonorrhea is very similar to chlamydia, and you will usually be tested for both at the same time.
Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterial infection and transmitted through sexual contact. Gonorrhea most commonly affects the genitals (which is caused by penetrative sex) but can also be caused by oral sex (where it causes symptoms in the throat) and anal sex (where it affects the rectum). It can also be passed by a pregnant mother to her baby during labor, but this is less common.
Although the long-term effects can be severe, gonorrhea is relatively easy to treat. A doctor will prescribe antibiotics that will usually be a large dose taken once orally. Alongside this, you might also be prescribed a second antibiotic intravenously.
It is important to go back and take another test a few months after receiving treatment for any STD. This is even more important in the case of gonorrhea, though, because of a new phenomenon called super gonorrhea.
The gonorrhea incubation period is up to 30 days, so it is possible to pass it on to others before showing symptoms yourself.