The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.6 million people in the United States will develop a new gonorrhea infection each year.
To protect yourself from gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Heripsime Ohanian, PhD, MD, FACOG, offers comprehensive STD testing at Bergen Aesthetics. We also provide educational resources to help you understand more about gonorrhea.
An overview of gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that’s caused by the Neisseria gonorrhea bacterium. This bacterium infects the mucous membranes of your cervix, uterus, and other parts of your reproductive tract after sexual contact with an infected person.
You can also develop gonorrhea infections in your eyes, throat, mouth, and rectum after engaging in oral or anal sex. Infected mothers can spread the disease to their babies at childbirth.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in women can include vaginal discharge and bleeding between periods. Many women with gonorrhea won’t show any symptoms of gonorrhea, which increases risk factors for complications like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), internal abscesses, and chronic pelvic pain.
Common myths and facts about gonorrhea
To protect yourself from gonorrhea infections, our team recommends educating yourself about the disease and scheduling regular STD testing if you have unprotected sex.
Here are some gonorrhea myths we’d like to bust right now, as well as some facts for you to remember:
MYTH: You can catch gonorrhea from public toilets
FACT: The bacteria that causes gonorrhea infections can’t live for very long outside of the body. For this reason, it’s unlikely that you’ll develop an infection from using public toilets.
MYTH: Oral sex doesn’t spread gonorrhea
FACT: While vaginal sex is the most common way gonorrhea spreads, you can also develop an infection if you engage in oral sex.
For this reason, you must protect yourself by getting yourself and your partner tested for STDs before you become intimate. You should also consider dental dams and other methods of protecting yourself during oral sex and use condoms during vaginal or anal sex.
MYTH: You can tell when someone has gonorrhea
FACT: Gonorrhea doesn’t always cause symptoms in men or women. The only way to be completely certain you and your partner are gonorrhea-free is to schedule STD testing.
If you have unusual vaginal discharge or other symptoms of gonorrhea, we can customize a treatment plan to lower your risk for health complications.
MYTH: Gonorrhea testing is too complicated
FACT: Testing for gonorrhea isn’t complicated at all. In our office we offer urine testing to identify gonorrhea infections quickly and accurately.
Dr. Ohanian can also take a sample of cells from your cervix or urethra to test under a microscope to confirm the infection. Early diagnosis ensures you get treated right away, so you don’t spread the infection to others.
MYTH: Gonorrhea isn’t treatable
FACT: Typically, gonorrhea can be treated with a course of antibiotics. This treatment is most effective when you start in the early stages of your infection.
If your infection is advanced, Dr. Ohanian can customize another treatment plan to address any complications of the infection, such as pelvic inflammatory disorder or damage to tissues in your reproductive tract.
We can also provide you with guidance to prevent a reinfection and schedule routine STD screenings to protect the health and function of your reproductive system.
To schedule gonorrhea testing, call Bergen Aesthetics today or book a consultation online.