The STD That Infected Over 350,000 People in 2014

Quick Facts about Gonorrhea

  • Caused by bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Infects mucous membranes of a variety of body parts
  • Other names: "the clap," "the drip," "the silent infection"
  • Transmitted through genital, anal, or oral contact or from mother to baby
  • Can be reinfected even if cured

Symptoms and Complications

Although gonorrhea is asymptotic in many cases, symptoms may include a white or yellow discharge, vaginal bleeding at irregular parts of the menstrual cycle, abdominal pain, inflammation of the eyes, inflamed testicles, and/or painful urination. If the STI leads to a rectal infection, more symptoms could be itching, tenderness, or painful defecation.

Gonorrhea could lead to other diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease, which can result in fevers and pain, or disseminated gonococcal infection, a life-threatening disease which can lead to arthritis and skin inflammation. Infertility can also result from gonorrhea. In addition, the risk of contracting HIV is increased when a person has this STI.

Gonorrhea Symptoms in Men | 4 Symptoms of Gonorrhea STD in Men
Gonorrhea Symptoms in Women | 5 Symptoms of Gonorrhea STD in Women

According to the website "In the Know Zone" . . .

  • Over 800,000 cases per year nationally
  • Costs approximately $1.1 billion per year
  • Girls aged 15-19 are the highest percentage of gonorrhea

Treatment Options

Doctors are generally prescribing dual therapy, or the use of two antimicrobial drugs, to cure gonorrhea, a procedure which was begun because the gonorrhea bacteria evolved to enable itself to resist the antimicrobial drugs. Therefore, ceftriaxone and a second antimicrobial are the current prescriptions, but scientists predict that gonorrhea will continue to evolve to resist this current dosage.

Just For Fun: Where I First Heard of Gonorrhea

A Chorus Line - Mark Monologue

Gonorrhea in the Media

You can find references to gonorrhea everywhere in modern society. Present in everything from songs, such as Lil Wayne's "Gonorrhea," to stage productions, as demonstrated above with a scene from the musical "A Chorus Line," this STI is constantly mentioned. In the clip above, which is Mark's monologue from the Broadway musical "A Chorus Line," Mark shares how he "diagnosed" himself with gonorrhea after experiencing strange discharge; the song also outlines some other crucial information about gonorrhea, such as the potential cures and the transmission of the STI. Despite gonorrhea being publicized in the media, many people remain uninformed about the dangers of the disease, so it is crucial to continue to educate the public about this STI.