What to expect (when you’re not expecting): A guide to getting an STI test

So, you’re sexually active and you think it might be a good idea to get an STI test (it’s even a good idea to get one if you’re NOT sexually active).

But what’s it going to be like? 
Here’s our #SEXYSAFESEX lowdown on where to go, what to expect and what happens next.

Where to go:

You can get an STI test from most Doctors and medical centres. Most universities will also offer them (free if you’re with Medicare).

You can also get them from Planned Parenthood and dedicated Sexual Health Centres

What to expect:

Depending on what you get tested for (but you may as well ask for the whole package) your Dr. might take a swab of your mouth or genitals, a blood sample, a urine sample and a good ‘ol look around at your junk.

If you’re a woman we’d suggest getting a papsmear while you’re there, two birds one stone.

Doctors generally won’t ask you any unnecessary questions, and you don’t need to answer anything you don’t feel comfortable divulging. The only real answers come from the test results anyway.

Then what: 

You will need to make another appointment to come back to discuss results (it can take up to 10 days). Some clinics offer a text message service if you’re in the clear! However, they tend to push for the follow up appointment.

All clear:

Congratulations! You can continue to have #SEXYSAFESEX

Something came up:

Firstly, it’s not the end of the world. Check out our previous “Meet….” blogs. Many STI’s are treatable with a round of antibiotics. Other STI’s are more serious but it is still possible to have sex with a partner as long as your use a condom and are upfront.
You will need to provide the Doctor or clinic with a list of the people who you have slept with since your last test so they can be anonymously tested.

Apart from that, you can get back to your daily routine. Just make sure that you always use a condom!

Meet Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a serious condition, in women. 1 in 8 women with a history of PID experience difficulties getting pregnant. You can prevent PID if you know how to protect yourself.

dr

Photosource: http://curt-rice.com/2012/05/14/a-sex-point-or-two-for-male-nurses/

This one is all on you (kinda). You thought something might be wrong, you were a little uncomfortable, but you’re of the “if it aint broke don’t fix it” school of thought. You only visit the Doc if something is really up. You left this one a little too long though.

Meet Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)  

Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of a woman’s reproductive organs. It is a complication often caused by some STDs, like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Other infections that are not sexually transmitted can also cause PID.

How do I get PID?

You are more likely to get PID if you

  • Have an STD and do not get treated;
  • Have more than one sex partner;
  • Have a sex partner who has sex partners other than you;
  • Have had PID before;
  • Are sexually active and are age 25 or younger;
  • Douche;
  • Use an IUD for birth control.

How can I reduce my risk of getting PID?

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting PID:

  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results;
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

How do I know if I have PID?

There are no tests for PID. A diagnosis is usually based on a combination of your medical history, physical exam, and other test results. You may not realize you have PID because your symptoms may be mild, or you may not experience any symptoms. However, if you do have symptoms, you may notice

  • Pain in your lower abdomen;
  • Fever;
  • An unusual discharge with a bad odor from your vagina;
  • Pain and/or bleeding when you have sex;
  • Burning sensation when you urinate; or
  • Bleeding between periods.

You should

  • Be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms;
  • Promptly see a doctor if you think you or your sex partner(s) have or were exposed to an STD;
  • Promptly see a doctor if you have any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when peeing, or bleeding between periods;
  • Get a test for chlamydia every year if you are sexually active and 25 years of age or younger;
  • Have an honest and open talk with your health care provider if you are sexually active and ask whether you should be tested for other STDs.

Can PID be cured?

Yes, if PID is diagnosed early, it can be treated. However, treatment won’t undo any damage that has already happened to your reproductive system. The longer you wait to get treated, the more likely it is that you will have complications from PID. While taking antibiotics, your symptoms may go away before the infection is cured. Even if symptoms go away, you should finish taking all of your medicine. Be sure to tell your recent sex partner(s), so they can get tested and treated for STDs, too. It is also very important that you and your partner both finish your treatment before having any kind of sex so that you don’t re-infect each other.

You can get PID again if you get infected with an STD again. Also, if you have had PID before, you have a higher chance of getting it again.

What happens if I don’t get treated?

If diagnosed and treated early, the complications of PID can be prevented. Some of the complications of PID are

  • Formation of scar tissue both outside and inside the fallopian tubes that can lead to tubal blockage;
  • Ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb);
  • Infertility (inability to get pregnant);
  • Long-term pelvic/abdominal pain.

Meet Pubic Lice (Crabs)

dreadlocks

http://www.omnilexica.com/?q=dreadlock

There was a time period when you were right into fire twirling, harems pants and trips to Thailand. You noticed each other on the slow boat to Koh Phangan. She was reading The Beach, you had a copy of Shantaram nestled under your arm. Pretty soon she was nestled there while you shared a mushroom shake up on that mountain with all the fluoro pictures of fairies. Unfortunately she also shared something else with you…..

Meet Pubic Lice (Crabs) 

Pubic lice, or crab lice, infest pubic hair. They can also sometimes affect the hair of the armpit, eyebrows, eyelashes, beard and torso. The infection is also called pediculosis pubis and the lice are called Phthirus pubis.

Pubic lice are small, flat, light-brown parasites that cling to pubic hair and suck blood for nourishment. Blood sucking from pubic lice can cause small red areas or sores and itching. Pubic lice are usually sexually transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact, including sexual activity. However, they can also be spread by contact with towels, undergarments and bedding of an infected person.

Lice infestation causes no serious harm, but can be irritating. If you have pubic lice, it is a good idea to get tested for other sexually transmissible infections.

Symptoms of pubic lice

The main symptom is itching of the affected area. This is often worse at night. Lice and nits (eggs from the lice) can sometimes be seen, especially stuck to the pubic hairs. Some people have no symptoms and may be unaware of the lice infestation.

Diagnosis of pubic lice

Pubic lice are diagnosed by careful inspection of the affected area.

Treatment of pubic lice

Topical creams or lotions containing permethrin (for example, Lyclear cream or Quellada lotion) and applied to the affected area are the most commonly recommended treatment. See your doctor, pharmacist or sexual health centre for further advice.

Permethrin should not be applied to the eyelashes. If this area is affected, discuss an alternative treatment such as petroleum jelly with your doctor.

Treatment tips

Treatment for public lice will be more effective if a few simple guidelines are followed, including:

  • Usually the whole body from neck to toes should be treated, including the perineum (the skin between the vagina and the anus) and the anal area.
  • Read and follow the instructions on the medication carefully.
  • The skin should be cool, clean and dry when the cream is applied.
  • Apply the cream and leave it on overnight. It can be washed off the next morning. You don’t need to apply the cream to head hair.
  • Wash clothing, towels and bedding at the same time as treatment (hot machine washing and drying is sufficient).
  • The treatment should be repeated after one to two weeks as it is not effective against unhatched eggs. Eggs hatch in 6–10 days.
  • Avoid close personal contact until you and your sexual contacts or partner are treated.

Symptoms may take a few days to settle. If you still have symptoms one week after treatment, you should see your doctor for review.

Sexual partners should be treated for pubic lice

Any sexual partners you have had over the last month will need to be examined and treated. Current sexual partners should be treated at the same time that you are. Condoms do not protect you against pubic lice.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Local community health centre

Things to remember

  • Pubic lice are usually sexually transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact.
  • Pubic lice do not voluntarily leave the body and will need to be treated with a cream or lotion that contains permethrin.
  • Do not use insecticides used in the home as these will not work and can damage the skin.
  • Lice infestation causes no serious harm, but it is advisable to be tested for other sexually transmissible infections.

Meet Chanchroid

bondage

 Photosource: http://www.photoree.com/photos/permalink/2564588-17273949@N00

She liked to think of herself as a unique and rare individual, kind of like chanchroid.

Meet Chanchroid… 
Chancroid is a sexually transmissible genital ulcer disease which is rarely seen in Australia. The bacterium that causes chancroid, (Haemophilus ducreyi), is passed from person to person when having anal, oral, or vaginal sex with an infected person. Chancroid is a known risk factor for the transmission of HIV.

What are the symptoms?

After infection, one or more ulcers (sores) develop on the genitals, or around the anus. These ulcers have soft, irregular borders that bleed easily on contact. The ulcers can be very painful in men but women are often unaware of them. Painful lymph glands can occur in the groin, usually only on one side; however, both sides are sometimes affected.
Without treatment the ulcers will increase in size and progressively destroy normal skin. Other bacteria can infect these sores, causing them to become painful and distressing with an unpleasant smell.

How is it spread?

Chancroid is spread by sexual contact. Symptoms usually occur within 4-10 days from exposure to a person infected with chancroid. Symptoms rarely develop earlier than three days or later than 10 days.

Who is at risk?

Chancroid is increasingly disappearing around the world but can still be found in parts of Africa, south west Asia and the Caribbean. There is a close relationship between the occurrence of HIV and the occurrence of chancroid.
Only 8 cases of chancroid have been reported in Australia since 1991. People at risk of chancroid are those who have sex with someone from a country with high rates of the disease.

How is it prevented?

  • Avoid sex with someone who has a visible genital ulcer or sore. If a sexual partner or intended sexual partner has a genital sore or ulcer, advise that person to have a sexual health check
  • Using condoms for vaginal and anal sex significantly reduces the risk of chancroid and other sexually transmitted infections
  • If you are planning to visit or live in a developing country, find out about diseases that occur there and how they are best avoided.

How is it diagnosed?

Because there are a number of causes of genital ulcer disease, the doctor, nurse or health worker will take specimens from the ulcer and collect blood to test for chancroid and other sexually transmitted infections.

How is it treated?

Chancroid is treated with antibiotics. Pain killers may be taken if the ulcers are painful. It is important to complete the course of antibiotics and attend follow-up visits to ensure that the infection has been cured.
If chancroid is not treated, the ulcers will persist and will slowly and progressively get bigger. They can destroy areas of skin and genital tissues and the infected glands can rupture.

 Please note – model does not have chanchroid

Meet Bacterial Vaginosis

Two female joggers on foggy Morro Strand State Beach

The best thing about being a girl who dates girls in that your wardrobe doubles in size, the worst thing is that you’re at higher risk of getting BV than the straighties…..

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is caused by an imbalance of the bacteria normally present in the vagina. In women with BV, the normal healthy bacteria (in particular, lactobacilli) are replaced by an overgrowth of other mixed bacteria.

Bacterial vaginosis has, in the past, been called nonspecific vaginitis or gardnerella vaginitis. This is misleading as it implies that the bacterium Gardnerella vaginalis is the cause of BV. BV is now thought to be a polymicrobial (caused by many different organisms) condition, the exact cause of which is unknown.

Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis

Symptoms of BV may include:

  • watery, white or grey discharge instead of normal vaginal secretions
  • a strong or unusual odour from the vagina, often described as a ‘fishy’ odour.

About half of all women with bacterial vaginosis will have no symptoms. Bacterial vaginosis may occur at the same time as other infections or sexually transmissible infections (STIs).

How bacterial vaginosis is spread

Although it is not clear how bacterial vaginosis is transmitted, it is more common in women who are sexually active. It sometimes develops soon after intercourse with a new partner. Women who have female sexual partners may be at higher risk than women who have sex with only male partners.

Research has not conclusively found a link between BV and specific sexual practices or acts. However, recent evidence supports the use of condoms to reduce the risk of this infection.

Diagnosis of BV

Diagnosis is made based on signs and symptoms and lab tests. During a medical examination, your doctor may notice:

  • a discharge or odour
  • decreased acidity of the vaginal fluid – this can occur even if you have not noticed any symptoms.

Treatment for BV

If you have no symptoms, treatment is usually not required. You should receive treatment if you:

  • have symptoms or your doctor has noticed signs of bacterial vaginosis
  • are about to have a medical procedure that could allow bacteria into the uterus – for example, insertion of an IUD or termination of pregnancy
  • are pregnant – your obstetrician may need to be consulted about treatment.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial vaginosis

An antibiotic called metronidazole can be used to treat the infection when indicated. If your doctor prescribes metronidazole you will need to:

  • Take the antibiotic twice a day for seven days.
  • Take the tablets after meals – this can reduce the nausea and upset stomach that is sometimes associated with metronidazole.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol during treatment.

Your doctor can prescribe a vaginal cream if you are unable to take metronidazole, such as clindamycin, which is applied to the vagina for seven nights.

Recurrences of BV

Even after treatment, about half of the women with bacterial vaginosis will get the condition back within six to 12 months. This may be due to the treatment not working or to re-infection. Treating the male partner of an infected woman does not seem to reduce the risk of recurrence. Female partners of infected women are at increased risk, so screening for BV and treatment (if required) is recommended.

Prevention of BV

Most cases of bacterial vaginosis appear to be associated with sexual activity. Condoms have been shown to protect against infection and safe sexual practices are recommended for all women, regardless of the gender of their partners.

Where to get help

  • Your doctor

Things to remember

  • Bacterial vaginosis can cause a watery, white or grey vaginal discharge and odour.
  • It may develop soon after sex with a new partner.
  • An antibiotic known as metronidazole is used to treat the infection.

Meet Hep-C

earing woman

Photo source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woman_wearing_earring_in_front_of_mirror.jpg

She was nothing but glamour, all the way down to her pleasure state lingerie. You were definitely punching above your weight. A girl like that wouldn’t be carrying anything, right? 

 

Meet HEP-C

What is it?
Hep C is a contagious liver disease that can range from mild illness to a serious, life-long condition. It can be transmitted sexually, but is most often transmitted through contaminated needles.

How common is it?
An estimated 3.2 million persons are chronically infected with HCV in the United States. There are an estimated an estimated 17,000 new Hepatitis C virus infections each year.

What are the symptoms?
Most HPV infections have no symptoms. Some people may experience illness like fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain and jaundice, a yellow color to the skin and eyes.

How do you get it?
Hepatitis C is spread when infected blood enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most infections occur through sharing needles or other drug equipment. It can be transmitted sexually, but the risk is not high.

How do you treat it?
There is no medication for acute Hep C, which means a short-term infection, but rest and fluids are prescribed. People with chronic Hep C should be monitored carefully for liver disease and there are several medicines available for treatment.

What are the consequences if left untreated?
Chronic Hepatitis C can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, or even death.

Get Yourself Tested
Anyone who has had sex may be at risk for an STD, even when there are no symptoms. Talk to your health care provider about testing.

Can it be prevented?
There is currently no vaccine for Hep C. Risk of the getting Hep C is cut by not injecting drugs, and using condoms every time if you have sex. Abstaining from sex and sexual contact is the surest way to avoid getting an STD.

 

Please note- model does not have hep c 

Meet Trich

david

Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Gandy#mediaviewer/File:David_Gandy_by_Conor_Clinch_(2013)_-_cropped.jpg

He had a Don Draper Mad Men things going on. He was dominant and that was sexy. He pulled your hair and told you that he was clean so he wouldn’t be wearing a condom.

 

Meet Trich 

What is it?
A parasitic infection of the genitals.

How common is it?
There are an estimated 3.7 million people in the U.S. infected with Trich.

What are the symptoms?
Often there are no symptoms. For women who do experience symptoms, they may notice a frothy, smelly, yellowish-green vaginal discharge, and/or genital area discomfort. Men who have symptoms may temporarily have a discharge from the penis, slight burning after urination or ejaculation, and/or an irritation in the penis.

How do you get it?
Through vaginal sex.

How do you treat it?
Antibiotics can cure the infection. Both partners must be treated at the same time to prevent passing the infection back and forth. Both partners should abstain from sex until the infection is gone.

What are the consequences if left untreated?
Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. In women, trich can cause complications during pregnancy.

Get Yourself Tested
Anyone who has had sex may be at risk for an STD, even when there are no symptoms. Talk to your health care provider about testing.

Can it be prevented?
There is no vaccine for trich. Abstaining from sex and sexual contact is the surest way to avoid getting an STD. Using condoms every time reduces the risk of contracting STDs. If you or your partner tests positive, you should abstain from sex until the infection is gone.

 

Please note – Model does not have Trich 

Facts from www.cdc.gov.

Meet Syphilis

800px-Woman_outside_Sepulchre-2

She was moody, but you liked that. You met at a hot yoga class on Enmore rd. You found her on instagram and probably liked one too many of her photos. It seemed to do the trick though.  You were new to this sex with ladies biz and not to sure about same sex safe sex…… 

 

SYPHILIS

What is it?
An infection caused by bacteria that can spread throughout the body.

How common is it?
About 36,000 new cases are reported each year. What are the symptoms?

Symptoms vary based on the course of infection—beginning with a single, painless sore (called a chancre) on the genitals, anus, or mouth Other symptoms may appear up to 6 months after the first sore has disappeared, including a rash. However, there may be no noticeable symptoms until syphilis has progressed to more serious problems (see below).

How do you get it?
Through vaginal, oral, or anal sex. It can also be passed through kissing if there is a lesion (sore) on the mouth, and from mother to child during childbirth.

How do you treat it?
Antibiotic treatment can cure syphilis if it’s caught early, but medication can’t undo damage already done. Both partners must be treated and avoid sexual contact until the sores are completely healed.

What are the consequences if left untreated?
Increased risk for infection of other STDs, including HIV. Untreated, the symptoms will disappear, but the infection stays in the body and can cause damage to the brain, heart, and nervous system, and even death. Syphilis in women can seriously harm a developing fetus during pregnancy.

Get Yourself Tested
Anyone who has had sex may be at risk for an STD, even when there are no symptoms. Talk to your health care provider about testing.

Can it be prevented?
There is no vaccine for syphilis. Abstaining from sex and sexual contact is the surest way to avoid getting an STD. Using condoms every time reduces the risk of contracting STDs. If you or your partner tests positive, both partners must be treated and avoid sexual contact until the sores are completely healed

 

 

Please note – model does not have syphilis 

Meet Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Young_woman_at_the_beach_pp

Pircture source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Young_woman_at_the_beach_pp.jpg

The rains have ceased and spring is in the air! To celebrate you and your buddies went down to Bronte beach for an afternoon BBQ. This cute little number asked you to put sunblock on her back. Next thing you know you’re sneaking away for some hanky panky in the toilets. Turns out salt water doesn’t protect you from….. 

 

HPV

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). HPV is a different virus than HIV and HSP (herpes).  HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. But there are vaccines that can stop these health problems from happening.

How is HPV spread?

You can get HPV by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. HPV can be passed even when an infected person has no signs or symptoms.

Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected making it hard to know when you first became infected.

 

Does HPV cause health problems?

In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and does not cause any health problems. But when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems like genital warts and cancer.

Genital warts usually appear as a small bump or group of bumps in the genital area. They can be small or large, raised or flat, or shaped like a cauliflower. A healthcare provider can usually diagnose warts by looking at the genital area.

Does HPV cause cancer?

HPV can cause cervical and other cancers including cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, or anus. It can also cause cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils.

Cancer often takes years, even decades, to develop after a person gets HPV. The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types of HPV that can cause cancers.

There is no way to know which people who have HPV will develop cancer or other health problems. People with weak immune systems (including individuals with HIV/AIDS) may be less able to fight off HPV and more likely to develop health problems from it.

How can I avoid HPV and the health problems it can cause?

You can do several things to lower your chances of getting HPV.

Get vaccinated. HPV vaccines are safe and effective. They can protect males and females against diseases (including cancers) caused by HPV when given in the recommended age groups (see “Who should get vaccinated?” below). HPV vaccines are given in three shots over six months; it is important to get all three doses.

Get screened for cervical cancer. Routine screening for women aged 21 to 65 years old can prevent cervical cancer.

If you are sexually active

  • Use latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. This can lower your chances of getting HPV. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom – so condoms may not give full protection against getting HPV;
  • Be in a mutually monogamous relationship – or have sex only with someone who only has sex with you

Who should get vaccinated? 

All boys and girls ages 11 or 12 years should get vaccinated.

Catch-up vaccines are recommended for males through age 21 and for females through age 26, if they did not get vaccinated when they were younger.

The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with a man) through age 26. It is also recommended for men and women with compromised immune systems (including people living with HIV/AIDS) through age 26, if they did not get fully vaccinated when they were younger.

How do I know if I have HPV?

There is no test to find out a person’s “HPV status.” Also, there is no approved HPV test to find HPV in the mouth or throat.

There are HPV tests that can be used to screen for cervical cancer. These tests are recommended for screening only in women aged 30 years and older. They are not recommended to screen men, adolescents, or women under the age of 30 years.

Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.

How common is HPV and the health problems caused by HPV?

HPV (the virus): About 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. About 14 million people become newly infected each year. HPV is so common that most sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.

Health problems related to HPV include genital warts and cervical cancer.

Genital warts: About 360,000 people in the United States get genital warts each year.

Cervical cancer: More than 10,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer each year.

 

Each year, about 21,000 of HPV-related cancers could be prevented by getting the HPV vaccine.I’m pregnant. Will having HPV affect my pregnancy?

If you are pregnant and have HPV, you can get genital warts or develop abnormal cell changes on your cervix. Abnormal cell changes can be found with routine cervical cancer screening. You should get routine cervical cancer screening even when you are pregnant.

Can I be treated for HPV or health problems caused by HPV?

There is no treatment for the virus itself. However, there are treatments for the health problems that HPV can cause:

  1. Genital warts can be treated by you or your physician. If left untreated, genital warts may go away, stay the same, or grow in size or number.
  2. Cervical precancer can be treated. Women who get routine Pap tests and follow up as needed can identify problems before cancer develops. Prevention is always better than treatment. For more information visit www.cancer.orgExternal Web Site Icon.
  3. Other HPV-related cancers are also more treatable when diagnosed and treated early. For more information visit www.cancer.orgExternal Web Site Icon.

 

 

 

Information from http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

Meet Gonorrhea

ginger_sandwich_by_ph1sch-d4p11vl

Picture source http://jemms2012.deviantart.com/art/Sexy-Man-156399923

You can’t be too sure which of these three gave it to you. The lights were dim, you were covered in foam and it was 3am at ARQ. 

What is gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can infect both men and women. It can cause infections in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years.

How is gonorrhea spread?

You can get gonorrhea by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has gonorrhea. A pregnant with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.

How can I reduce my risk of getting gonorrhea?

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting gonorrhea:

  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and has negative STD test results;
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex.

Am I at risk for gonorrhea?

Any sexually active person can get gonorrhea through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

If you are sexually active, have an honest and open talk with your health care provider and ask whether you should be tested for gonorrhea or other STDs. If you are a sexually active man who is gay, bisexual, or who has sex with men, you should be tested for gonorrhea every year.

How do I know if I have gonorrhea?

Some men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all. However, men who do have symptoms, may have:

  • A burning sensation when urinating;
  • A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis;
  • Painful or swollen testicles (although this is less common).

Most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms. Even when a woman has symptoms, they are often mild and can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if they don’t have any symptoms.
Symptoms in women can include:

  • Painful or burning sensation when urinating;
  • Increased vaginal discharge;
  • Vaginal bleeding between periods.

Rectal infections may either cause no symptoms or cause symptoms in both men and women that may include:

  • Discharge;
  • Anal itching;
  • Soreness;
  • Bleeding;
  • Painful bowel movements.

You should be examined by your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms or if your partner has an STD or symptoms of an STD, such as an unusual sore, a smelly discharge, burning when urinating, or bleeding between periods.

 

Can gonorrhea be cured?

It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. Medication for gonorrhea should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not undo any permanent damage caused by the disease.

I was treated for gonorrhea. When can I have sex again?

You should wait seven days after finishing all medications before having sex. To avoid getting infected with gonorrhea again or spreading gonorrhea to your partner(s), you and your sex partner(s) should avoid having sex until you have each completed treatment. If you’ve had gonorrhea and took medicine in the past, you can still get infected again if you have unprotected sex with a person who has gonorrhea.

 

What happens if I don’t get treated?

Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men.
In women, untreated gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Some of the complications of PID are

  • Formation of scar tissue that blocks fallopian tubes
  • Ectopic pregnancy 
  • Infertility (inability to get pregnant);
  • Long-term pelvic/abdominal pain.

In men, gonorrhea can cause a painful condition in the tubes attached to the testicles. In rare cases, this may cause a man to be sterile, or prevent him from being able to father a child.
Rarely, untreated gonorrhea can also spread to your blood or joints. This condition can be life-threatening.

Untreated gonorrhea may also increase your chances of getting or giving the virus that causes AIDS.

 

Information from http://www.cdc.gov

+please not model does not have gonorrhea