Gonorrhea (also called Gonorrhoea) is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD), that is said to be second only to Chlamydia in terms of its popularity (in the U.S.).
Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhea, a bacterium that develops and multiplies swiftly in the damp, warm regions of the body such as the cervix, urinary tract, mouth, or the rectum. The bacterium can also grow in the throat and eyes.
Gonorrhea is spread through contact with the vagina, penis, anus, or mouth. Ejaculation doesn't necessarily have to occur in order for it to be transmitted or acquired. It is important to note also, that Gonorrhea can be spread from mother to baby during delivery.
In women, the cervix is the most familiar site of infection. However, gonorrhea can cause penile discharge and urethritis in men. It can also be spread from a man’s penis to the throat of his sex partner if you engage in oral sex, which is known as pharyngeal gonorrhea. Individuals can also transmit the bacteria from the genital region of the body to the mouth with their fingers.
Gonorrhea of the rectum can come about in women due to the spread of the infection from the vaginal region of the body, and it may also arise in receptive anal intercourse. In some cases, infection of the eye, known as conjunctivitis can also occur.
Gonorrhea can be transferred from a female that is infected to her newborn baby during the delivery process. The infection also arises in children, most frequently in young victims of sexual abuse.
In both men and women, if the bacteria spread to the bloodstream and is left untreated, it can infect the joints, heart valves, or the brain. The most common outcome of gonorrhea, however, is pelvic inflammatory disease, which is regarded as a serious infection of the female pelvic organs.
Pelvic inflammatory disease may cause scarring of the fallopian tubes, which result in infertility in as many as 10 percent of women that is affected. In others, the scarring blocks the appropriate passage of the fertilized egg into the uterus. If this should happen, the egg could implant itself in the tube. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy and is life threatening to the mother if it is not discovered early. An infected woman who is pregnant can transmit the infection to her infant as the baby passes through the birth canal during the delivery process.