Regarded as a highly-contagious sexually transmitted disease, gonorrhea can be transferred through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

Because of it’s aggressive bacterial form, you can become infected with gonorrhea even without full penetrative sex. This is unlike most other STDs where full penetration may be required to contract. The bacteria in gonorrhea attack mucous cell membranes enabling ease of transfer by mere contact.

Gonorrhea Symptoms

If any of these characteristics below represent you, it’s critical you get tested immediately.

  • Anyone that is sexually active is at risk for gonorrhea
  • new or multiple sexual partners
  • Men who have sex with men
  • unprotected sexual activity
  • pregnant females
  • You have ANY symptoms (even if they seem minor)


Over 50% Of All Gonorrhea Infections Don’t Show Any Visible Symptoms

It’s very common for individuals to have gonorrhea and be completely clueless to the fact that they have a highly contagious disease. For those that do show symptoms, you’ll normally notice them within 2-8 days of contracting gonorrhea, and you may experience one or more of the following…

  • Abnormal discharge from the penis or vagina
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Rectal pain or bleeding
  • Increased need to urinate
  • For women, bleeding after sex or between periods
  • For men, persistent itching at the opening of the penis or inside the urethra

Gonorrhea: Also Known As, The Silent STD!

Due to the fact that gonorrhea infections can show no symptoms, you could be infected and have no idea. Translate this to multiple sexual partners, the no symptom effect compounds the infection rate. Had many of these individuals known, they would be less likely to infect others knowingly. Instead, we have huge swaths of the population spreading it to each other simply because they don’t get tested.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) tend to cluster in geographically definable core areas, or risk spaces.(1–15) These core areas are often located in low socioeconomic status (SES) urban neighborhoods,(4, 7, 9, 16, 17) suggesting that socio-cultural determinants of health may influence the clustered spatial pattern observed for STIs.

Test kit example.
Test kit example.

Beyond the physical irritation, untreated gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in females as well as infertility. Because it’s bacterial it may spread to the bones, joints and is common to cause severe prostate issues for men.

If you’re sexually active in any way, and may have taken on more risk than you should’ve, it’s important to get tested immediately. Testing and treatment, (if you have a positive result) is the only way to prevent spreading gonorrhea to others and developing complications.

As these PHD’s argue, it is the very fact that lower income rural areas with both less access to testing and a limited network of partners makes gonnorhea that much more prevalent.

From the article "Are neighborhood socio-cultural factors influencing the spatial pattern of gonorrhea in North Carolina"
From the article “Are neighborhood socio-cultural factors influencing the spatial pattern of gonorrhea in North Carolina”

Rurality may influence STI transmission through the low density and availability of partners within a sexual network, as well as the culture and social norms around sex and relationships within a community. Rurality may also act as a proxy for low physician density, poor access to STI health services, or community racial/ethnic homogeneity and hence, partner STI prevalence.

Useful links

Fresno County Health Department
Fresno County STD Department

Gonorrhea Rate

Gonorrhea Rate 1941-2009
The rate of gonorrhea from 1941 – 2009.

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