Here’s What Happens if Gonorrhea is Left Untreated

As repugnant as STDs are, ignoring them is the worst thing any sexually active person can do. That’s because untreated STDs can lead to a host of problems –– most of which are avoidable with early diagnosis and treatment. Indeed, though STDs are a major problem in this country, they are –– in many instances –– manageable. However, if you don’t get tested or seek treatment, STDs become much more dangerous. To underline that point, today we’ll take a look at what happens if gonorrhea is left untreated. Plus, we’ll explain how you can avoid these STD worst-case scenarios in the future:

Signs & Symptoms of Gonorrhea

Though reported cases of STDs have hit record highs in recent years, relatively few people realize they have one. And in many cases, gonorrhea remains asymptomatic. Or if symptoms do occur, they could be mild. On the other hand, some people may experience a variety of symptoms including:

  • Discharge from the genitals
  • Pain during urination
  • Blood in between menstrual periods
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Sore throat

Since gonorrhea appears in such low-key ways (or not at all), it’s easy to see why those infected might not feel the need to seek out testing or treatment options. Unfortunately, gonorrhea is a problematic disease, and as we’ll explain below, presents real problems if ignored.

Gonorrhea Worst-Case Scenarios

Gonorrhea can cause infertility in both men and women. For men, gonorrhea is linked to epididymitis, which is a painful inflammation of the testicles. Sometimes, untreated cases of epididymitis will leave patients infertile. Similarly, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which may damage the fallopian tubes and make pregnancy impossible.

In addition, women who are already pregnant can spread gonorrhea to their newborns during birth. Infants born with gonorrhea may be blind, or experience potentially fatal joint and blood infections. In very rare instances, gonorrhea may spread to the joints or blood of grown individuals as well. Lastly, people who have gonorrhea are at a higher risk of getting HIV.

Gonorrhea Prevention and Treatment

Gonorrhea spreads through sexual contact. So if you’ve had oral, anal, or vaginal sex, then you could contract gonorrhea. In particular, unprotected sex increases the risk of gonorrhea transmission. Fortunately, gonorrhea is a bacterial disease that is curable. Normally, a simple administration of antibiotics will eliminate the disease completely. Note though, you can get gonorrhea more than once.

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