Anyone who’s sexually active can get it, but what is gonorrhea? Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae*, also charmingly known as the drip or the clap (read more: What is the clap and why you should care). Although it’s one of the most common STDs, gonorrhea keeps a low profile, commonly symptomless for weeks after infection. But even without symptoms, it’s a real party pooper.
Symptoms of gonorrhea – or lack thereof
Gonorrhea has an incubation period of about two to six days, but it can take as long as 30 days before symptoms pop up. Most people who are infected with gonorrhea don’t notice immediately. When symptoms are present, they typically include itching, swelling, redness, smelly discharge, tenderness, urge to urinate, and a general discomfort in the affected area.
These symptoms may be minor and easy to ignore in some cases, but diagnosis and treatment is important. If left untreated, a gonorrheal infection can permanently damage reproductive organs and even result in sterility.
The doom of date night
If the burning, itching, and potential inability to reproduce wasn’t consequential enough, gonorrhea is a massacre on your mojo. Discomfort and embarrassment from a VD puts sexy-time on a time out. While you’re left with a burning in your loins, your honey may be feeling responsible for your lack of interest in them–and this damage, too, may be permanent.
You might need to delete your Tinder and cancel your Netflix-and-chill appointment with the cute person next door. Itching, tenderness, and odor are not a welcomed post-coital gift. We’d suggest flowers or breakfast in bed instead.
Make it stop
Because it’s frequently confused with other conditions (like urinary tract infections) or because it can go undetected in the first weeks of infection, gonorrhea is easily spread unknowingly between partners. The good news is that you can treat even the most aggravating gonorrheal infection with a simple course of antibiotics.*
You may have gonorrhea and not even know it.
Silent saboteurs like gonorrhea are perfect evidence of why it’s a good idea to periodically do an STD test, even if you have no symptoms. Apart from spreading this mysterious microbe, it may actually be harming your body irreversibly.
Use a home STD testing kit to get answers fast and protect yourself and your love life.
For your reference: