We’ve probably all heard of gonorrhea before, but have you heard of super gonorrhea? Today we’re taking a look at this dangerous new strain of gonorrhea that’s taking the globe by storm.
The World Health Organization recently reported that gonorrhea has been growing more resilient to the antibiotics that are usually used to eradicate it. This new “super gonorrhea” is much harder to stop. In some severe cases, it is incurable.
What is Super Gonorrhea?
“Super” isn’t a word that most of us would connect to a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Then again, gonorrhea is no stranger to nicknames. “The clap” is already a term that many people use to describe this STI. (“Super Clap” hasn’t caught on yet, but give it time.)
Super gonorrhea isn’t any run-of-the-mill version of “the clap.” Most bacteria will eventually evolve, developing resistances against specific antibiotics over time. The thing that makes this particular STI so scary is that the bacteria is already fiercely resistant against most of antibiotics we typically use to fight it.
The Symptoms of “Regular” and Super Gonorrhea
Unfortunately, the usual signs and symptoms of gonorrhea can be difficult to notice. In many cases of genital-based gonorrhea, there may not even be any symptoms.
For cases that do show physical signs, here is what to look for:
- An Abnormal discharge
- An urge to urinate
While gonorrhea is one of the most common STIs, it isn’t without danger. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to infertility and sterility. For women, it can result in pelvic inflammatory disease and can even be passed on to a child during pregnancy.
How Did Super Gonorrhea Become So Powerful?
Your genitals aren’t the only place you might “catch the clap.” A lot of people don’t realize gonorrhea, in addition to the genitals, can infect the rectum and the throat as well. Health officials are most concerned about the last one. Unprotected oral sex is one of the key suspected reasons why we’re facing this new super gonorrhea.
Through unprotected oral sex, any of us can transmit both regular gonorrhea and super gonorrhea from our genitals to a partner’s throat. Obviously, this works vice versa as well. Too many of us forget that oral sex is still sex. It’s not safe unless you’re using a condom. Even then, nothing is guaranteed. Certain STIs can still be passed back and forth through areas of the body that are not covered by the condom.
Many of us won’t realize that we have oral gonorrhea either. For most oral infections, there won’t be any easily recognizable symptoms. In cases of gonorrhea in the throat that do present symptoms, they’re usually limited to “having mild difficulty while swallowing.”
In other words, you might easily mistake a case of oral super gonorrhea for a common sore throat.
That’s where the problems start. Due to the similarities to other throat infections, you and your doctor may be fooled. Unless you’re specifically testing for oral gonorrhea, you may be prescribed antibiotics to fight strep throat. This, of course, will not stop gonorrhea. In fact, it will even strengthen the STI. Now your undetected, now-antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea can then be passed to your partner. And so on.
Help is on The Way!
Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with plenty of external researchers are working on this growing problem. The bacteria that causes super gonorrhea isn’t resistant to everything just yet. Odds are that we’ll have some powerful new antibiotics and treatments soon.
In the meantime, and even then, it is up to us to take control of our own sexual health. Extragenital testing is designed to find infections that are easily missed via the traditional, genital-only exams. For this reason, myLAB Box offers both traditional and extragenital at-home testing options as well as the genital-only option.
Now that you understand the various ways that gonorrhea and super gonorrhea can accidentally spread, tell your friends and family members! The sooner we tackle this “super” problem, the better.
Safe sex is always a smart idea, but the very best protection is regular testing. Sticking to a schedule of routine STI treatment is the key to fighting back. By knowing your status, you’ll always be one step ahead of any lurking infections.
Screening with myLAB Box’s home testing kits keeps you and your partners safe and healthy without ever needing to leave the comfort of home.