It’s that time, Fangirls! Time to enlighten ourselves about STDs and how they seem so big, bad, and ugly but that we can fight them with the power of awareness. And how we try to make talking about them not so lame or scary or like we’re sitting in a high school health class. Huzzah! Have no fear of the Clap!
Gonorrhea (the Clap) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States, and like any infection can lead to some very unpleasant things, but that is no reason to be afraid of it. If you pride yourself on being safe with sex, gonorrhea is no match for a Fangirl like you. However if you’re not, or for whatever reason can’t help it, have no fear. When detected early enough, gonorrhea is easily treatable and will not ruin your sex life or normal life or anything. Gonorrhea, like all STDs, is not a death sentence and there’s no need to worry.
But first, what is gonorrhea? Well, gonorrhea is a infection spread through a bacteria during sex play. If the bacteria is present on an area you’re having sexual contact with, you could be infected. It can the vagina, the cervix, the penis, the urethra or the throat. Unfortunately, like a lot of it’s STD friends, gonorrhea often has no symptoms at all, which makes it tough to detect sometimes. Again, like many sexual infections, women will usually show the least amount of symptoms. If symptoms do show, it can be from 1-14 days or more after being infected. Women who are infected may experience abdominal pain, spotting, fever, painful intercourse & urination, swelling of the vulva, vomiting, yellowish discharge, or the urge to pee more often. For men, symptoms may be discharge from the penis, pain or burning during urination, or more frequent urination. Both men & women may experience painful bowel movements, or an itchy anus. If it’s an oral infection, people may have itching & soreness of the throat, though 9 out of 10 oral infections show no symptoms. Unfortunately, the complications caused by gonorrhea don’t really end there. However, that’s if you don’t detect it, or ignore your infection. Gonorrhea is very easily treated and can clear up rather quickly by way of simple antibiotics. People who are diagnosed with gonorrhea are often diagnosed with chlamydia as well, due to the similar bacterial infection. So, a doctor may prescribe medication for both at once. If you don’t treat your infection, gonorrhea can lead to a lot of further health problems. In men, the infection can spread to the testicles and cause infertility. In women, infertility can also be caused by the infection spreading to the rest of the reproductive system like the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. This leads to what is called Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and can directly effect the ability to become pregnant. Also, more rarely, a spread of the gonorrhea infection can lead to arthritis. Luckily, all of that tough stuff can be avoided by getting tested if you suspect infection, getting it easily treated, and by having an open conversation with a partner about status.
Gonorrhea, and other seemingly spooky STDs, is nothing that should keep your from having a happy sex life, whether you have it or not. It shouldn’t scare you into not having sex, and if you are to contract it, it shouldn’t make you think something is wrong with you, your sexy parts, or the sex you have. Act on knowledge while having sex to help prevent it, and act on knowledge when it comes to treat it if you’re to catch the infection. Have no fear, Fangirls, you hold the power over your body and your sex. Yay!
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