Each year in the United States, approximately 700,000 people are infected with the STD, gonorrhea. In the United Kingdom, gonorrhea is the most common sexually transmitted disease. Gonorrhea is passed from person to person via semen and vaginal fluids during sexual contact. This is because the gonorrhea-causing bacterium, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, lives in the semen or vaginal fluid of an infected person. The highest rates of gonorrhea infection are among sexually active young women aged 16 to 19 and young men aged 20 to 24.
The Importance Of Prevention
Gonorrhea, when detected early enough, can be treated relatively easily with antibiotics. However, treating the problem after infection has already occurred is not an adequate solution. Gonorrhea itself has very unpleasant symptoms and can cause serious long-term health problems, including infertility, if left untreated. Given that gonorrhea is passed on when someone who is infected has sex without using a condom, it's clear that young people are exposing themselves to even more serious STDs, such as HIV, at the same time as they're contracting gonorrhea. Using a condom is therefore essential.
As mentioned above, using a condom to prevent all contact between bodily fluids will help to prevent gonorrhea transmission. This is not, however, the only solution...
Don't have sex - perhaps not a realistic option for some people, but abstaining from all sexual contact is the only surefire way of preventing gonorrhea infection. Even if you can't abstain forever, you could perhaps wait until you're in a relationship in which you feel comfortable asking your partner to join you in getting tested for STDs before having sex. If you partner ever begins to display STD symptoms, such as a rash or lumps in the genital area or pain when urinating, there's no question that you should abstain from sex until both of you have been tested for STDs and treated if necessary.
Consistent condom use - if you do want to have sex, use a condom every time you have sexual intercourse with a new partner. If you have a long-term partner but you haven't both been tested for STDs, you still need to use condoms all the time. In order to make condoms as an effective method of gonorrhea prevention, you must use them in every scenario in which your bodily fluids can come into contact with someone else's. This includes vaginal sex, oral sex, and anal sex. Specially-designed extra strong condoms for anal sex, and flavored condoms for oral sex, are available in pharmacies or from online stores.
Be careful when sharing sex toys - sex aids such as vibrators should be washed carefully with anti-bacterial soap when one person has finished using them. Either that or they should be covered with a condom and that condom should be changed before the toy is passed from one person to another. If this is not done, there's a chance that the gonorrhea bacterium could stay in the bodily fluids on the sex toy and infect the next person to use it.
Gonorrhea is transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids. You can't catch it from kissing someone, hugging someone, or sharing eating utensils (knives and forks) with them. Sitting on lavatory seats or visiting swimming pools or saunas also does not put you at increased risk of contracting gonorrhea.