Gonorrhea is an infectious sexually transmitted disease. This disease involves the mucous

membranes of the urogenital tract. Gonorrhea is much more obvious in males because they

develop an acute discharge of pus from the urethra. Scarce when it starts, it becomes

thicker and heavier and causes frequent urination. When urination takes place, there will

be a burning sensation. If the prostate becomes infected, the passage of urine is partly

obstructed. In females the infection occurs in the urethra, the vagina, or the cervix.

Although discharge and irritation of the vaginal mucous membranes may be severe. Nearly

few or no early symptoms will appear. Gonorrhea is diagnosed by staining a smear of the

discharge to expose the bacteria. Treatment in the early stages is usually effective. If the

disease is untreated in the male, the early symptoms may subside, but the infection may

spread to the testicles causing sterility. In the untreated female the infection usually

spreads from the cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing pelvic inflammatory

disease. Severe pain may occur, or the infection may stay behind with few or no

symptoms. While doing this, it will be gradually damaging the tubes and leaving the

woman sterile. In both sexes the gonococcus may enter the bloodstream, resulting in

arthritis, heart inflammation, or other diseases. Gonorrhea in pregnant women may be

transmitted to the infant during birth and may, if untreated, cause a serious eye infection.

Penicillin is commonly used against gonorrhea, although over the years an increasing

number of penicillin resistant strains have been found. Other effective antibiotics are

tetracycline, spectinomycin, and the newer ones called cephalosporins. One antibiotic

called ceftriaxone can cure uncomplicated gonorrhea, including infections resistant to

penicillin, with a single injection. Gonorrhea increased greatly in the U.S. almost reaching

epidemic proportions in adolescents and young adults. In most large cities clinics have

been established where young people can get treatment. One of the most difficult tasks in

controlling gonorrhea is locating all recent sexual s of an infected person in order

to prevent further spread of the disease.

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