Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease of the female reproductive organs and is caused by the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. The disease can also show up in the anus, eyes, and throat. Any form of unprotected sexual contact can transmit the disease. That said, taking precautions during sex does not guarantee protection. Men can develop and spread gonorrhea but are often asymptomatic. In general, the symptoms of gonorrhea begin anywhere from two to 14 days after unprotected sexual contact with an infected person. In women, symptoms can be noticeable but not overbearing. People often go for weeks, months, and even years infected with gonorrhea without realizing it.
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In some cases, gonorrhea can lead to infections in the tissue of the joints that can become extremely painful if not treated. To test for the disease, doctors generally extract fluid from the affected joints and look for the bacteria. The results of such tests can be ready in as little as 72 hours. If you are sexually active, it is important to know the symptoms of gonorrhea and see a doctor if you think you are infected. While this condition can remain in the body for years without revealing itself, you do not want to infect others and avoid the health risks linked to long-term exposure to the bacteria.
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