Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that takes the form of a bacterial infection. While it is treatable, it can become so serious that it can cause infertility. Gonorrhea spreads through close sexual contact, with an estimated 3 million cases each year in the United States. It's easy to overlook symptoms of gonorrhea until they become very severe. Treating gonorrhea is most successful when you catch it in its earliest stages.

Thick Discharge

One of the most obvious symptoms of gonorrhea is a thick discharge from the penis or the vagina. Depending upon how far the bacterial infection has progressed, the discharge may contain blood. It might also take on a cloudy appearance. This is often the first warning sign that the sufferer could, in fact, have a sexually transmitted disease. Always be sure to see a physician as soon as possible to determine the cause of these symptoms.

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Painful Urination

Painful urination can be another symptom of gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. If it occurs along with discharge from the vagina or the penis, it points in the direction of gonorrhea. Urination may also become more and more frequent, often paired with the intense need to go right away. This symptom can come and go in waves, depending upon the level of bacteria in the body.

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Heavy Menstruation

Heavy menstruation on more than one occasion can also be a symptom of gonorrhea. Many women experience heavy flow days, but with gonorrhea, heavy menstruation becomes the norm. Bleeding between periods may also occur, along with heavier cramping than normal or expected. This can vary between women, as that each woman's cycle is different. This symptom is easy to confuse with pregnancy or reproductive issues.

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Painful Testicles

Gonorrhea can also cause pain that radiates from the testicles, which is known as epididymitis. This pain can range from a dull aching to a severe stabbing. Many also describe it as a burning sensation. Bacteria causes the inflammation, which in turn causes the pain. A higher level of bacteria produces more intense, prolonged pain. Medications can help with this symptom, which typically lessens as antibiotics begin to fight the infection and inflammation.

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Anal Itching

The bacterial infection that causes gonorrhea can spread to the throat, the genitals and the rectum. It can also provoke anal itching. Soothe this symptom with over-the-counter medications, topical creams, and ointments. Many people with gonorrhea confuse this symptom with simple hemorrhoids. Seek assistance from a medical professional so to receive the appropriate tests.

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Unusual Bowel Movements

Due to the growth of the bacteria, gonorrhea can also create painful or bloody bowel movements. The frequency of bowel movements may also change. Pain can be anywhere from mild to severe, usually depending on the progression of the disease. A doctor can easily prescribe medication to treat this symptom. Supplements can be helpful to control irregularity.

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Pain During Intercourse

Pain is a big symptom of gonorrhea, especially when it comes to matters related to sexual intercourse. Due to the nature of the bacterial infection, gonorrhea can create swelling. Sometimes intimate areas can be painful to the touch. The friction created during intercourse can be very painful to both men and women. As antibiotics begin to work, many of the symptoms subside, making it easier to go back to a normal routine.

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A Sore Throat

Gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral sex acts. A sore throat is, therefore, another common symptom of this painful sexually transmitted disease. This infection can grow in the throat. When it does, it creates a consistent soreness that is not associated with any other common cold or flu-like symptoms. While over-the-counter medications can't treat this particular symptom, they can sometimes help to ease the pain and the discomfort.

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As with any infection, gonorrhea can also cause a fever. Several of the symptoms of gonorrhea are similar to those of a common cold or the flu. See a physician immediately if you notice that you are experiencing two or three of these early warning signs. You must take antibiotics to fight off the infection, as this disease becomes more dangerous when it enters the bloodstream.

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No Noticeable Symptoms

The most dangerous of the many symptoms of gonorrhea is the complete lack of noticeable symptoms. This can occur with both men and women, although it occurs more often in men. The danger occurs when the infected person continues life as usual. Without realizing they're infected, they could be infecting other people. Use protection during sex at all times to help prevent spreading or contracting this serious, sometimes life-threatening infection.

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