Gonorrhea (gonococcal infection) is one of the most contagious sexually transmitted infections, and it can result in serious complications. It may even lead to infertility, if not treated in time. Gonococcus (bacteria that cause gonorrhea) cause infertility in women by spreading into and damaging fallopian tubes through the cervix. It can also make men infertile by damaging the epididymis.
Gonorrhea and Infertility in Women
If the gonococcal infection spreads to the mucosa of the fallopian tube and remains undetected for too long, it can cause scarring there. This may eventually lead to the formation of cysts, and egg will not be able to pass through. If the fallopian tube is damaged, the woman will be sterile, in other cases, it will lead to a significantly elevated risk of ectopic pregnancy when the egg fails to come down in the uterus and attaches itself outside. This could be potentially fatal and is a very serious condition that requires immediate treatment (surgery).
Gonorrhea and Infertility in Men
For men, the likelihood of becoming infertile due to gonorrhea is lower, because gonorrhea usually causes early and clear symptoms, such as pus and discharge from the penis. However, men should still be very cautious, since the bacteria can cause irreparable damage to the vas deferens and epididymis if the disease is not treated in time.
Young women are at high risk for gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. The reason for this is that young people change partners more often and practice unprotected sex more often. Young men are often too hesitant to be tested because they feel stigmatized or shunned.
It is recommended that parents should be very open about sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, and tests with their children. One should take a test for several sexually transmitted diseases at the same time because there is a high probability that you get several infections simultaneously.
Who Should Take the Gonorrhea Test?
If you belong to one of the risk groups, it is important that you get tested regularly, so that you avoid serious complications of gonorrhea. You belong to a risk group if:
- You are 15-25 years of age.
- Change sex partners frequently.
- Have/have had a partner with a sexually transmitted infection.
- Have had a sexually transmitted infection earlier.
- You are pregnant or planning to conceive.
- You are a homosexual male.
- You have had sex with a prostitute.
- You have had sex with women from countries outside of Europe.
- You are practicing unprotected sex.
- You have symptoms of gonorrhea or another sexually transmitted infection.
It is important that you get tested regularly. A test kit for gonorrhea is the solution you need if you have no symptoms, but just want to do a screening regularly for the disease, so you are always safe. These tests are easy to use at home. In addition, they are recommended by the WHO (World Health Organisation), as an effective means to combat the most common sexually transmitted infections.