It is estimated that more than 700,000 people in the United States get a new gonorrheal infection every year. Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, can be spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, and anus. Besides being spread through sexual contact with an infected partner, the disease can also be transmitted from mother to baby during vaginal delivery. Babies who get gonorrhea during childbirth can develop joint infections, blindness, or a life-threatening blood infection.
Symptoms of gonorrhea generally appear within 2 to 10 days after sexual contact with an infected person. Some common symptoms in men include swollen testicles; burning sensations during urination; and white, yellow, or green pus from the penis accompanied by pain. Gonorrhea symptoms in women can include yellow or bloody vaginal discharge, bleeding associated with vaginal intercourse, and cramps and pain. A rectal infection with gonorrhea can also cause rectal discharge; anal itching; and occasional, painful bowel movements with fresh blood in the feces.
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