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SAI Information - What is Gonorrhea? (Localised information)

What is Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is one of the most common SAI’s in Malta. This infection can reside in different parts of the body. It is highly contagious and long term repercussions can be seen in untreated /undiagnosed infections. Untreated Gonorrhea has been listed as placing a higher risk in encountering HIV.

Maltese Incidence Rate: In the report produced by the Maltese Authorities (IDCU) in 2015 there were 66 cases reported of which more than half were man. Statistics for 2016 are not yet published.

Risk factors for Gonorrhea:

1. Being Uncut - The foreskin provides a moist environment to harvest bacteria rendering oral sex and unprotected oral sex an opportunity to transmit and acquire bacteria accordingly.

2. Having lowered immunity – Having a weak immune system will put you at higher risk to encounter any disease.

3. Unprotected sexual practices – As the name implies, physical protection during any kind of sexual activity is suggested in order to reduce the risk of contracting any SAI.

How do I know, if I have Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea in men is easy to identify. Most commonly men will have painful urination, white orgreenish discharge and a permanent foully smell. Rectal gonorrhoea shows no external signs hence it is important to have your rectum screened if you receive oral sex in the rectal area (rimming) or have passive penetrative anal sex (bottoming).

The extended symptoms of rectal gonorrhoea may result in hospitalisation due to prominent abdominal pain, diarrhea or peritonitis (a very painful and life threatening infection of the sack holding your intestines).

Oral gonorrhoea, has no visible symptoms but a sore throat that will be longstanding even after multiple treatments with antibiotics. This may result in upper respiratory tract infections if untreated cause problems with breathing or a long standing cough. If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms, kindly refer to the GU clinic in Mater Dei.

Testing for Gonorrhea:

Testing involves swabs and a urine sample. It is important to withhold from urinating for 4 hours prior the examination.

This SAI does not commonly require other samples, but since it doesn’t present itself alone your practitioner might screen you for Syphilis and Chlamydia.

Treatment for Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea is treatable though multiple strains are currently available. The common infection will ultimately be resolved by means of an injection and two tablets. If you are allergic to any kind of antibiotics, please inform your practitioner beforehand. MDR Gonorrhea aka Super Gonorrhea is more difficult to treat due to the treatment resistant property of the bacteria. Currently there is NO treatment on the market that shows effectiveness in resolving the infection.

I tested positive for Gonorrhea and had my treatment, when can I have sex again ?

The evidence shows that a period of abstinence is suggest. This period varies according to the treatment prescribed hence it would be ideal to refer to your nurse or consultant within the clinic.

How to stay Gonorrhea Free?

There is only one tool in doing so, use a condom ! We know, eating a banana with the cover may change the taste but the cover will protect you during oral sex!

Penetrative intercourse requires the use of Condoms in order to be protected from Gonorrhea and other SAI’s.

If you have any questions that you would like to clarify Please contact the GU Clinic on 22987115 For testing appointment call on 21227981

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