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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the transmission of a bacteria. Like many other STDs, gonorrhea can hide from the immune system and an infected person can remain infected indefinitely, although the person may not always be contagious. In addition, the consequences of being infected by gonorrhea are less serious than those caused by syphilis, although the disease can cause sterility if untreated.

Unlike the syphilis bacteria, gonorrhea is unable to penetrate the skin, so must attack weaker tissues, generally the urethra in males and the cervix in females.

Once the infection sets in, it causes the membranes around the urethra to hemorrhage, causing a burning sensation when urinating. In addition, if untreated, pus will start to accumulate and leak from the penis. Females are often completely asymptomatic as the sores only affect the interior surfaces of the reproductive system, but do suffer from vaginal discharge or pelvic pain in most cases.

Gonorrhea has become resistant to many of the antibiotics formerly used to treat it, and ceftriaxone is the current drug of choice as most cases respond to it.

Gonorrhea at NIH

Gonorrhea at Wikipedia

Gonorrhea at the Mayo Clinic

Gonorrhea website