And another one bites the dust. Well, maybe. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the only known treatment for Gonorrhea may soon be rendered useless to the evolving disease.
As we had mentioned before, Gonorrhea is unknowingly passed along through vaginal, anal and oral sex and affects approximately 700,000 people in the United States alone.
Women have a 60-80% chance of contracting gonorrhea after only one sexual encounter with a man who has it. Fifty percent of female carriers experience no symptoms which is how the disease can be spread so unknowingly.
If left untreated, this STI can trigger chronic pelvic pain, complications during pregnancy and even infertility in women.
You might be wondering, is Gonorrhea treatable? Well, for the past 10 years or so, North America has used antibiotics from the group cephalosporins. Specifically, they have used Cefixime (Suprex) which is taken orally in a single dose and Ceftriaxone which is an injection into the muscle.
Cefixime was the mainstream option for years because it was taken orally and tended to cure most uncomplicated forms of gonorrhea. Because of the frequency of cases and use of antibiotics, the germs have evolved by what scientists call “selective pressure” and better tolerate antibiotic therapy.
Ceftriaxone is the only remaining treatment for gonorrhea. The injection dosage has increased from 125mg to 250mg due to the increasing resistance of the gonoccocal bacteria.
This antibiotic resistance is highly concerning and a very serious public and medical problem. The most concerning part is, with no new antibiotics being developed there is a real threat of it turning into an national health epidemic.
Of course, the only way to truly prevent gonorrhea and any other STI is to not have sex. That being said, we realize how unrealistic that is. If abstinence is not your thing, be sure to use condoms every time and be sure to use them correctly. Yes, you can indeed use them wrong.
Here are a few quick tips for using condoms properly:
- Check the expiration date and be sure the packaging is intact
- Pinch the tip of the condom while unrolling it down the shaft.
- If the condom rolls back up, roll it back down immediately. If it falls off, use a new one.
- Never reuse condoms.
Though it may be awkward, having a conversation with your new partner about their previous sexual history may save you from contracting an unwanted disease or infection. It may also reassure you to have a conversation with your doctor, or trusted sexual health practitioner, and ask them is Gonorrhea treatable? However, from what we have read, researched, and heard, it may soon turn out not to be.
With that being said, your final line of prevention is to undergo annual check-ups to detect possible infections and to prevent you from passing them along.
So there it is. The cold, hard truth on the question: is Gonorrhea treatable. With evolving germs and antibiotic resistance, take responsibility and make smart decisions so you can enjoy a happy and healthy sexual life.
Of course, we want to hear from you. Do you find this news to be a cause for concern? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.