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Gonorrhea and Chlamydia – What Does That Even Mean?

 

You’ve heard of the different types of STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, but symptoms for one STD may be confused for another or symptoms may not appear at all. With more than half of the population experiencing an STD in their lifetime and 1 in 5 women between the ages of 15-24 having an STD, it is important to receive STD testing if you think you may have been exposed to an infection. At The HOPE Center, we offer FREE STD Testing two of the most common STDs: gonorrhea and chlamydia. But what does that mean?

Gonorrhea


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that can infect both men and women, but it is more common among young people ages 15-24. Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium that easily grows and multiplies in warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract such as the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and the urethra; the bacteria can grow in the mouth, throat, and anus as well.

Women with gonorrhea often do not experience any symptoms – some symptoms may be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection. For example, women with gonorrhea may experience greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina and mistake those symptoms for a yeast infection. Other symptoms include lower abdominal pain, a burning feeling when urinating, itchy and red eyes, bleeding between periods, or spotting after intercourse. Symptoms typically occur within 2 to 10 days and sometimes up to 30 days after contact, so it is best to get tested as early as possible to begin treatment.

While the best way to avoid gonorrhea is to avoid vaginal, anal, or oral sex with an infected partner, that is not always realistic. Using proper protection with latex condoms or having a long-term monogamous relationship with an STD free partner can help prevent STDs.

Chlamydia


Chlamydia is another common STD that can infect both men and women and is caused by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has chlamydia. If left untreated, this STD can cause permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive organs, resulting in difficulties with pregnancy or even making it impossible to get pregnant when you wish. Since sexually active people younger than 25 are at a higher risk for chlamydia, you should get tested every year for chlamydia to protect your sexual health.

Like gonorrhea, symptoms are not always apparent and can be mistaken for other infections or diseases. However, symptoms that are apparent become noticeable within one to three weeks of contact. Symptoms include abnormal vaginal discharge that may have an odor, painful periods, bleeding between periods, abdominal pain combined with a fever, pain during sex, itching or burning in or around the vagina, or pain when urinating.

While no one wants an STD, do not panic if you think you have contracted one: both chlamydia and gonorrhea are curable. It is better to get tested and begin treatment instead of ignoring symptoms, potentially causing harm to your body, or spreading an STD to others. Often times, the infection can be cleared up within a week or two when taking the proper prescription.

If you are sexually active and have never received STD testing or think you may have an STD, The HOPE Center offers FREE STD testing that is painless and confidential. We are here to provide answers as well as support, so please feel free to call us at 770.924.0864 or email us info@hopectr.com.

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  • Anna Muller – Nurse Manager

    Anna Muller - Nurse Manager

    I am so glad you are here. My name is Anna Muller, and I am the Nurse Manager at The HOPE Center. I love working at The HOPE Center and meeting all of the wonderful women and families that visit our clinic.