Gonorrhea is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria are sexually transmitted, and a person may contract gonorrhea during vaginal or anal sex. He may even contract an oral form of the disease through oral-to-genital contact. Sometimes the infection is also transmitted from a mother to her child. In such a case, the baby contracts gonorrhea as he moves through the vaginal canal during childbirth.
Unlike many other diseases, there is no long list of potential causes of gonorrhea. It is caused by bacteria and spread primarily through sexual contact with an infected person. The spread of the bacteria through vaginal intercourse is one of the primary causes of gonorrhea, but the disease is also spread through oral and anal sex. Regardless of whether the condition affects the vagina, penis, anus, or throat, its cause is the same: Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. Transmission from a mother to her child, which happens during childbirth, is a secondary method of spreading the bacteria.
Interestingly, women are more vulnerable to the causes of gonorrhea than men. A woman typically has more than twice the chance of contracting gonorrhea through sexual intercourse than a man does. This is a disturbing fact, as the symptoms of gonorrhea in a woman may be harder to recognize than those that affect a man. Some infected women do not develop symptoms at all. This may lead some women to go for an extended period of time without treatment, and the lack of treatment may contribute to health complications.
Gonorrhea isn't transmitted solely through sexual activity between heterosexual partners. People who have sex with same-sex partners are at risk as well. This is due to the fact that the bacteria that cause gonorrhea may infect more than just the genitals. They may also infect the throat and the anus.
Fortunately, gonorrhea can be cured. Usually, a person who has been infected with gonorrhea is given an injection of antibiotics to fight the bacteria. Sometimes, however, an oral antibiotic is used instead. Contracting gonorrhea does not create immunity to the causes of gonorrhea. A person who has been cured of the disease can contract it again.
Preventing gonorrhea means avoiding the bacteria that cause it. This can be achieved by using condoms and barriers during oral sex. Limiting sexual partners and insisting on sexually transmitted disease testing before sex with a new partner may help prevent the spread of the disease as well.