Gonorrhea is a bacteria that is transmitted through the mucous membranes or through bodily fluids that come in contact with mucous membranes. About 2,700 cases of gonorrhea are diagnosed in Sweden every year (2018). More than half of the reported cases regard transmissions between men who have sex with men. Recently the number of cases of gonorrhea has increased dramatically in Sweden. Between 2016 and 2017 there was a 42 % increase in the number of cases.
Gonorrhea is easily transmitted through anal and vaginal intercourse and can affect the genitals, anus, eyes or throat. Wearing a condom is the easiest way of reducing the risk of transmitting gonorrhea, or having sex without intercourse.
Gonorrhea can be transmitted through oral sex, so a condom can be used to reduce the risk as both the giver and receiver can potentially contract gonorrhea.
Some people with gonorrhea are asymptomatic, however, symptoms usually appear within 2-10 days and include painful urination. Anal infections can lead to pain and anal bleeding. Gonorrhea of the throat is usually asymptomatic.
A cotton swab test is taken from the throat, cervix, anus, and inside the eyelid. Gonorrhea of the urinary tract can be tested through a urine sample, but must be followed up with a cotton swab test, if it is positive.
Gonorrhea is treated with a one time dose of antibiotics administered by injection, or as oral antibiotics. Treatment resistant types of gonorrhea are an increasing problem, so treatment is always followed up.
Good to Know
Gonorrhea increases the risk of contracting HIV and other STIs. It can also damage the Fallopian tubes and the epididymis which can impact the ability to conceive children.
Gonorrhea is a rare sexually transmitted infection, but it is more common in men who have sex with men, especially men who live with HIV. It is included in the Communicable Diseases Act, which means that if you have gonorrhea, you must trace who might have transmitted it to you and to whom you might have transmitted it.