Gonorrhea, sometimes called "the clap," is a very common bacterial sexually transmitted infection. Dr. Patel, what can you tell us about gonorrhea?
Well, Dr. Mayzik, anyone who is sexually active can be infected with gonorrhea, but the highest reported rates of infection are among teenagers, young adults, and African Americans.
The bacteria that cause gonorrhea target mucous membranes, which are the tissues that line internal organs and body cavities not covered by skin, such as the urethra, vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, uterus, anus, and rectum. A gonorrhea infection can also affect the eyes, mouth, and throat.
Gonorrhea can spread during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, when a mucous membrane comes into contact with the mucous membrane secretions or semen of an infected person. It can also be passed from an untreated mother to her baby during childbirth, which can lead to eye infections or pneumonia.