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Sexually Transmitted Diseases Gonorrhea Gonorrhea is an infectious sexually transmitted disease that is spread by the sexual contact of humans Characterized by a discharge of pus it is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae a gonococcus bacterium It primarily involves the mucous membranes of the urogenital tract and affects mostly the moist surfaces of the human sex organs However other parts of the body can become infected if the bacteria comes into direct contact with them The incubation period is two to ten days In males the most common point of infection is just within the tip of the penis After the two to ten days after infection most men will develop a discharge of pus from the urethra of the penis and will experience a burning sensation when urinating Acute at the start it will become progressively thicker and heavier and will cause more frequent urination and a stronger burning sensation Should the prostate become infected the passage of urine is partly obstructed Some men however become infected without developing any symptoms In females the infection can occur in the urethra or vagina But most often the infection starts in the cervix the lower part of the womb Although discharge and irritation of the vaginal mucous membranes may be quite severe only about half of all infected woman develop no symptoms Gonorrhea is especially serious for women because it can spread through the female reproductive organs particularly the uterus and fallopian tubes causing pelvic inflammatory disease Severe pain may occur or the infection may linger with few or no symptoms gradually damaging tubes and rendering the woman sterile The bacteria may also transfer from an infected woman during the birth process and be picked up by the newborn baby
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