While gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that carries serious health risks as well as painful and dangerous symptoms, people who’ve contracted the infection have, up until now, been able to rely on the fact that it is treatable with the use of antibiotics. With cases of “super gonorrhea” that have recently appeared, however, the infection is becoming more and more resistant to treatment.
There have been several cases in the United Kingdom of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, and there is a risk of gonorrhea becoming an untreatable condition. If this happens, then a reasonable portion of the population will be at risk for serious long-term symptoms, including infertility and even life-threatening complications.
CNBC reports that some medical professionals have suggested that doctors prescribing ciprofloxacin, an outdated drug, to treat gonorrhea has led to an increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria. Furthermore, when people do not take prescriptions as instructed, or when people finish taking antibiotics early before they are all gone because symptoms have ended, their failure to properly complete their antibiotics can lead to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
To help prevent the rise of super gonorrhea, patients can make sure that they take their prescriptions properly and completely, without stopping early, even if symptoms appear to be gone. Doctors also have a role to play by making sure their prescription practices are up to date.
Finally, as with any STI, safer sex practices can help reduce the spread of gonorrhea. This includes the use of condoms, even during oral sex, as oral sex is one of the common ways in which gonorrhea is transmitted.