Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhea. This bacterium grows in areas around the body that are normally moist. This includes the penis, vagina, eyes, throat and rectum. One of the key symptoms of gonorrhea is increased discharge that comes from the vagina or penis, and painful urinating. But can you get gonorrhea from activities such as drinking after someone?
Can You Get Gonorrhea from Drinking After Someone?
No, you can’t. The question comes from the fear that you might contract this disease by coming into contact with saliva from an infected person. The truth is that gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease that is only passed on through having unprotected sex. You can share drinks, kiss and even use a public bathroom without the fear of contracting gonorrhea. For transmission to take place, semen or vaginal fluids containing gonorrhea must be passed from one person to another. This means that the infection can be transmitted through oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
Oral gonorrhea, also referred to as pharyngeal gonorrhea, is a type of gonorrhea that infects the pharynx. You can get infected if you come into direct contact with the white/yellowish pus-like discharge containing the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium from your sexual partner when engaging in oral sex. The pus/discharge is formed when the bacterium inflames the local tissue. When your oral mucus membranes come into contact with seminal and vaginal fluids or the mucus membranes near the anus and rectum of an infected person, you are likely to get infected. The discharge is not always visible so you may miss it and assume your partner is healthy.
After oral contact with the bacteria, it goes ahead and establishes itself in your pharynx. It is sometimes not possible to detect the onset of the infection as it comes with no symptoms. Nevertheless, you may get the odd sore throat or discomfort while swallowing. After some time your will experience the symptoms of strep throat with some red and occasionally white spots. You may also have some yellow/whitish discharge. Oral gonorrhea is more prevalent in people who perform fellatio (oral stimulation of the penis) than in those who perform cunnilingus (oral stimulation of the clitoris and vagina).
What Are the Risk Factors of Contracting Gonorrhea?
Despite the negative answer to the question “can you get gonorrhea from drinking after someone”, some conditions do increase your likelihood of contracting this kind of STD. Below are some of the risk factors associated with gonorrhea:
- If you have multiple sexual partners.
- If you get a new sex partner.
- If you suffer from other STDs.
- If you have previously been diagnosed with gonorrhea.
- If you are of a young age.
How Do I Know If I Get Gonorrhea?
If you experience symptoms such as painful or swollen testicles (in men), or spotting between periods (in women), you should consider getting tested by your doctor.
Gonorrhea can be diagnosed by a medical professional in several ways. The first method involves taking a sample of your vaginal or penile discharge and placing it on a glass slide. A stain is added to the sample and examined under a microscope. If the discharge sample reacts with the stain, then there is a high likelihood of having been infected with gonorrhea. While this method is easy, it is not conclusive. More tests might be needed for clarification.
The second method entails taking the discharge sample and placing it on a petri dish. It is then incubated for several days under ideal conditions for bacteria growth. After a few days, a colony of Neisseria gonorrhea will have grown in it if the patient’s be infected.
So if you are still wondering “can you get gonorrhea from drinking after someone”, you can ask your doctor to perform the test. Initial results should be ready within 24 hours. It would take up to 3 days for the final result. The sample can be taken from the vagina, penis, anus, joint fluid or blood. Joint fluid or blood can be obtained with a needle while a swab can be used for the rest of the sites.
Can Gonorrhea Be Prevented?
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent yourself against gonorrhea:
- Have your partner tested for STDs – You should find out whether your sexual partner has taken a test for STDs. If not, take the tests together as opposed to forcing them to take one.
- Avoid having sex with someone who exhibits symptoms of gonorrhea – be on the lookout for symptoms of gonorrhea in your partner. This includes genital rash or sores and a burning sensation during urination.
- Practice safe sex – Use a condom during sex or abstain from it completely. Abstinence is the best way to avoid gonorrhea.
- Get tested regularly if you’re a high–risk individual – If you have any of the risk factors named above, you need to get screened regularly by your doctor. This is especially so if you have had gonorrhea or other STDs in the past.