Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Picture of The Clap (Gonorrhea)

Picture of The Clap (Gonorrhea)

Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea. Although gonorrhea is known primarily as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is not exclusively so, but can also be transmitted to the newborn during the birthing process.

Contrary to popular belief, gonorrhea cannot be transmitted from toilet seats or door handles. The bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea requires very specific conditions to grow and to reproduce. It cannot live outside the body for more than a few minutes at most, nor can it live on the skin of the hands, arms, or legs. It survives only on moist surfaces within the body and is found most commonly in the vagina and, especially the cervix. The bacterium can also live in the urethra. Gonorrhea can even exist in the back of the throat (from oral-genital contact) and in the rectum.

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  Facts About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Text: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary by MedicineNet, Inc.