Gonorrhea can be asymptomatic, but when symptoms do appear, they’re often uncomfortable and embarrassing. Fortunately, it is preventable, as long as certain precautionary practices are followed, such as:1
Getting Regular Testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually active men and women are recommended to undergo testing for STDs annually. This helps prevent the spread of the infection unknowingly, especially to those who have a new partner or multiple partners.
Ask your partner to undergo testing as well so that if he or she has contracted gonorrhea unknowingly, the infection won’t spread.
Practicing Safe Sex
Asking your male partner to use condoms is one of the best ways to avoid getting gonorrhea. This will also prevent you from getting other forms of STDs or having an unplanned pregnancy.
Refusing Sex From Someone Who Has Symptoms
Not Sharing Sex Toys
If you and your partner incorporate sex toys in your relationship, do not share them as they can become carriers of gonorrhea-causing bacteria. Thoroughly clean and/or cover them with a condom before using to lower your chances of spreading an infection.2
Confirming That the Infection Has Been Cured
If you’re currently undergoing treatment for gonorrhea, strictly follow your doctor’s treatment until the program is finished. After one week, return to your doctor to undergo another test to check if bacteria are still in your system.
Having your doctor confirm you’re cleared of gonorrhea is the last step before having sex again, because there’s a possibility the treatment didn’t work and gonococcal bacteria are still inside you.
Using Ointment on Newborns
Mothers who have gonorrhea will need to get their newborns checked for possible infections. Infants may contract the bacteria as they exit the womb, so an infant-friendly ointment must be used on their eyes.
A Nutritious Diet May Help Prevent Gonorrhea
Your diet plays a big role in preventing gonorrhea. A weak immune system can basically allow gonorrhea to spread unchecked. Try to incorporate these three important nutrients into your diet to boost your defense against gonorrhea:3
•Vitamin C: This vitamin is one of the most essential antioxidants that can help prevent various diseases and boost your immune system. Fruit sources of this nutrient include orange, lemon and grapefruit. For vegetables, you have eggplant, carrot and lettuce.
•Vitamin A: This vitamin is fat-soluble, which means it’s stored in your liver for longer periods of time compared to water-soluble vitamins. It has several important functions, such as helping improve tissue repair, good vision and most importantly, keeping your skin and mucous membranes healthy. Apple, avocado, banana, garlic, asparagus and cucumber are good vitamin A sources.
•Zinc: This mineral is important to help absorb vitamin A effectively. You can get zinc from foods such as onion, almond, peach, radish and cashew.