Gonorrhea May Soon Be Resistant To Antibiotics

As if you needed another reason to use a condom.

A recent study published by the The Center For Disease Control (CDC) found that gonorrhea may soon become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to fight it.

Gonorrhea is a pretty treatable STD. Most women do not experience symptoms, but if they are left untreated, it can cause infertility and chronic pelvic pain. For now, treatment is easy: you take two antibiotics – azithromycin and ceftriaxone – and you are good to go.

The study, which was released on Thursday, “showed rises in the percentage of gonorrhea samples that were resistant to one or the other drug in 2014.” The CDC examined over 5,000 instances of gonorrhea and found an increase in drug-resistant strains.

The percentage of azithromycin-resistant cultures rose from 0.6 percent in 2013 to 2.5 percent in 2014. The ceftriaxone-resistant strains doubled, moving from 0.4 percent in 2013 to 0.8 percent in 2014.

While the percentages are low, Dr. Robert Kirkcaldy, the author of the study, said “the potential for untreatable gonorrhea is a very real possibility in the future.”

It is only natural that bacteria mutate to resist antibiotics. However, what separates gonorrhea from other bacteria, according to Dr. Kirkcaldy, is that it becomes resistant to antibiotics, like penicillin, which is used as an effective treatment against the STD.

“We think…its a matter of when and not if with resistance, Dr. Kirkcaldy explained to STAT. “This bug is so smart and can mutate so rapidly.”

So what can you do in the meantime? Get tested often and use condoms.

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