SUPER gonorrhea has taken hold as seven new strains of the sexually transmitted infection (STI) emerged internationally, fuelling fears of an outbreak.
One of the largest impending threats that we are to face in the years to come is the widespread incursion of antibiotic-resistant sexually-transmitted bacteria. What this means is that the antibiotic medication, like amoxicillin and ampicillin, currently used to treat sexually transmitted bacterial infections will become redundant. This post helps you to better understand how antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise and the precautions that you can take to help prevent the progression of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Usually, sexually transmitted bacterial infections (STIs) are treated using antibiotics. Antibiotics, in the case of beta-lactams such as penicillin, function to either inhibit the growth or reproduction of bacteria by interfering with the building of bacterial cell walls. Antibiotic resistance is an issue that arises when either an individual with a bacterial infection is over-prescribed antibiotics or when an individual does not complete their allotted cycle of antibiotics. What occurs when you do not complete your cycle of antibiotics is that you may leave some of the bacteria alive. As a result, the surviving bacteria confer mutation induced resistance which enables future survival against the same type of antibiotic.
In current news, sexually transmitted bacteria that have been found to be antibiotic resistant to the penicillin family are new strains of gonorrhea. This is a major issue because it essentially means that there is no way the bacterial infection can be treated.
Gonorrhea is spread through all forms of sex and can leave women infertile if untreated. Worryingly the infection does not always cause symptoms – so it can regularly go untreated. Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina are the most common signs and it can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.
In cases of antibiotic resistance, doctors either prescribe a higher dosage or an alternative antibiotic drug that is derived from a differing drug family, such as vancomycin. What we can do to help prevent the progression of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is ensuring that we complete antibiotic cycles prescribed to us, even if the symptoms subside. Another preventative measure we can take is to avoid taking antibiotics unless deemed necessary. Why? Because we don’t want bacteria to be placed under conditions where they are forced to mutate and adapt.
To prevent sexually transmitted infections, either to yourself or others, it is best to practice safe sex, including using a condom or dental dam to ensure that you do not pass an infection on to your partner.
Help yourself and others by getting tested regularly if you are sexually active. Learn your STD status today! Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take control now.
Did you know that many STI's don't have symptoms? If left untreated they can seriously damage your fertility, health and life.
If you’re unsure what to do or if you’re worried about an STI, we’re here to help with safe and easy tests you can do at home.
Don’t risk your health!
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