Statistics show that in 2015 there were just 208 gonorrhea infections, but by 2017 the number had climbed to 595 cases.
THL says there are several reasons for the fast rise in infections. One of the reasons could be due to new testing methods, like the newly invented combination test for gonorrhea and chlamydia at the same time. It improves the efficiency of testing, and can also record a rise in cases.
The increased gonorrhea cases could also be caused by more people having unprotected sex, and frequency of partners, according to THL.
The new research also shows the number of syphilis and HIV cases are also increasing, but at a much slower rate than gonorrhea.
The majority of gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV cases were diagnosed in the Helsinki capital city region.
What Is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a contageous infection which inflames the urethra, cervic, rectum, throat or eye tissues. It is usually contracted through unprotected sex – vaginal, anal and oral – but can also be passed through the hands to eyes.
Symptoms in men include a burning sensation when urinating. Women may experience urinary problems. There might also be a rash and sore throat, or red and puffy eyes.
Early detection by a doctor can improve treatment outcomes, and the infection is treated with antibiotics.