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Can my child get it?
May 24, 2002

My Boyfriend just told me that he cheated on me and had contracted Gonnorea. At the time I was breast feeding our child. Is it a possibility that she has contracted the disease? If so how can I treat it?

Response from Mr. Kull

Your child is not at risk for contracting gonorrhea through breast feeding.

Gonorrhea, caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, grows in the mucous membranes of the urethra, reproductive tract, rectum, mouth, and throat. Transmission can occur when a person's mucous membranes come into contact with the infected person's mucous membranes or fluids that pass through the infected person's mucous membranes (like semen and vaginal secretions). Contact with fluids is not necessary for transmission to be possible.

Since gonorrhea does not infect the breast or breast milk, transmission is not possible through breast feeding. Transmission to the infant is possible if the mother was infected with gonorrhea at the time of delivery, which can result in infection of the newborn's eyes.

If you had unprotected sex with your partner when he was infected with gonorrhea, you should talk to your doctor about treatment, even if you haven't had any symptoms. Doctors will generally treat people who have been exposed even if a diagnosis has not been confirmed. If you do receive medication, talk with your doctor about breast feeding while taking meds.

RMK



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