Gonorrhoea is one of the most common STD (sexually transmitted disease) which is also referred to as “the clap”. It is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It affects thousands of men and women in the United States annually. There are about millions of new cases of gonorrhoea diagnosed each year.
Gonorrhoea is easily treatable condition but sometimes it can cause serious as well as permanent complications. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women when the gonorrhoea infection occurs in their uterus or Fallopian tubes. Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to serious complications like infertility.
In men with gonorrhoea, it can cause serious complications which include epididymitis and infertility.
Signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea
In the early stages of the active gonorrheal infection, they are no visible symptoms. Symptoms usually appear between 1-14 days after exposure to the infection. Men go through slightly different symptoms when compared to women. The following are the signs and symptoms which appears in men and women:-
Symptoms in Women:-
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- High fever
- Green or yellow discharge from the vagina.
- Swelling of vulva
- In-between periods bleeding
- Heavy periods
- Abdominal pain or pelvic pain
- Frequent urination
- Itching, difficulty while swallowing, or swollen lymph nodes of the neck, sore throat.
- Light sensitivity to the eyes, eye pain, pus-like eye discharge.
- Red, painful, swollen joints.
Symptoms in Men:-
- Greenish, yellow or white urethral discharge, which resembles pus.
- Swelling or inflammation of foreskin.
- Testicles or scrotum pain.
- Urinary incontinence.
- Painful urination.
- Itching, pain, bleeding while passing stools
- Swollen neck lymph nodes
- Difficulty while swallowing
- Swollen, red, warm and painful joints
- Sensitivity to light, pus-like eye discharge, eye pain.
Causes of Gonorrhea
- Gonorrhoea is caused by bacteria which mostly affects the reproductive tract. In certain cases, it can also affect the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, eyes and rectum.
- It is transmitted through sexual contact with infected person which involves penis, vagina, anus, or mouth.
- Men don’t need to ejaculate to transmit infection or acquire gonorrhoea.
- It is also transferred from infected mother to newborn baby at the time of delivery.
- The risk of acquiring gonorrhoea is same for all sexually active individuals but it is highest in the case of teenagers, young adults, and African-Americans.
Diagnosis of Gonorrhea
- They are certain tests which are performed by the healthcare professionals for the diagnosis of gonorrhoea:-
- The sample fluid is taken from the symptomatic area with the help of a swab and tested on the glass slide.
- If they are chances of joint or blood infection then they will be collecting a blood sample and withdrawing fluid from the symptomatic joint.
- Another method involves collecting the samples in the petri dish which is incubated for several days to know the growth conditions of the bacteria. A colony of gonorrhoea bacterium will develop if the gonorrheal infection is present.
- For women they are certain Home kits include vaginal swab which is sent to the lab to know the presence of infection.
Treatment of Gonorrhea
If the tests of Gonorrheal infection are positive. Then patients are treated with certain medications which are as follows:-
- Antibiotics:- Doctor will prescribe both an injection (ceftriaxone) and oral medication (azithromycin) as well.
- Until the completion of treatment, the patient should abstain from sexual intercourse which can cause risk of serious complications and spread of infection.
- If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with Gonorrhea infection, the infant is treated with eye ointment to prevent Gonorrhea transmission.
- The best way of not getting Gonorrhea infection is not to have sex
- You can be at lesser risk if you have a single partner
- You can also avoid getting the infection by having safe sex with the use of condoms while having sex and getting regularly screens for infection.
- Avoid having sex with the person who has symptoms of gonorrhoea like burning sensation while peeing, or sore genital area
- Get your sexual partners tested
- Gonorrheal infection is completely curable but one successful treatment won’t help you for life. You need to maintain certain practices of safe sex and regular screenings to avoid getting an infection.