Gonorrhea: symptoms,causes, signs and how it is spread.

A sexually transmitted bacterial infection that, if untreated, may cause infertility.
Regular screening can help detect instances when an infection is present despite having no symptoms.

HOW IT SPREADS

By mother to baby by pregnancy, labor, or nursing.

By having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

What happens if you have gonorrhea for a year without treatment?

Untreated gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. In women, gonorrhea can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). … If left untreated,gonorrhea can also spread to the blood and cause disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI).

Read also: dengue fever:signs, symptoms and preventions.

Is gonorrhea curable?

Yes, gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. It is important that you take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to cure your infection. Medication for gonorrhea should not be shared with anyone. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not undo any permanent damage caused by the disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms may be absent despite an active gonorrheal infection. Symptoms can appear anywhere from 1-14 daysfollowing exposure to the infection.

Men and women experience slightly different symptoms; these can include:

Men

  • white, yellow, or green urethral discharge, resembling pus
  • inflammation or swelling of the foreskin
  • pain in the testicles or scrotum
  • painful or frequent urination
  • anal discharge, itching, pain, bleeding, or pain when passing stools
  • itching, difficulty swallowing, or swollen neck lymph nodes
  • eye pain, light sensitivity, or eye discharge resembling pus
  • red, swollen, warm, painful joints

Women:

  • painful sexual intercourse
  • fever
  • yellow or green vaginal discharge
  • vulvar swelling
  • bleeding in-between periods
  • heavier periods
  • bleeding after intercourse
  • vomiting and abdominal or pelvic pain
  • painful or frequent urination
  • sore throat , itching, difficulty swallowing, or swollen neck lymph nodes
  • eye pain, light sensitivity, and eye discharge resembling pus
  • red, swollen, warm, painful joints

Anal gonorrhea signs include:

itching, bleeding, or pain with passing bowel movements

anal discharge

An itching or burning sensation in the eyes may be a symptom of conjunctivitis. If infected semen or fluid comes into contact with the eyes, a person can develop conjunctivitis.

Causes

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It not only affects the reproductive tract, but can also affect the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, eyes, and rectum.

The infection is transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person involving the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. Men do not need to ejaculate to transmit or acquire gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during delivery.

Although all sexually active individuals are at risk for acquiring gonorrhea, the highest rates of infection occur in teenagers, young adults, and African-Americans.

Treatment

Upon displaying symptoms, a doctor may recommend a test for gonorrhea in addition to other diseases. Testing for gonorrhea can be completed by analyzing a urine sample or a swab of an affected area. Swab samples are commonly taken from the penis, cervix, urethra, anus, and throat.

Home kits for women are also available that include vaginal swabs. These kits are sent to a laboratory and results are reported directly to the patient.

If testing is positive for a gonorrhea infection, the individual and their partner will need to undergo treatment. This typically involves:

Antibiotics – a doctor will likely administer both a shot (ceftriaxone) and an oral medication (azithromycin).
Abstaining from sexual intercourse – until treatment is complete, there is still a risk of complications and spread of infection.
Repeat testing in some cases – it is not always necessary to be tested to make sure the treatment has worked. However, the CDC recommends retesting for some patients, and a doctor will decide if it is necessary. Retesting should be performed 7 days after treatment.
If a woman is pregnant and infected with gonorrhea, the infant will be given an eye ointment to prevent gonorrhea transmission. However, antibiotics may be required if an eye infection develops.

Prevention

There are many ways to prevent acquiring or passing on gonorrhea; they include:

  • Abstinence from sex
  • Using condoms for vaginal or anal intercourse
  • Using condoms or dental dams for oral intercourse
  • Having sexual activity with a mutually monogamous, unaffected partner

Individuals should speak with their doctor if they or their sexual partner have been exposed to gonorrhea or if they are experiencing any symptoms of infection.

2 thoughts on “Gonorrhea: symptoms,causes, signs and how it is spread.”

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