The symptoms of gonorrhea can be very uncomfortable.
Gonorrhea (or gonorrhea) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacterium that can infect males and females.
Gonorrhea often more often affects the urethra, rectum, or throat. In females, gonorrhea can infect the cervix.
Gonorrhea is transmitted more easily during sexual intercourse, but babies can be infected during childbirth if their mothers are infected.
In newborns, gonorrhea often affects the eyes.
Gonorrhea is a very common infection and in some cases causes no symptoms.
We can not know if we are infected.
The best ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases are to abstain from sexual intercourse, use condoms when having sex, and stay in a monogamous relationship.
Gonorrhea and chlamydia (another venereal disease) often occur together, so you need to test for both.
- 1 How is gonorrhea transmitted?
- 2 Who is at risk for gonorrhea?
- 3 What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
- 4 After how long do symptoms manifest?
- 5 Complications of untreated gonorrhea
- 6 Tests and diagnosis
- 7 What is the treatment for gonorrhea?
- 8 Which antibiotics are the most effective?
- 9 My sexual partner needs therapy?
- 10 Prevention
How is gonorrhea transmitted?
People suffer from gonorrhea when they have sex with someone who has the disease. “Having intercourse” includes oral, anal or vaginal intercourse.
Gonorrhea can be transmitted through the fluids ( or secretion) even if the man does not ejaculate. The infection can occur with a long, deep kiss .
People who have had gonorrhea and have been treated can become infected again if they have sex with a person infected with gonorrhea.
The gonorrhea is not transmitted from a towel, a handle or a glass.
Who is at risk for gonorrhea?
Any sexually active person can be infected with gonorrhea. It is a very common sexually transmitted disease. In the United States, the highest reported infection rates are among African American, younger, and sexually active adolescents.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
Often, gonorrhea does not cause symptoms.
Most people are unaware they have the infection, especially female gonorrhea.
Four out of five women with gonorrhea do not feel the symptoms of gonorrhea.
One man out of ten with gonorrhea has no symptoms.
The symptoms that women feel are:
- Stomachache ,
- Loss of blood in the middle of the cycle ,
- Bleeding between menstrual periods,
- Painful sexual intercourse,
- Pain when urinating,
- Swelling or tenderness of the vulva,
- Yellowish or greenish vaginal discharge .
When men have symptoms, they usually report:
- Secretions similar to pus from the penis
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Pain and swelling of the testicles
In men and women, gonorrhea can cause anal itching . It can also cause secretions and pain during defecation.
Nine out of ten oral infections do not cause any symptoms.
The symptoms of gonorrhea may appear only in the morning and may be mild, especially for men.
This is why many people do not realize they have an infection.
If you or your partner have some of the symptoms listed above, you need to go to the doctor. This is especially important for pregnant women.
After how long do symptoms manifest?
Symptoms of gonorrhea may occur in an incubation period ranging from 1 day to 2 weeks after infection.
The course and symptoms are different between men and women.
Complications of untreated gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is treated easily but when left untreated it can be a serious threat to the health of both men and women.
During pregnancy untreated gonorrhea can cause premature delivery or a stillbirth.
Gonorrhea can be transmitted from mother to fetus during childbirth. The disease can cause infections of the blood, joints and eyes.
To avoid serious eye infections that may be caused by gonorrhea, your doctor may advise to put drops of antibiotics in the eyes of babies immediately after birth.
Examination and treatment of gonorrhea during pregnancy reduces the risk of transmission.
In women, untreated gonorrhea can infect the fallopian tubes, ovaries or uterus, is a condition called pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Above 1 in 5 women with untreated gonorrhea develop PID.
If the pelvic inflammatory disease is not treated can affect the woman’s ability to get pregnant.
Gonorrhea can also make men sterile.
It may pass from the urethra to the testicles.
There, it can result in a condition called epididimitis.
One man in five with an untreated gonorrhea infection develops epididymitis. Acute epididymitis can cause infertility . The symptoms are: fever, swelling and extreme pain in the scrotum.
Three people in 100 with untreated gonorrhea develop a condition called disseminated gonococcal infection (IGD). IGD can cause arthritis and skin ulcers . Women are four times more likely than men to develop IGD.
Adolescent women have the highest rate of infection.
When disseminated gonococcal infection is diagnosed, it can be easily treated. If left untreated, it can permanently damage the joints.
Tests and diagnosis
During a gynecological visit to determine if the gonorrhea bacterium is present in the body, the doctor should examine a sample of cells.
Samples can be collected from:
Urinalysis (culture urine )
This may help identify the bacteria in the urethra.
Cap affected area.
A throat, urethral, vagina or rectum cap may collect bacteria to be identified in the laboratory.
Tests for other sexually transmitted diseases
Your doctor may also recommend tests for other sexually transmitted infections.
Gonorrhea increases the risk of these infections, particularly chlamydia , often occurring together.
The blood test to test HIV is recommended for those with a diagnosis of a sexually transmitted infection. Depending on your risk factors, screening for other sexually transmitted diseases may be helpful.
What is the treatment for gonorrhea?
There are antibiotic treatments that are effective in treating gonorrhea.
Some strains of gonorrhea have proven to be resistant to certain drugs (known as antimicrobial resistance) so the recommended treatment for most cases are two antibiotics: one given as an injection and the other as an oral medication (usually only a single pill).
Patients with gonorrhea should also be treated for chlamydia (if the test does not exclude chlamydia infection).
Here are some important points of treatment:
- All medicines that should be taken should be recommended by your doctor.
- All partners should be examined and treated.
- Sexual contact should be avoided until the patient and the partner have been treated and cared for.
- People with the same symptoms after treatment should take the test again for gonorrhea.
- A person who has been treated with antibiotics not recommended (for example if the patient is allergic , or if medications are not available) should do the tests again one week after the end of treatment, even if they have no symptoms.
- Infections detected following drug treatment as indicated may occur due to treatment failure or reinfection.
Which antibiotics are the most effective?
As of 2007, the disease control center (CDC) has published clear information on how to choose the best antibiotics for gonorrhea. Shortly before this publication, studies showed that a group of fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs was ineffective for some strains of the disease that were showing resistance to it.
Generally, gonorrhea does not respond to treatment with drugs such as penicillin or tetracycline.
The CDC recommends that people with simple cases of genital infection with gonorrhea should have a single intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone (ROCEFIN ®, etc.).
This medicine is a cephalosporin. Ceftriaxone is indicated for the treatment of gonorrhea, which occurs in the throat called pharyngeal gonorrhea.
The uncomplicated gonorrhea can be treated with ciprofloxacin ).
If the disease is complicated by chlamydia infection, a second oral antibiotic, for example Zitromax ®, is usually added.
People who are allergic to ceftriaxone may take medicines such as doxycycline or clarithromycin . Another approach is to use desensitization of the medication before taking it.
The doctor uses the guidelines, but can make different decisions depending on the patient.
My sexual partner needs therapy?
Yes. You should have tests for the infection, although you do not have any symptoms.
Usually, antibiotic treatment is recommended for sexual partners, even if the tests are negative because:
- The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are often passed during intercourse. Tests for bacteria are not infallible. Antibiotic therapy helps to ensure that any possibility of infection is resolved.
- If a sex partner is infected and untreated, so it is a healthy carrier, the infection can infect the next partner.
- Who has gonorrhea may not have symptoms for a long time. In this situation, any other sexual partner you have had in the last three months should be subject to exams and treatment.
Sexual abstinence is a way to eliminate the risk of infection.
Mutual monogamy (sex with only one uninfected partner) is another way to eliminate risk.
Water-based spermicides are not recommended for the prevention of gonorrhea because they are not effective.
Use of latex condoms for vaginal and anal intercourse reduces the risk.
Since gonorrhea can be transmitted even if the penis or tongue does not go completely into the vagina, mouth or rectum, using latex condoms from the beginning of sexual contact until there is contact with the skin is the best form of prevention.
Several remedies can be used to prevent bacteria and reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea during the oral relationship.
An unlubricated condom can be used for the contact between the mouth and the penis.