Gonorrhea: Symptoms, Causes & Much more | Consult Urologists

Gonorrhea is an infection spread through sexual contact caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which affects both males and females. It's also known as "the clap" or "drip." The urethra, rectum, and throat are the most often infected sites by gonorrhea. In females, gonorrhea can also infect the cervix. However, kids born to infected moms might become infected during labor. The eyes are the most usually affected by gonorrhea in newborns.

Symptoms of gonorrhea are not always visible, making it easier to infect your mates unintentionally. Getting tested regularly, as recommended by your doctor, safer sex practices, refraining from sex, wearing a condom when having sex, and being in a mutually monogamous relationship are the best ways to reduce your risk.


Symptoms

Gonorrhea can be challenging to diagnose since you or your partner may not exhibit any symptoms. Or the symptoms of gonorrhea may be so mild that you are unaware of them. People sometimes mix gonorrhea symptoms with those of other infections. Gonorrhea symptoms appear within a week. Women may have the following symptoms:

Men with gonorrhea often have no symptoms. These include:

  • Peeing more often than usual,
  • Pain and burning while peeing,
  • White, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
  • Sore throat

If not treated, gonorrhea can cause significant health problems and even infertility. However, it is usually simple to treat with medication. This is why, no matter how healthy you feel, frequent STD tests are essential.


When to see a doctor?

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you detect any alarming signs or symptoms, such as a burning feeling when peeing or a pus-like discharge from the penis, vagina, or rectum. Also, if your partner has been diagnosed with gonorrhea, arrange an appointment with your doctor. You may not notice any indications or symptoms that would lead you to seek medical assistance. However, even if your partner has been treated for gonorrhea, you can reinfect them if you do not treat them.


Causes

Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium N. gonorrhea. They grow in warm, moist environments, and the infection can develop in any of the body's mucous membranes, including the genitals, mouth, throat, eyes, and rectum. Gonorrhea can be transmitted from person to person by sexual contact, including the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. Gonorrhea can also be transmitted to a newborn after birth.


Risk Factors

  • Previous history of gonorrhea,
  • Having any sexually transmitted diseases and being infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Have low immunity
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Have unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with an infected partner.
  • Have a sexual partner who has multiple partners

The risk of contracting gonorrhea is also increased by a lack of education and a low socioeconomic level; if the condom ruptures during intercourse with an infected partner, the risk of gonorrhea rises.


Complications

Gonorrhea can result in serious complications such as:

Infertility in women

Gonorrhea has the potential to spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, resulting in pelvic inflammatory illness and infertility in women (PID). Scarring of the tubes, an increased risk of pregnancy problems, and infertility can all arise from PID. PID need prompt medical attention.

Infertility in men

Gonorrhea can inflame the epididymis, a tiny, coiled tube in the back of the testicles leading to epididymitis. Infertility can result from untreated epididymitis.

Infection on other body parts

The gonorrhea bacterium can move via the bloodstream and infect other areas of the body, including your joints. Possible side effects include fever, rash, skin sores, joint discomfort, edema, and stiffness.

Increased risk of HIV/AIDS

Untreated gonorrhea makes people more vulnerable to infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which leads to AIDS. People who suffer from both gonorrhea and HIV are more likely to infect their partners with both.

Complications in babies

Babies who get gonorrhea from their moms during labor may develop blindness, scalp sores, and infections.

Prevention

The only way to avoid gonorrhoea is to avoid sexual contact. Many people believe that reducing the risk of developing and transmitting gonorrhea is a more realistic aim. To minimize risk, take the following steps:

  • During intercourse, always wear a condom or dental dam.
  • Do not have intercourse with someone infected.
  • Do not have intercourse with someone who is suffering from gonorrhea.
  • Limit your sexual partners and talk honestly about your sexual activities.
  • Test for gonorrhea and get your partners tested as well.

There is no complete prevention against gonorrhea. Taking extra precautions during sex, however, can significantly reduce the chance of infection.

Diagnosis

The doctor may ask the patient about their symptoms and medical history. They will also request a urine sample or a swab of the penis, cervix, urethra, anus, eyelid, or throat.

There are also at-home exams accessible. When utilizing an at-home testing kit, the user submits their sample to a lab and receives the results immediately. If the test results are positive, they must see a doctor for treatment, and the doctor may order more tests to confirm the finding.

It is crucial to use the kit precisely as instructed, or the result may not be accurate. Because the tests can vary in accuracy, it is better to see a healthcare professional, if possible.

If one person is diagnosed with gonorrhea or another STI, any sexual partners should also receive testing.


Treatment

It is fully curable if detected early, and any delay may result in severe consequences. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat the condition, and Ceftriaxone is recommended as an antibiotic because gonorrhea bacteria resist tetracycline and penicillin. Antibiotics for gonorrhea are usually prescribed to the patient. Infant eye infections can be prevented by using a 1% silver nitrate solution.

The proverb that prevention is better than cure also applies to this condition. Proper protection when having intercourse considerably minimizes the possibility of developing the illness. It is also recommended not to engage in sexual activity with people who have already acquired it or have just been treated.


Dos and Don’ts

Gonorrhea spreads by genital fluids and vaginal secretions. To avoid gonorrhea and other STDs, avoid having vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse. Using protection when having sex also reduces your chance of contracting gonorrhea. It may be difficult to tell your partner. If untreated, gonorrhea can cause considerable irreparable damage, including infertility. Informing your partners allows them to undergo quick testing and, if necessary, treatment. Following the do's and don'ts can also help prevent the disease.

Do’s Don’ts
Practise safer sex Have intercourse if you suspect your symptoms.
Wear a condom when having sex Have unprotected sex
Practice good hygiene Get intimate until the condition improves
Use the antibiotics prescribed Stop medication without completing the course.
Talk with your partner about his or her sexual history Ignore screening tests for STDs if you suspect infection

Precautions and self-care will help you fight the condition positively and improve your quality of life.



Care at Medicover Hospitals

At Medicover hospitals, we have the best team of general physicians who provide Gonorrhea disease treatment with utmost precision. Our highly skilled team utilizes the latest medical approach, diagnostic procedures, and technologies to treat various infectious diseases. For treating Gonorrhea we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, provide comprehensive care to the patients, and attend to all their medical needs for faster and sustained recovery.

Citations

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/std-gonorrhea.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558903/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gonorrhoea/
https://www.ashasexualhealth.org/gonorrhea/
https://jsstd.org/gonorrhea-historical-outlook/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/gonorrhea

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