Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease that affects both men and women.
New Gonorrhea infections are reported at over 600,000 per annum in US alone and of course many cases go unreported.
The disease is common and if left un treated can be fatal.
So, what exactly is it how do you know if you have it and how to you treat and prevent it? Let’s find out.
Caused by bacteria know as Neisseria gonorrhoeae which grows and spreads in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive organs including the cervix, the urethra and the fallopian tubes in women
The bacteria also grows in the anus mouth, throat and the eyes.
Gonorrhea How Do you Catch It?
Is spread through contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.
Contrary to what some people believe ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted and infect a person.
Men with gonorrhea sometimes have no symptoms at all, others have some signs or symptoms that appear up to five days after infection; symptoms can take up to a month to appear.
Symptoms include an intense burning sensation when during urination and or a white, yellow, or green discharge. Sometimes men also will see their testicles swell up.
Most women who are infected however have no obvious symptoms.
When a woman does have symptoms, they can be non-specific and are often mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection.
The initial symptoms in women include a burning sensation when urinating, increased vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding.
Symptoms of infection of the anus in both men and women can include discharge, itching, soreness, bleeding, or pain when going to the toilet.
Rectal and anus infection also may cause no symptoms at all.
In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
PID can lead to internal abscesses and severe long term pelvic pain. PID can damage the fallopian tubes causing infertility or increase the risk of entopic pregnancy a potentially fatal condition where a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, normally in the fallopian tubes.
In men, gonorrhea can cause epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that can lead to infertility.
Gonorrhea can also spread to the blood stream and enter the joints and this can be fatal if left un treated.
Finally, those infected with Gonorrhea are more likely to receive the HIV virus that causes AIDS.
A doctor will normally obtain a sample from the parts of the body likely to be infected. Gonorrhea that is present in the cervix or urethra can be diagnosed by taking a urine sample.
Several drugs can be used to cure gonorrhea.
However, drug-resistant strains of gonorrhea as many people with gonorrhea also have Chlamydia, another sexually transmitted disease.
Antibiotics for both infections are therefore given together.
Although medication will stop infection, it will not reverse any permanent damage done.
People who have had gonorrhea and have been treated can get the disease again if they have sexual contact with persons infected with gonorrhea.
Is a sexually transmitted disease, it is therefore advisable to know something of your partners sexual history and be sure they are not infected before sexual intercourse.
Condoms can also reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea.
Consult your doctor
This is just a brief introduction to Gonorrhea and anyone thinking they have the disease should seek medical advice from their doctor.
Gonorrhea as we have seen can cause serious health problems and even lead to death so make sure you consult your doctor and get help as soon as possible.