What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is also referred to as “the clap”; it is one of the common sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In some cases, gonorrhea can cause penile or vaginal discharge and pain during urination or sex, but it can also be stealth with no sign or symptom at all. Unfortunately, the bacteria behind gonorrhea have become resistant to most antibiotics over time.
It is highly advisable to see your doctor before taking medications for sexually transmitted diseases because gonorrhea, if not treated, can cause complications including infertility, blindness, miscarriage, and septic arthritis. Even though a single dose of azithromycin and ceftriaxone can solve most infections, there is still a need for you to see your doctor.
Just like Chlamydia, gonorrhea can affect both men and women and can be transmitted to babies at birth. There are more than eight hundred thousand (800,000) gonorrhea cases in the United States alone every year.
What are the symptoms of gonorrhea?
Unfortunately, some infected persons do not experience any signs, and they can pass the disease to their partner unknowingly. However, if they experience some symptoms, they are often mild and non-specific and can be overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses such as yeast infection, strep throat, urinary tract infection or hemorrhoids.
Nonetheless, common symptoms of gonorrhea for women include lower abdomen or pelvic pain, vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, painful urination or sexual intercourse. For men, the symptoms include pain or swelling in the testicles, a greenish-yellow discharge from the penis, and painful urination. Other less common symptoms are meningitis, disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). Do you have Gonorrhea-Symptoms? Get help now.
Moreover, gonorrhea can increase the chance of getting HIV as the inflamed mucosal tissues make it easy for the virus to enter the body.
What is Pharyngeal and rectal gonorrhea?
Pharyngeal gonorrhea also known as throat gonorrhea causes mild sore in the throat, but rectal gonorrhea…well you guessed it, can cause discomfort, itchiness, and pain during a bowel movement. Moreover, gonorrhea can also show symptoms in the eye resulting in conjunctivitis- pink eye.
Furthermore, gonorrhea, if not treated, can result in epididymitis in men and PID, i.e. pelvic inflammatory disease in women, they both lead to infertility. Also, babies are exposed to bacterium during childbirth can result in blindness and other health complications.
What are the causes of gonorrhea?
As stated above, Neisseria gonorrhoea is the cause of gonorrhea, and it can be transferred during anal, oral or vaginal sex. Also, from mother to child, but transmission during childbirth do not occur while the baby is still in the womb; it happens when the child passes through the mother’s birth canal.
Furthermore, gonorrhea can be transferred through vaginal secretions, semen, rectal secretions and sometimes saliva, but it cannot be transmitted through breast milk or blood.
Who are at risk of getting gonorrhea?
Basically, anyone who is sexually active and indulges in unprotected sex with multiple partners is at risk of getting gonorrhea or other sexually transmitted diseases. However, others who can be infected are people who are sexually active under 25, people that have had gonorrhea infection in the past or other STDs in the past.
How is gonorrhea tested?
Majorly, there are three commonly used tests to detect gonorrhea, and each has its appropriate use and limitations.
Bacterial culture: this type is used to detect gonorrhea of the throat, eyes, genitals, and rectum. A culture is specialized, but the non-automated test that can be wrongly diagnosed due to error and improper sample collection.
Gram staining: this is a more conventional form of diagnosis where dyes are used to differentiate bacteria under the microscope. However, this method is more efficient in men than in women.
Nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT): this type of diagnosis is a genetic test recommended in the first –line diagnosis of uncomplicated gonorrhea of the cervix, vagina, or penis. Even though this method is fast and accurate, it is not approved for the diagnosis of rectal or pharyngeal gonorrhea.
Can gonorrhea be treated?
Over the years, gonorrhea has become resistant to antibiotics; in 1980s penicillin stopped working, in 2012, tetracycline were no longer effective, and the treatment has been narrowed down to only a few antibiotics that can clear the disease, unfortunately, if not treated on time can lead to complicated infections. However, the best advice is to seek professional help, talk to your health caregiver or your doctor for a better prescription.
Encourage Yourself; However, the best cure for this disease pure abstinence; abstinence can save you from a lot of sexually transmitted infections rampaging the world right now. Nonetheless, if you cannot abstain from sex, it is best you use protection or maintain one sex partner instead of having multiple partners. Also, know the medical records of your sexual partner, it will help keep both of you on the right and healthy path.
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