STI; How much do you know about gonorrhea disease ?

What is Gonorrhea ?

Gonorrhea, also called the “clap” or “drip,” gonorrhea is a contagious disease. It is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is an especially serious problem for women because it can damage the reproductive organs and other parts of the body.

What Causes Gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae , a bacterium that can grow and multiply easily in mucus membranes of the body. Gonorrhea bacteria can grow in the warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract, including the cervix (opening to the womb), uterus (womb), and fallopian tubes (egg canals) in women, and in the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) in women and men. The bacteria can also grow in the mouth, throat, and anus.

How Do One Get Gonorrhea ?

Men have a 20% risk of getting the infection from a single act of vaginal intercourse with an infected woman. The risk for men that have sex with men is higher.  Women have a 60–80% risk of getting the infection from a single act of vaginal intercourse with an infected man.  A mother may transmit gonorrhea to her newborn during childbirth; when affecting the infant’s eyes, it is referred to as ophthalmia neonatorum. It cannot be spread by toilets or bathrooms.

Gonorrhea is spread through:

  • Vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Gonorrhea can be spread even if there are no symptoms. This means you can get gonorrhea from someone who has no signs or symptoms.
  • Genital touching. A man does not need to ejaculate for gonorrhea to spread. Touching infected fluids from the vagina or penis and then touching your eyes can cause an eye infection. Gonorrhea can also be passed between women who have sex with women.
  • Childbirth from woman to her baby

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Gonorrhea?

Some people infected with gonorrhea do not have symptoms, so knowing when to seek treatment can be tricky. When symptoms do occur, they are often within two to 10 days after exposure, but they can take up to 30 days to develop.

Gonorrhea symptoms in women
  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the vagina
  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Burning when urinating
  • Conjunctivitis (red, itchy eyes)
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Spotting after intercourse
  • Swelling of the vulva (vulvitis)
  • Burning in the throat (due to oral sex )
  • Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)
Symptoms are so mild in some women that they go unnoticed.
Many women with gonorrhea discharge think they have a yeast infection and self-treat with over-the-counter yeast infection drug. Because vaginal discharge can be a sign of a number of different problems, it is best to always seek the advice of a doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
Gonorrhea symptoms in men
  • Greenish yellow or whitish discharge from the penis
  • Burning when urinating
  • Burning in the throat (due to oral sex)
  • Painful or swollen testicles
  • Swollen glands in the throat (due to oral sex)
In men, symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after infection.

How Is Gonorrhea Diagnosed?

Swab test : To diagnose gonorrhea, your doctor will use a swab to take a sample of fluid from the urethra in men or from the cervix in women. The specimen is then tested. You also may be given a throat or anal culture to see if the infection is in your throat or anus. 
A urine test : Your urine can be tested for gonorrhea.

Do I Need To Get Tested ?

If you are 24 or younger and have sex, you need to get tested for gonorrhea. 
Gonorrhea is most common in women between ages 15 and 24. 2 You need to get tested if you have had any symptoms of gonorrhea since your last negative test result or if your sex partner has gonorrhea.
If you are older than 24, you need to get tested if, in the past year or since your last test, you: 
  • Had a new sex partner
  • Had your sex partner tell you they have gonorrhea
  • Have had gonorrhea or another STI in the past
  • Traded sex for money or drugs in the past
  • Do not use condoms during sex and are in a relationship that is not monogamous, meaning you or your partner has sex with other people
  • You also need to get tested if you have any symptoms of gonorrhea.
Testing is very important, because women with untreated gonorrhea can develop serious health problems. If you are tested for gonorrhea, you also need to get tested for other STIs, including chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV.

Compilations Of Gonorrhea If Untreated

Gonorrhea causes no long-term problems if it is treated early in the course of the infection before any complications develop. Left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to serious complications.

Complications in women

Women with untreated gonorrhea may have the following complications of the female reproductive system :
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The risk of infertility increases with each episode of PID.
  • An abscess in or near the ovaries (tubo-ovarian abscess)
  • Inflammation of the Bartholin glands
  • An ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Infertility
  • Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome (rare)

Complications in pregnant women

Problems related to untreated gonorrhea in pregnant women include:
  • The possibility of a miscarriage.
  • Preterm labor . The woman may be given medicines to prevent premature birth, which could require a stay in the hospital.
  • Premature rupture of the membranes (PROM) , which happens before labor
  • contractions start. The amniotic sac breaks open, causing amniotic fluid to gush out, or less commonly, to slowly leak.
  • Premature delivery. A premature infant has an increased risk of health problems.
  • Infection of the lining of the uterus ( endometritis ).
If a woman has gonorrhea when she gives birth, her newborn can be infected.
Women with untreated gonorrhea and infected newborns are more likely to develop long-term complications of gonorrhea.

Complications in newborns

Newborns of women with untreated gonorrhea may have any of the following complications:
  • Pinkeye ( conjunctivitis ). Most newborns who have gonorrhea also get pinkeye .
  • An infection in the bloodstream ( sepsis)
  • Inflammation of a joint ( arthritis )
  • Scalp infections at the site of a fetal monitoring device
  • Infection of the fluid and tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord ( meningitis)

Complications in men

Men with untreated gonorrhea may develop:
  • Epididymitis, an inflammation and infection of the epididymis-the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm .
  • An inflammation of the prostate gland ( prostatitis).

Complications of untreated gonorrhea in other areas of the body

  • Disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) occurs when the gonorrhea infection spreads to sites other than the genitals, such as the joints, skin , heart , or blood . Complications of DGI include:
  • Fever.
  • Skin infection ( cellulitis).
  • An infection in the bloodstream ( sepsis).
  • Inflammation of a joint ( arthritis ). It most often affects the knees and hands.
  • An infection and inflammation of the heart valves and the chambers of the heart ( endocarditis ).
  • An infection of the fluid and tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord ( meningitis).
Because many women do not have early symptoms of gonorrhea that cause them to seek treatment, they are more likely than men to have more serious complications from gonorrhea spreading to other parts of the body.
Having a gonorrhea infection once does not protect you from getting another infection in the future. A new exposure to gonorrhea will cause reinfection, even if you were previously treated and cured.

What should I do if I have gonorrhea?

Gonorrhea is easy to treat. But you need to get tested and treated as soon as possible.
If you have gonorrhea:
  • See a doctor as soon as possible. Antibiotics will treat gonorrhea, but they will not fix any permanent damage to your reproductive organs.
  • Take all of the drugs that your doctor will prescribed. Even if symptoms go away, you need to finish all of the antibiotics.
  • Tell your sex partner(s) so they can be tested and treated. If they are not tested and treated you could get gonorrhea again.
  • Avoid sexual contact until you and your partner(s) have been treated and cured. Even after you finish your drugs you can get gonorrhea again if you have sex with someone who has gonorrhea.
  • See your doctor again if you have symptoms that don’t go away within a few days after finishing your drugs

How Can I Prevent Gonorrhea Infection?

To reduce your risk of gonorrhea infection:
  • Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
  • Limit the number of sex partners, and do not go back and forth between partners.
  • Practice sexual abstinence, or limit sexual contact to one uninfected partner.
  • If you think you are infected, avoid sexual contact and see a doctor
Sources 
www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/tc/gonorrhea-what-happens
https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/gonorrhea.html#
www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/gonorrhea
diseasesdata.blogspot.co.ke/2015/02/gonorrhea.html?m=1

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