Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection which is caused by Neisseria gonorrhea and transmitted through sexual intercourse. Gonorrhea is most common amongst homosexual males as well as people who have multiple partners.
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The symptoms of gonorrhea are evident between 2 to 7 days after infection, and some of those symptoms include getting a green or yellow discharge from the genital, a burning sensation when urinating, swelling of the joints, pain, and fever. Gonorrhea is a dangerous disease, and you must inform your previous sexual partners if you ever get infected.
How Is Gonorrhea Transmitted?
The most common mode of transmission is through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sexual intercourse. Sometimes, the disease can be transmitted to a child from its mother during birth.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea
A gonococcal infection has varying symptoms in men and women. Men often experience the symptoms of gonorrhea more, while only a little bit above half of the infected women experience symptoms of the disease.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Women
- Painful and burning sensation when urinating.
- Pain in the abdomen
- Colorful discharge from the vagina
- Irregular and unusual bleeding in between menstrual cycles.
Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men
- Painful and burning sensation when urinating
- Tenderness in the testicles.
- Sore skin on the tip of the penis.
- Painful burning sensation when urinating.
The symptoms of gonorrhea can also be felt in the rectum (anal sex) or in the throat (oral sex).
When women do not get tested early enough, they stand the risk of having the disease spread to their uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. When the disease spreads this way, it is collectively known as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This occurs in about 15% of infected women. If the disease spreads to the fallopian tube, it could lead to infertility and even increase the risk of having an ectopic pregnancy. This is why women with gonococcal infection are advised to seek medical treatment right away. Those who have multiple sex partners should also get tested regularly.
Men, on the other hand, hardly get complications from gonorrhea, and the reason is that gonorrhea has symptoms in men, so they get treatment when the discomfort starts. If a man gets infected and does not treat it, the infection could spread to the prostate and testicles, which will cause a great deal of pain. The infection can also create scar tissue in the urethra, which blocks the urine passageway and consequently damages the kidneys.
If you suspect that you may have been infected with gonorrhea, you should see a doctor right away. A sample will be taken from your genitals and taken to the laboratory for analysis. Your doctor will also test you for chlamydia because gonococcal bacteria and chlamydia often go hand-in-hand.
If you have access to rapid tests, you can skip going to the doctor’s office entirely. With rapid tests, you can get yourself tested by yourself and get your results in minutes and go for treatment if necessary.
Regular antibiotics do not work for gonorrhea. You will have to follow the treatment course as laid down by your doctor. After completing your treatment, you will need to return to your doctor after one week to undergo another test to be sure that you have been healed of the infection.
To reduce the risk of getting the infection, the best thing to do is to avoid having unprotected sex with people that you are unsure about their medical history. Reduce the number of your sex partners or practice safe sex so as not to be infected.