Gonorrhea: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is caused by a bacterium, Neisseria gonorrhea. It is the second most common STD and mostly affects young sexually active people between 15-24 years. Most people with Gonorrhea will also be infected with Chlamydia (we will discuss it next). It is transmitted through sexual intercourse such as oral, vaginal, anal, and sex toys (vibrators). Let’s discuss some of the causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of Gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea can affect the eyes, vagina, urethra (drains urine from the bladder to outside the body), throat, Joints (causes septic arthritis- swollen, warm, and extremely painful joint) and female reproductive tract (which includes the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tube).
people at risk include:
- Sexually active women less than 24years
- Men who have sex with men.
- Multiple sexual partners.
- New sexual partner.
- A sexual partner who has other sexual partners.
- Unprotected sexual intercourse (oral, anal, vaginal).
Signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea infection include:
- Pus-like discharge from the tip of the penis and vagina (thick greenish-yellow discharge).
- Pain in one testicle.
- Swelling and redness of the genitals.
- Painful urination.
- Vaginal bleeding between periods usually after sexual intercourse.
- Abdominal or pelvic pain.
Diagnosis And Treatment
- Urine test
- Vaginal, rectal, throat, or urethral swab depending on the area affected.
Gonorrhea is treated with antibiotics. However, because of a lot of resistance to the drug, uncomplicated gonorrhea can be treated with ceftriaxone (injection) with oral azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) or doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin). Therefore, if you are allergic to ceftriaxone, oral azithromycin with either oral gemifloxacin (Factive) or injectable gentamicin may be preferred.
Note: Medication will stop the infection but it will not stop any damage done as a result of the infection.
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NOTE: See a Doctor before you start any form of medication to get the appropriate prescriptions, side effects and dosages.
If treated early, there is less risk but failure to treat can lead to serious complications such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, joint pain, and infertility in women.
- Infertility and joint pain in men.
Gonorrhea in pregnant women:
Gonorrhea can be transmitted from mother to child as the child passes through the birth canal during delivery. However, there is an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, joint infection, and fetal conjunctivitis are complications in pregnancy. Once the baby is born he/ she must be given erythromycin eye ointment to prevent permanent blindness. for more information click here
Gonorrhea among sexual partners:
Once a person has been diagnosed with gonorrhea, they should be encouraged to inform their sexual partners for early diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications. Meanwhile sexual intercourse should be avoided until treatment is completed. The same treatment applies to partners. Those allergic to ceftriaxone antibiotics, might be given oral azithromycin, gentamycin (injection), or oral gemifloxacin (active).
STD in general, can be prevented using adequate contraception and also includes;
- Be in a monogamous relationship.
- Latex condoms to decrease transmission
- Avoid sharing sex toys.
- Regular screening