Gonorrhea is caused by Neisseria gonorrhea, a bacterium that grows and multiplies quickly in moist, warm areas of the body such as the cervix, urinary tract, mouth, or rectum.
Signs and symptoms of gonorrhea usually appear within 2 to 10 days after sexual contact with an infected partner. However, some people may be infected for several months without showing any indications of gonorrhea. The bacteria from gonorrhea are carried in semen and vaginal fluids, and can cause a discharge.
Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Women
Although most women with gonorrhea do not have any symptoms, women who do have signs and symptoms of gonorrhea will usually see them within 10 days of getting the sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Symptoms of gonorrhea in women may include:
- Pain or burning sensation when passing urine
- Vaginal discharge that is yellow or bloody
- Bleeding between menstrual periods
- Heavy bleeding with periods
- Pain during sex.
Any genital symptoms, such as discharge, burning during urination, or pain during sex, should be a signal to stop having sex and to see a doctor right away. Women with gonorrhea are at risk of developing serious complications from the infection, even if there are no symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea in Men
Although many men with gonorrhea may not have any symptoms, some men will have signs and symptoms of gonorrhea that appear 2 to 5 days after infection. In some cases, symptoms can take as long as 30 days to appear.
Symptoms of gonorrhea in men can include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- A white, yellow, or green discharge from the penis
- Painful or swollen testicles.
Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea in the Rectum
Men and women who have an anal infection might have signs and symptoms of gonorrhea that include:
- Bleeding or itching of the anus
- Painful bowel movements.
Signs and Symptoms of Gonorrhea in the Throat and Eyes
Although gonorrheal infections in the throat may cause a sore throat, it usually does not cause any symptoms. Gonorrheal infections in the eyes may include:
- Discharge from the eye.
You will likely be offered an antibiotic, either in pill form or by injection. A single dose is usually all that is required, but some antibiotics require longer courses. For uncomplicated gonorrhea consists of antibiotics, including ceftriaxone, cefixime, ciprofloxacin, or ofloxacin for gonorrhea along with azithromycin, doxycycline, or erythromycin for chlamydia.
If you are pregnant and have gonorrhea, or if you are under the age of 18, it is important to tell your doctor. Certain antibiotics shouldn't be used by pregnant women or by people under 18.
It is important to take all of the medication that is prescribed to you, even if you aren't experiencing any symptoms. You must also abstain from sex until you have tested negative for the disease. If you have tested positive for gonorrhea, any and all sexual partners you have had should also be tested in order to prevent spreading the infection as well as to avoid future complications.
If left untreated, gonorrhea can cause many problems in both women and men. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women. PID has been shown to cause scarring on the reproductive organs, which can cause infertility, as well as increase a woman's risk of ectopic pregnancy, a potentially life threatening problem. Gonorrhea can also cause infertility in men if it the STD is not treated.
It is also possible for gonorrhea to spread to other parts of the body. It has been known to infect the heart valves and the brain as well as cause joint inflammation.
After you have finished your medications, wait three days before returning to your doctor to get tested. You should also get tested for HIV and Chlamydia, because many of those infected with gonorrhea are also susceptible to these diseases. If for any reason your symptoms do not clear up, return to your doctor for further advice.
How can this infection be prevented?
By Lhu Wen Kai, Imran, Ethan, Eugene, Soe Yan Naung@Norman