Gonorrhea is bacterial STD, is the second most commonly reported STD in the USA (after Chlamydia). Since 2014, the rate of reported gonorrhea cases increased 12.8% since 2014 and increased 19.9% since 2011.
What is Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by infection with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is a very common infection, especially among young people ages 15-24 years. It is just not limited to genitals but it tends to infect the warm moist parts of the body which includes
- urethra (the tube that drains urine from the urinary bladder)
- female genital tract (the fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus)
How Gonorrhea Spreads?
Like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea passes from one person to another via sexual contacts through unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex. People with multiple partners, people not using a condom while having sex are at the greater risk of gonorrhea. Also, indirectly behaviors that make a person more likely to engage in unprotected sex like alcohol abuse and illegal drug abuse, particularly intravenous drug use also increase the likelihood of infection.
How to Prevent yourself from getting Gonorrhea?
The best protection against infection is as follows
- abstinence from sex (while receiving treatment)
- monogamy (sex with only one partner),
- proper condom usage.
- Avoid excess intake of alcohol, drugs etc (as it indirectly triggers the behavior of not using protection while sex)
Who can be at the risk of Gonorrhea?
People with numerous sexual partners or those who don’t use a condom are at greatest risk of infection. A pregnant woman with gonorrhea can give the infection to her baby during childbirth.
How does Gonorrhea affect the pregnant mother and her baby?
In case of the Pregnant mother with Gonorrhea, the major risk is to pass the infection to the baby which may be in the form of eye infections that may lead to blindness.
The other form of risk involved joint or potentially deadly blood infections.
Thus it is always advisable to go for STD testing during pregnancy.
Gonorrhea is asymptotic disease, in many cases, it doesn’t show any signs or symptoms.
Following symptoms are observed in women
- Vaginal discharge
- vaginal bleeding between periods
- painful urination
Often the above symptoms can be mistaken for a bladder or vaginal infection.
Following symptoms are observed in men
- A burning or painful urination
- discharge (greenish, yellow) from the penis;
- rarely painful or swollen testicles
Some infections are common in men and women, this infection may happen in rectal and the symptoms include
- Anal itching;
- Painful bowel movements.
How do they test for Gonorrhea?
Gonorrhea testing is done on body fluid or urine samples. Body fluid is taken by inserting swabs in the genitals which could be very uncomfortable.
Modern day testing method involves taking urine sample is more accurate in testing Gonorrhea. NAA test is carried where a urine sample is taken from the patient. Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAA) test looks for the DNA of gonorrhea, as it searches for bacteria’s DNA (genetic material), it is very unlikely that this test can’t fail.
Is Gonorrhea curable?
Yes, if correct treatment is given. If a patient takes his medicines on time without a skip, because when medicines are taken properly it will stop the infection and could decrease your chances of having complications.
Although it is getting difficult to treat gonorrhea, as the virus is developing resistance to the antibiotics
How Gonorrhea develops resistance to the antibiotic? Why is it so dangerous?
The disease has progressively developed resistance to certain types of Antibiotics. This means the germs are not killed and they will continue to reproduce.Nearly all the antibiotics previously successful have failed to treat gonorrhea in today’s date, they include the likes of sulfonamides, penicillin, tetracycline, and fluoroquinolones, such as ciprofloxacin. Thus only cephalosporin antibiotics have been the foundation of recommended treatment for gonorrhea remaining.
What happens when Gonorrhea left untreated?
Untreated Gonorrhea in women
If Gonorrhea left untreated in women it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a very painful disease that can cause infertility or even loss of life. In men, If Gonorrhea left untreated in women it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, a very painful disease that can cause infertility or even loss of life.
Untreated Gonorrhea in men
In men, gonorrhea may be complicated by epididymitis. In rare cases, this may lead to infertility.
If kept untreated for long it can spread to the blood and cause disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI). DGI is usually characterized by arthritis, tenosynovitis, and/or dermatitis