Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Once transmitted it quickly grows in the moist and warm areas of the body including:
- Reproductive organs of women which include the uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix
- The urethra which is the tube that drains the urinary bladder of urine
Unprotected sex through the vagina, mouth, and anus transmit gonorrhea. People who have the greatest risk of infection are those who do not use a condom and have multiple sex partners. Protection against the infection can best be achieved with the use of a condom in every sexual activity, or abstinence or a monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
Signs and symptoms
It usually takes around two to five days after infection for symptoms to happen. However, there are some men who may never show symptoms while it may take several weeks for some men to develop symptoms.
For women, the developed symptoms may be related to other infections or milder in a form. Even without the presence of symptoms, the infected person is still highly contagious. This symptom-free occurrence is the cause of widespread infection because the infected people are unaware of the infection.
The first symptom to be noticed in men is often a painful or burning sensation when urinating. It may also include:
- Recurring sore throat
- Frequency of urination
- Pain or swelling in the testicles
- Green, white or yellow colored pus-like discharges from the penis
- Redness or swelling at the penis’ opening
Gonorrhea symptoms in women may be tricky as it could be similar to bacterial or vaginal yeast infections. Symptoms may have the following:
- Foul smelling discharges from the vagina
- Pain in the lower abdominal area
- Burning or painful urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Frequency of urination
- Sore throat
If gonorrhea is left untreated, the infection may well spread to the bloodstream where the body may develop joint pains, rashes, and fever.
There are several ways a healthcare professional can diagnose gonorrhea. Vaginal or penis discharges will be taken as a specimen and exposed to a stain. The reaction of the cells to the stain would probably be gonorrhea. It is a quick and easy test but could not be termed reliable.
Another way is to take samples of vaginal and penile discharges and incubating it for a couple of days inside a special dish. A growth of gonorrhea bacteria will be the way to determine the infection.
It will take three days before final results can be determined. Some of the samples that can be taken from an infected person may include fluid from the joints, the throat, blood, vagina, anus or tip of the penis. A needle is inserted with the extraction of a small amount of specimen if joint fluid or blood is needed as samples.
Gonorrhea can mostly be cured through a regimen of modern antibiotics. However, there has been a development of new strains of gonorrhea that are resistant to common antibiotics. Extensive treatment is needed that may use antibiotic combinations.