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Gonorrhoea: Know the Symptoms in Men and Women
Gonorrhoea: Know the Symptoms in Men and Women

Gonorrhoea: Know the Symptoms in Men and Women

Do you know gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused from bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae? This kind of infection occurs in the penis, external genitals, internal genitals, anus, eye and vagina. The bacteria may be there in the bodily fluids such as – pre-ejaculate, anal fluids, semen and vaginal fluids. It is possible to treat gonorrhea by taking necessary antibiotics according to the suggestion of your doctor.

Gonorrhoea may affect other body parts which include – eyes, rectum and throat. The rectal and throat areas usually do not show any symptoms. You might experience anal discharge or discomfort. Gonorrhoea may be the reason for conjunctivitis when your eyes become infected.

You need to conduct a gonorrhoea test if:

  • You have recently had unprotected sex with a new partner
  • You, or a sexual partner, are experience symptoms of Gonorrhoea
  • A sexual partner tells you they have Gonorrhoea or another STI
  • You have tested positive for a different sexually transmitted infection

Gonorrhoea test for women

Your doctor may collect a swab sample from your cervix, urethra or vagina. A swab of your eyes, rectum or throat can be arranged. You need to give your urine sample for conducting some tests. It is advisable that you do not urinate two hours before your Gonorrhoea urine test.

Gonorrhoea test for men

Men provide a urine sample at the time of gonorrhoea. The doctor takes your discharge sample from penis end for testing. The swab sample is taken from your eyes, throat or rectum when you are worried about this STI infection.

Certain symptoms of a gonorrhoea eye infection include:

  • Swelling
  • Irritation
  • Discharge
  • Pain

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in women

  • Pain at the time of urinating
  • Lower tenderness or abdominal pain
  • Watery, yellow, thin or green vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding between periods or heavier periods

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in men

  • Tenderness or pain in the testicles
  • Pain at the time of urination
  • Yellow, green or white discharge from the penis

How gonorrhea can spread from one partner to the other

You can contract or spread gonorrhea by having anal, oral or vaginal sex. Use a condom or other barrier method at the time of engaging in sexual activities. This may go a long way for reducing the chances of contracting or transmitting STIs like gonorrhoea. These barrier methods will not eliminate your risk completely, particularly if you do not use them properly. Oral gonorrhoea may spread through kissing with tongue but if you had this disease earlier, there are higher chances of contracting it again. Untreated gonorrhoea may increase the risk of getting other STIs. Gonorrhea can be  transmitted from birthing parent to baby at the time of delivery.

Untreated gonorrhoea in women

When women do not treat gonorrhoea, the infection might spread to the reproductive organs leading to a condition known as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID. This can cause infertility problems, blocked fallopian tubes, ectopic pregnancies and pelvic pain for a long time.

Untreated gonorrhoea in men

Untreated gonorrhoea in men may cause painful infection in the testicles and decreased fertility. There are cases when this STI may be the reason for inflammation and pain of your skin lesions, tendons and joints. The more time you get the infection with Gonorrhoea, the more likely you will have possible complications. In the case you have been treated with this STI earlier, it won’t make you immune and you may get re-infected again.

How will the healthcare provider know whether you have gonorrhea?

The provider takes your urine for detecting whether you have gonorrhea. But if you have had anal or oral sex, then the provider use swabs for collecting the samples from your rectum or throat. There are cases when a healthcare provider may use a swab for collecting the sample from the urethra or cervix.

How can gonorrhoea affect your baby during pregnancy?

If you have gonorrhoea and are pregnant, then you may pass on the infection to your baby at the time of delivery. This can be the reason for serious health concerns for your baby. In the case you have already conceived, talk to your healthcare provider about thorough examination, necessary testing and proper treatment. Treating gonorrhoea quickly will make less health concerns for your baby.

Is there any possible treatment for gonorrhoea?

Yes, the right treatment can help in curing gonorrhea. It is important on your part to take all the medicine given by your healthcare provider for treating the infection. Make sure you do not share your medicine for gonorrhea with others. Though the medicine can prevent the spread of this infection, it won’t undo permanent damage caused by this ailment. You need to consult with your healthcare provider when the symptoms continue for more than a few days after getting the treatment.

When can you enjoy intercourse again after gonorrhea treatment?

You need to wait seven days after taking all medicines before intercourse. Both you and your partner need not enjoy sex till you have each completed treatment and your symptoms are gone completely. This can prevent you and your sex partner from giving or getting gonorrhea again. Those who have gonorrhea need to test in three months after the treatment of initial infection, even when their partners have undergone the treatment successfully.

If you have had gonorrhea and took medicine earlier, then you may get it again. This happens when you have intercourse without a condom with a person who already has this infection.

Complications with gonorrhea

Untreated gonorrhea may cause major complications which include:

  • Infertility for women: Gonorrhea may transmit into your fallopian tubes and uterus leading to pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. This can be the reason for scarring of tubes, infertility problems and greater risks with pregnancy. So, PID requires immediate treatment.
  • Infertility in the case of men: Gonorrhea may lead to small and coiled tube in the rear part of the testicles where sperm ducts are located to get inflamed. Hence, untreated epididymitis can cause infertility.
  • Infection spreading to the joints and other body parts: The bacterium causing gonorrhea may spread through your bloodstream and infect other body parts including joints. Swelling, rashes, sores, fever and stiffness can be possible results.
  • Increased risk of HIV/AIDS: Having gonorrhea will make you susceptible to different kinds of infection with human immunodeficiency virus causing AIDS. People who suffer from HIV and gonorrhea may pass on both the diseases to their sex partners.
  • Complications in babies: Babies who get gonorrhea from their mothers at the time of birth may develop infections, sores on your scalp and blindness.

How to lessen the risk with gonorrhoea

  • Wear a condom to lessen the risk of contracting gonorrhoea. The most effective strategy to prevent gonorrhoea is not to have intercourse with an already infected person. Use a condom for anal, oral or vaginal sex.
  • Reduce the risk by staying in a monogamous relationship where neither spouse has had sex with another partner.
  • Conduct STI testing for you and your partner. Discuss the results with each other before enjoying sex.
  • Avoid engaging in sexual activity with a person who has an STD. Do not engage in sexual activity with a partner who has the symptoms of an STD, such as sores, genital rash or burning at the time of urination.
  • Annual screening is necessary for older women who are at greater risk of infection and sexually active women below 25 years. This is applicable to women who have a new sex partner, several partners, partners with other partners or partner who has STD infection.
  • Males who enjoy sex with other men need to perform routine screening.

How can you take care of yourself with gonorrhea?

If you remain sexually active and are at higher risk for gonorrhea, then you need to consider regular STI testing. Unlike different STIs which include Gonorrhoea without any symptoms, you can get the infection and pass it on to others without even knowing about it. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to possible complications that are possible to avoid with routine testing and quick treatment.

Thus, you need to test for gonorrhoea immediately when you suspect you have contracted this sexually transmitted infection. With barrier measures for sexual activities, conducting STI testing and discussing about STIs with your partner, you can take necessary precautions to catching or avoid spreading gonorrhoea.

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