Gonorrhea is a remediable sexually transferred disease. The bacterial germs thrive on the warm, moist, mucous areas of the body that include genital tract, rectum and mouth. In women, additional areas of infection are the cervix, vagina, and uterus. Even newborn babies can get infected from mother during delivery.
Early symptoms of gonorrhea are mild and in majority cases, do not show up. They usually appear between 2-10 days after sexual contact with an infected person and sometimes do not show up for several months.
Symptoms common in women:
- Burning and frequent urination.
- Increased vaginal discharge, which is usually yellowish and smelly, and itching of the vaginal area.
- Vaginal bleeding between periods and during intercourse. If left untreated, may lead to sterility.
Symptoms common in men:
- Pus from penis accompanied by pain
- Burning sensation during urination
- Painful and swollen testicles.
Advanced gonorrhea may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, which, if severe may require surgery also. Symptoms of pelvic infection are fever, pelvic cramps, unbearable abdominal pain or pain during intercourse.
Symptoms of rectal infection include discharge, painful bowel movements with bleeding.
Gonorrhea is curable successfully with available antibiotics if diagnosed correctly. But drug resistant strains of gonorrhea are emerging which are more difficult to treat. People with gonorrhea should also be tested for other STDs. Chlamydia is a STD which usually accompanies gonorrhea, so medications for both are given together.
No home cure is there for gonorrhea. Antibiotics or intra muscular injections have to be taken for cure, so one should go in for medical consultation immediately to prevent further spread.
A word of precaution –
- Gonorrhea if left untreated can spread to the blood or joints and become life threatening. Gonorrhea infected people are more susceptible to contract HIV that causes AIDS and in turn transmit it to others.
- Pregnant woman can pass it on to her unborn baby, who can be born blind, or with joint infections or a fatal blood infection.
How to prevent gonorrhea –
- Use condoms during intercourse to reduce the probability of getting infected.
- Avoid multiple sex partners; be in a monogamous relationship with a partner who you know for sure is uninfected.
- If you think you are infected, abstain from sexual contact and seek medical help.
- An infected person should inform his sexual partners so that they can get checked and undergo treatment if infected. This will also reduce the person’s risk of becoming reinfected.
Gonorrhea is an easily curable and preventable STD since the causative bacteria survives only under limited conditions. If you become a bit cautious about your sexual activities, you can prevent its spread also.